Teaching Philosophy…comments welcome

Pedagogy has been the main thrust of my art practice since 2002. I have taught graphic/product design, woodworking, and mathematics, in addition to my specialty, textile practices. In the field of textiles, I have extensive knowledge of weaving techniques and apparatus, as well as off-loom yarnwork such as card- and backstrap-weaving, knitting and crochet. I am also versed in surface design and have taught screen-printing and shibori methods, and in each one of these cases I have found that the subject matter is the key to a development of more philosophical dialogues between myself and the group I teach. While I have the technical knowledge, and pass it on in a methodical, easy to follow way, since most of these operations are time-consuming and contain repetitive actions, the group is left with time to discuss the implications of the work. Experiencing each student’s perspective, I benefit as a teacher in two major ways. First, by approaching without preconceptions I gain new insight into the processes, which I can bring to the next group or to my next personal project. Second, by admitting the students that though I am a master craftsman passing on my skill, I remain a man with much to learn, they become more receptive to attempting projects without fear, and take on practices as their own much more quickly than if I presented it from a position of absolute authority.

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One Response to “Teaching Philosophy…comments welcome”

  1. Nina Says:

    Hi Travis, this sounds like a really good way to teach. I would like to be one of your students 🙂

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