Teaching

Teaching is at the core of the college’s mission, and the academic activity that drew the greater share of my time until I became the chief academic officer as Vice President for Academic Affairs. I hope to get back into the classroom at some point! My own pedagogical style tends to combine a mixture of lecture and seminar, with a heavy use of pop-cultural analogies, and a readiness to abandon the lecture to follow the thread of class discussion when that arises.

As far as philosophy of education goes, my tendency would be to follow Plato in the allegory of the Cave for the general way in which the liberal arts are meant to free us from the shibboleths of our setting in time and space. As a Catholic theologian, I’m also convinced that in doing this we will come to see what the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins saw:

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; 
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells 
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s 
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; 
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: 
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; 
Selves – goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, 
Crying What I do is me: for that I came. 

I say more: the just man justices; 
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces; 
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is– 
Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places, 
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his 
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.