When reflecting upon my experiences, it is clear my ideals towards teaching are a direct result of my own mentors and teachers. Throughout my experiences as a learner, I had teachers who strove to encourage students to actively participate in their education. I have discovered the most effective environments for fostering long-term knowledge are those which include elements of active learning. This is the outcome I strive to create for my students by incorporating elements of active learning in my teaching. Active learning is defined as instructional methods that encourage student engagement in the learning process.
The literature has supported this belief since the early 1980s. In Ruhl, Hughes, & Schloss, 1980, a two-minute pause for students to discuss their notes was incorporated three times throughout a 45-minute lecture period and was compared to a straight lecture environment. The investigators assessed short-term retention with a free recall exercise immediately after the lecture, during which students who had the pause procedure performed significantly better (108 correct facts vs 80 correct facts). Long-term retention was assessed with a 65-question multiple choice exam one and a half weeks after the lecture. The students with the pause procedure once again performed better, achieving average scores of 89.4% vs the 80.9% of their straight lecture counterparts.
My drive for both knowledge and education lead me down the path of becoming a pharmacist. As I continue to grow as a pharmacist, I will continue to grow as an educator through continuous improvement and incorporation of feedback. Providing education is my passion, and I will continue to improve and redefine my teaching philosophy as I gain more teaching experience.