teaching philosophy

The classroom is a dynamic environment that is always challenging and perpetually in a state of change.  As an instructor I am constantly aware of the intricacies of the classroom environment. It is imperative that I am aware of and sensitive to the diverse backgrounds of the students and, consequently, their different individual needs and interests.  I am a compassionate teacher who is flexible within the classroom and able to establish an environment in which students trust and respect each other and myself.  I strive to establish a comfortable atmosphere, which lays the groundwork for thought-provoking dialogue and intense interaction. 

Students should be taught to question and be independent thinkers. My goal is to allow students to discover their own capabilities. I do this by helping them become more self-aware about their lives and art making. I want students to be able to find their individual voices and distinctive identities and to learn how to translate that effectively into their work.

I set as one of my most important tasks that students learn how to effectively articulate their ideas and to do so critically. I create an enthusiastic environment that allows each student to build their confidence and knowledge so they are able to articulate the ideas in their work.  Through the critique, the objective is to facilitate and engage group discussion, arrive at thoughtful questions and contributions, and to stress the importance of reflection.

In building their knowledge, I am a believer foremost of experience, both within the studio and more importantly outside the special case of the classroom. I also advocate the significance of art history, theory, and contemporary practices. I think it is vital that students come to realize that their work fits into an art-historical context.  It is necessary that they know what has come before them as well as what is going on now. I offer my experience through demonstrations, readings, and field trips outside the studio.

It is important to establish a strong foundation that builds on students’ technical abilities as well as their cognitive strengths. Through stimulating assignments, I promote risk taking, experimentation, student collaborations, that encourage students to go beyond what they are comfortable with in their studio practice. I am a teacher that establishes expectations to which I firmly hold my students, knowing that they can exceed the expectations and become individually motivated by an instilled work ethic.  

kendrabulgrin@mac.com © Kendra Bulgrin 2012