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Teaching Philosophy

Interdisciplinary Approach

To be an effective counselor educator, I believe we must have a deep understanding not only of our own personal issues and dynamics, but also the complex ecological contexts in which we are embedded. Reexamining various systemic variables, including public policy, economics and social class, geographic region, organizational culture, religious tradition, and the physical environment enhances the student's ability to recognize the complex and inter-related effects that various systems have on the current challenges facing clients. I have been very fortunate to be exposed to various cultural environments around the world (e.g., South Korea, South Africa, France, Germany, Egypt, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh). Moreover, majoring in International Relations has broadened my understanding and knowledge of cross-cultural communication, social justice, and current global affairs and has also helped me appreciate a systemic approach to human development, counseling, and teaching. In Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling, I invited professionals and individuals from academic disciplinary and cultural backgrounds to facilitate students to broaden their worldviews and perspectives of critical cultural issues and counseling topics. In addition, I tie student affairs and college counseling courses with current news and events in higher education. In Practicum and Internship, I have incorporated The Chronicle of Higher Education as a teaching tool to inform students with up-to-date topics in a constant changing world.

Experiential Learning

One of the crucial roles of counselor educators is to create opportunities for students to be motivated and challenged intellectually, culturally, and socially. In my supervision and teaching, I believe that live practice and experience reinforce the competencies of a counselor. I incorporate various experiential learning modalities in teaching to maximize learning opportunities and facilitate learning in and outside of the classroom. I always encourage my students to step outside their comfort zone and explore unknown areas. That could include trying new counseling skills or techniques, visiting unfamiliar multicultural sites, or taking up a foreign language. In Multicultural Counseling, students are required to complete a cultural immersion project, root presentation, resources mapping, interviewing, shadowing, reflection journaling, and "I am" poem as experiential learning assignments. Throughout these experiential learning processes, students are encouraged to develop reflexivity, a continuous process of examining both oneself and one's relationships with others, surroundings, and experiences. In particular, my belief in experiential learning and teaching is derived from Kolb's Experiential Model, "Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience" (Kolb, 1984). I especially promote Inside-Out Approaches (Ellenwood & Synder, 2006) in teaching multiculturalism. When you shift your perceptions inside, your outward behaviors change. This process is facilitated by quality experiences (either a new experience of situation is encountered or a reinterpretation of existing experience) accompanied by various cognitive and emotional responses that students may experience. In order to gain a better understanding of students' learning process and the effectiveness of Inside-Out approaches, I served as a faculty representative and participated in an international immersion course to South Africa in Summer 2012, accompanied by counseling students and faculty. I had an opportunity to conduct qualitative research investigating the perceptions and experiences of the students about the trip to South Africa.

Multicultural Approach and Mentorship

I believe that students are from diverse backgrounds in terms of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual and affectional orientation, worldview, religion, spirituality, ability, learning style, personal and professional experience. As a multicultural instructor, I have adapted ideals and strategies aimed at increasing students' critical consciousness (Freire,1973) and collective action - removing the hierarchy within the classroom, valuing diverse voices and experiences, and promoting social justice. I empower students to create mutual classroom goals, facilitate participatory learning, and develop critical thinking and social understanding through the use of large group discussion and a small group activity. I facilitate to create a safe atmosphere, egalitarian relationship, mutual respect, and open communication channels to access constructive feedback and input from students about the effectiveness of my teaching and the process and outcomes of student learning. I also value the importance of changing, modifying, and adjusting class contents, activities, assignments, and evaluation methods according to my students' needs and abilities. Formal and informal methods have been used to assess any potential areas of concern and/or for improvement at various points throughout the semester. In addition, I consistently seek feedback and consultation from my mentor and colleagues to improve my teaching and supervision. The experiences and advice shared by experienced faculty have enriched my understanding of teaching and supervision. I was invited to present "Tips for dealing with challenging student behavior" at a Faulty Development Workshop in Fall 2013 with my faculty mentor. I was honored to share my teaching and advising experiences as well as to listen to various challenges that other faculty face in teaching in higher education.

Integration of Technology

I have integrated various technology tools into curriculum to strengthen the effectiveness of my teaching and to facilitate ongoing communication with students from outside the classroom. I have been trained to become an effective user of various assessment, communication and collaboration functions in Blackboard. I have incorporated Blackboard. in my teaching to effectively share course information, provide ongoing feedback, and facilitate meaningful discussion. Also, I utilized closed group Facebook pages to create a virtual education space where American counseling students in the U.S. interacted with students and faculty in South Korea. These cross-cultural discussions via Facebook pages facilitated cultural sensitivity and awareness among the students. I had an opportunity to present "Creative techniques for teaching key concepts in required courses in counselor education programs" at the 2012 ACA conference with other creative counselor educators. Based on this innovative teaching approach, the article, Virtually connecting across geographical boundaries through Facebook was published (Choi & Moletta, 2013). Moreover, in order to be an effective online course facilitator and developer, I believe that my continuing education in technology is crucial. I continue to develop my competence in using technology in teaching by gaining knowledge about ethical and legal issues and learning various tools available for educators through formal training (the QM certification training and workshops) and informal educational resources (articles, magazine, and software). Recently, I have been curating Flipboard magazines - 'Global Dimensions of Student Affairs' and 'International Safe Zone.' These flipboard magazines allow me and my students to create resources guide by compiling articles from various sources and educational materials on a chosen topic and share them with one another. Especially, 'International Safe Zone' is a virtual space where student affairs professionals and educators support a meaning making process of international LGBTQ students' sexual and affectional identity and empower them to create a sense of community.