Statement of Teaching Philosophy

At a very basic level I self identify as an educator, not as an evaluator, and this shapes much of my teaching philosophy. On a daily basis I contemplate the subject matter of my courses and try and conceptualize how I might provide clearer and more detailed presentation of pertinent materials. As an anthropologist I am blessed with really rich material to share with students in my courses. In lecture and class room discussion we evaluate interesting questions such as:
  • who are we as humans?
  • or as hominoids?
  • or as primates?
  • why is conservation of our close relatives important?
  • when, why, and how did we evolve into human beings?
  • and how do we resemble other primates and why is this important?

I absolutely love the challenge of sharing with students why these are relevant anthropological questions, why anthropology can best answer them, and the methods and materials that we use to address them. Central to all of teaching is sharing with students how we know what we know. I feel a great deal of emotional satisfaction when a student shares with me that they really enjoy how I organize and present interesting and detailed information in class.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Physical Anthropology (2010-2020)
  • Laboratory in Physical Anthropology 1 (2030)
  • Human Origins I (Honors 2050)
  • Human Paleontology (4110/5110)
  • Advanced Physical Anthropology (4120/5120)
  • Primate Comparative Anatomy (4030/5030)
  • Anthropological Perspectives: Contemporary Issues (4180)
  • Proseminar in Physical Anthropology (7020)
  • Undergraduate Seminar in Physical Anthropology (3020)
  • Primate Paleontology (4170/5170)
  • Advanced Seminar in Physical Anthropology (7120)
  • Graduate Core Course in Physical Anthropology (5790)
  • The Human Animal (3010)
  • Departmental Honors in Anthropology 1 and 2 Seminars (4710, 4720)