Department of Fine Arts

Mr. Gary MoellerMr. Gary Moeller

Teaching Methods and Evaluation

The main elements on which I base my teaching philosophy are under the general heading of Preparing Students for a Quality Future.

Such preparation is balanced and dependent on (1) my own preparation and awareness of the academic and professional "landscapes” in which our students will eventually find themselves learning, working and living. This also includes sharing with my students my professional and academic activities, knowing and expressing the histories that have influenced our current environments and disciplines, and deducing the directions and needs of the future.

Secondly, I have had the opportunity over the years to help design the curriculum of courses, programs and degree plans. In all cases, (2) I keep in mind the desire to give students learning options that address both aesthetic/academic investigations and practical/professional opportunities. This philosophy is also aligned with teaching toward a balance of traditional bases and technically innovative directions. I think it is extremely important to give students a practical, traditional (in some cases, hands-on) understanding of not only what come before our current technology, but the theoretical benefits of those understandings. As an example, in the art studio courses of drawing and painting we are not only learning one of the most important forms of cultural and human communications, we are experiencing the elemental background and all the visual aspects needed to create such things as quality computer graphics and other yet unknown technical means of expression.

(4) I promote learning beyond the classroom.  Students should be encouraged to take their education beyond the classroom. They should be allowed to see other cultures and places and apply them all to their own experiences and the art they produce. I want students to continue their education by seeing no end to it. They also need to see and talk to the successful professionals and academics in the fields they are studying. Part of this should be student driven and part of it we should make available through our institution.

(5) It is important for me to invest great time and effort beyond the classroom to assure student success.  When not teaching or preparing to teach, I am working on various projects designed to create learning advantages for our students. With the help of many parts of this institution, money is being raised for and promised to our students for scholarships and special projects that enhance their learning.

We must also think of student needs when it comes to future curriculum, activities and facilities. It is of great concern to me that student have a dynamic, yet stable, institutional environment in which to learn. Planning toward that end is another area of which I devote my time.