Associate Professor; Program Facilitator, Media Communications; Program Facilitator, Media Law and Ethics
Communications and Journalism
St. Louis (Webster Groves)
Media Law, Media Ethics, Media Communications (graduate) and Investigative Reporting
PhD candidate, Composition and Rhetoric, University of Nevada; MEd, University of Nevada; BJourn, University of Missouri
University of Kansas, assistant professor; and, University of Nevada, lecturer.
I don't have a teaching philosophy as much as I have a learning philosophy. I realize differentiating between teaching and learning can be viewed as a semantic, perhaps even a rhetorical, device. Yet, I believe the differentiation is critical.
Think of the two words, thinking and learning, just in a grammatical sense. Teaching implies students being acted upon, it implies passivity. Learning, however, is inherently active.
I believe from my own experiences as a student and from studying how my students have been conditioned, that education has become more teacher driven than learner driven. The teacher is the dominant figure in most classrooms. Teachers dispense knowledge that students way too often merely absorb, following John Locke's contention that our students come to us as blank slates. Such a philosophy assumes sameness and, eventually, has the potential to undervalue curiosity, creativity, originality and individuality.
Yes, teacher is one of the roles I play in the classroom and in my students' lives. Sometimes I teach, but mostly I view what I do as creating an environment in which my students can learn. When this environment transcends the classroom walls and embeds itself into the mindset of my students, then I've become more than a teacher.
Larry Baden has had the good fortune of having spent the past 15 years in classrooms with students. Yet, mostly, he considers himself a student of teaching and learning.
At the University of Kansas, Baden was named the university's distinguished professor by the Order of Omega and Golden Key honor societies. He has three times earned inclusion in Who's Who Among America's Teachers.
Prior to teaching, Baden spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter in Missouri, Colorado and Nevada.