Rachel Martin Harlow, PhD
Assistant Professor of Communication
Department of Visual and Performing Arts
College of Arts & Sciences
UT Permian Basin
Effective teaching starts with a concerted effort to understand one’s students, not only as learners, but as people with real interests, dreams, needs, and problems. If I understand who my students are, I’m better able to adjust my teaching techniques to reach those students.
As a rhetorician, I believe that students benefit from teachers who, paraphrasing Aristotle, practice the art of discovering the available means of persuasion in a given situation, and who can then use those means of persuasion to create instruction that is fitting to the content, the students, and the overarching goals of the university curriculum. When I teach I work to discover techniques, skills, and practices that engage all the faculties of the mind—memory, reason, imagination, and will—in ways that are timely and fitting with respect to students' intellectual development.