I believe teaching is not just about presenting a subject, it’s about making the subject relevant to the student, planting the desire to know more and showing the students that they are capable of reaching for their dreams with hard work and perseverance. My objectives as a teacher are to make students realize that learning is a means to making the most out of their situation; to becoming informed citizens and to eventually teach others what they have learnt out of their life.
My teaching strategy is very fluid and based on my students. I believe everyone has the capacity to learn, they just need to be given the opportunity based on their abilities. Although it is sometimes necessary to present short lectures, I’ve always found interactive activities to be a fun way to learn, whether through group discussions/exercises, laboratory practicals or puzzles and quizzes. By adopting different teaching methods I would hope to cover the various learning styles necessary to incorporate activities that a diverse group of students can learn from. My goals in teaching a course would be to familiarize the students to a discipline as well as promote critical thinking, cultivate problem-solving strategies and encourage the acquisition of life-long learning skills. I expect my students to be challenged, work hard, and produce the best caliber work they can.
As a laboratory mentor I teach undergraduate research students to familiarize themselves with the basic laboratory skills and fundamental concepts in the field of research we are interested in studying. Once they begin to gain confidence through their mandatory training they are given individual or team projects to undertake – based on their current skill set. My goal for these students is to promote independence through learner-centered teaching, guide them through the scientific literature to acquire relevant knowledge and prompt them to ask questions (such as ‘why’ and ‘how’) instead of assuming that everything they read is correct. I would also hope to bring out creative and original thought as well as improving their academic and analytical skills to develop a capacity to apply information to address complex or abstract matters. Fundamentally, in the field of research we learn to become our own teachers.
MDLB 5100 Principles of Education and Research Design
This course is structured to include two components: a section on educational principles and a segment presenting various aspects of establishing a research project. Professor Wales Nematollahi conducts the education component and Dr. Catherine Loc-Carrillo the research component.
For the research component, students review major steps of a research project, including how to: identify research topics, evaluate the literature, construct and test a working hypothesis, analyze and interpret data, and report results. Basic research terminology and formats of research designs are be discussed.
Undergraduate Research Program
This research-training program is designed for students who are interested in expanding their knowledge and experience of working in a microbiology lab. Our group’s specific research interests are in preventing, treating and diagnosing osteomyelitis. By the end of the first semester in this program, students should be competent at performing basic microbiological and molecular biology techniques; demonstrate a working background on how to identify bacteria; and describe phages and host kinetics.
Students demonstrating the necessary skills to undertake a research project will be able to critically evaluate relevant research articles and engage in a systematic and methodological approach to test the hypothesis or specific aim(s) being studied.