Debbie’s Teaching Philosophy

Major forces of change are challenging educators to realize that there is a new world of learners driven primarily by technologies and the speed of commerce in this new economic reality. As one educator wrote, “It’s been a long time since people needed to come to a university to find knowledge or expertise; the Internet is just one step, although a big one, in the process that started with the printing press. What students find at a university is mainly each other – a culture of learning.”

My teaching philosophy is grounded in the notion that there is a vast difference between “teaching” and “learning” and that in order to develop a true culture of learning, an educator must first use the two “R’s” … Rigor & Relevance! Students today want to be challenged and they certainly want to understand the relevancy of what they are learning. I have researched the various generations in the workplace and in the classrooms and while they all have their unique characteristics, they also share a few commonalities which includes, “Why do I need to know this information and how will it benefit me in my career?” For these reasons, I believe the best teachers create a culture of experiential learning.

I strongly believe in collaborative education with peer-to-peer learning in which the instructor brings the latest “new knowledge” and presents it in a manner that is applicable to strengthening the competencies required in the field. In class and in the marketplace, students need to transfer the knowledge into a project based learning applications. These practical experiences should be augmented by on-line meetings, classes and other projects weaving together the learning in the classroom as well as learning in the work environment.

Students should work more in teams, contributing to class projects – assessing one another’s work which leads to a more collective and creative environment. Over the last years, I’ve grown as an educator and seen the value of connecting students to industry advisors, mentors and peers for additional sources for enhanced learning experiences.

Each and every day, having taught over 7,000 college students and over 10,000 adults in corporate settings both nationally and internationally, I still find the greatest reward in teaching is the investment that we make in other people. I have learned as much or more from my students than I could have ever taught them. Great educators should not only be experts in their field, they should be passionate about their topic and be totally committed to the success of their students. In my opinion, the best report card for the educator is when the student is qualified and received the “job of their choice.”

For a full list of what The Quadrillion teaches in its workshops, please visit our “Workshop Topics” page.