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Uwe & Andrea Muench

a missionary couple, a German physicist and an American teacher, changing the world
Currently viewing: Uwe Muench's Homepage » Teaching



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Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning are the acts, processes, and experiences of imparting and gaining knowledge or skill. Unless you are completely isolated from your environment, teaching and learning happens all your life. Hence, I care about this topic and like to think how to effectively teach and learn, and about basic principles and how to communicate them.

In the last three years of high school I attended a class called 'Pedagogy' or 'Educational Theories'. Here I was introduced to alternative school models and Gestalt therapy. At the University of Cologne I taught one-week classes on TeX, mainly in a not-too-effective lecture style, but the format didn't allow anything else.

At the University of Missouri-Columbia I taught physics laboratories, and math classes. I also tutored for the Total Person Program of the Athletic Department. I was part of the Graduate Teaching Scholars in 1998-99. This program is not currently active as a separate entity anymore because it became part of a teaching minor at MU after I graduated. I also received the Donald K Anderson Graduate Student Teaching Award in 1999. On March 19, 2001, I was the Honorary Coach for the Big XII Women's Softball Team at the University of Missouri-Columbia, nominated by pitcher Stefanie Falk.

After my graduation from MU, I worked as a high school math teacher at Christian Fellowship School (a ministry of Christian Fellowship church) and I taught the summer physics class at Columbia College. Since my visa status changed that summer I only tutored physics privately since then. Also, leading Bible studies for Chi Alpha gave me many opportunities for teaching and learning.

While I was at MU I studied the field of Physics Education Research and I learned how much more effective classes are that are taught in an 'interactive engagement style' vs. a traditional 'lecture style'.

Besides communicating science effectively (see my journalistic articles in the newspaper 'Columbia Missourian'), I am always interested in sharing the Gospel and how to witness. What motivates me is thinking about how science and religion are connected and to teach this. Fun stuff!

Below on this current page, you will find my teaching portfolio and my teaching philosophy. Other information, such as alternative school systems and Physics Education Research, are on the following pages:

Teaching portfolio and philosophy

While I was in the Graduate Teaching Scholars program we developed a Teaching Portfolio, including a Teaching Philosophy Statement. They were written in 2000, while I was mainly teaching physics labs. I haven't updated them recently, because at this point in time I am not teaching physics. The basic ideas didn't change, though, so you can download them here.

  • A teaching portfolio includes, for example, a list of previous teaching responsibilities, a statement of teaching philosophy, examples of teaching materials, teaching evaluations, teaching awards, and plans and actions on how to improve your teaching. Here is my 2000 Teaching portfolio; the version here does not include the actual materials and evaluations, because most of them I just have in paper form...
    PDF format: portfolio.pdf

  • Here is a standalone version of my Statement of Teaching Philosophy.
    PDF format: philosophy-alone.pdf

Also, check out my presentation on the importance of interactive engagement teaching, see the Physics Education Research page.

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