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Qiu Liu, Ph.D. - Teaching Philosophy

Qiu Liu, Ph.D. - Teaching Philosophy

The success of conveying knowledge to students largely depends on the enthusiasm the teacher devotes and the effectiveness of teaching. To teach well the future engineering and technology people, I start the job from working on myself. Being a teacher for so many years, I have never stopped exploring more effective ways of delivering knowledge, such as how to draw students' attention, help students to analyze and reason better, schedule their time properly, and how to conduct their independent study, etc.
Students come to my classes with different goals. Some of them come to college because their parents want them to, some think they can spend minimal efforts and make big money after they graduate, some come out of interests. If they all can learn with pleasure, they will study actively and learn well. So I think one important role for a teacher is to make the learning process more interesting and motivate students to study out of their own intention. This can be done in many ways such as to make a friendly classroom atmosphere, let students express their confusion, and challenge students with practical questions and direct them to find the solutions. I ask them with questions such as "if you were the technician, how would you troubleshoot this malfunction? How would you design this system to make work as you expect? What will happen if I add some more components to this system?"  These questions always stir up students to think.
 
Over time I realized that the teaching of engineering technology involves much more than imparting knowledge about a single subject. It involves exemplifying the ethics and commitments that comes with scholarship. It involves enlighten students to think systematically and obtain good communication skills. Students always complain that they won't use what they have in the classroom in their future jobs. I try to make them understand that in college students need to attain life-long learning habit and ability, sharpen their minds to think independently and critically, and expand their personal horizons.  A success in   teaching is when students face real-world problem in their future jobs, they can arouse what they have in their minds and come up with solutions in a limited time. 
Being a teacher and student in two countries, I am able to combine the advantages from both culture and make use of this blending. In my teaching, I stress both: a solid understanding on the basic principles of science and mathematics, and practical skills. During my teaching, I use Confucian's philosophy: guide different students differently.   For example, I will let a student afraid of building circuits to build more circuits and let a student who is not good at calculation do more analysis in an electricity lab team.    
In general, I teach as much as I can, make students learn as much as they can and feel hands and minds full when they leave school