Truong Le's Teaching Philosophy

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet -- Aristotle --


Teaching Goals: To teach is to learn. My goal as an educator is to help students to improve themselves as thinkers and problem solvers. My primary role as an instructor is to put physical intuitions in ways that help students to attain physical insights and to find relevant ways to solve problems. These techniques will give students a direct role in their own education that keeps them interested in the subject therefore, providing the willingness to learn. In teaching, I hope to impart upon students not just the materials that the class covers, but also more general skills and interests that cultivate the individual.

Teaching Style: My classroom style is lecture based with demonstrative and computer simulations to support and enhance understanding and learning. In the introductory courses prior to each class session, there will be assigned readings and occasionally there will be pop quizzes on them. I will deliver a brief lecture on each new topic, and present one or more demonstrations as reinforcement. Then I will give a topic-related exercise allowing small groups of students to work on for several minutes. The exercise can be as simple as drawing all the force components acting on a solid body that moves on a frictionless surface, or as hard as approximating the Earth's radius by observing the Sun set and disappear over a calm sea. As the students are working, I will observe and listen in on their discussions. If necessary each group will have the opportunity to confer with another group to resolve further. Each group will then be given an opportunity to explain their answers to the class. To balance the discussion, I will acknowledge the diligence of the students for their efforts or correct approaches, being careful to point out common errors.