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Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow Spotlight: Jinah Kim

Posted by on Monday, October 11, 2010 in News.

Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Jinah Kim from the Department of History of Art talks about her teaching philosophy and interests.

I strongly believe in active learning. By active learning, I mean that students participate actively and critically in the formation of their own knowledge. To this end, I encourage my students to speak in class by asking them to describe images and to share critical responses to readings.

I also value writing as an important tool for active learning because through various writing assignments students have a chance to internalize what they learn in class.  As an art historian, I believe that art history provides a unique chance for students to learn from their own experience because learning in art history is founded on an empirical and existential procedure of active perceiving and analyzing of the visual world.

It is sometimes challenging to realize this chance with the material I teach because my courses are on South and Southeast Asian art that are foreign and remote to most students. I strive to spark students’ interest in the course material through introducing different contemporary media pieces that they are familiar with and by bringing in the objects from different sites that we study. I hope that students’ active participation in the critical process of understanding the unfamiliar visual worlds of South and Southeast Asian art in my courses will help them question the ordinary world around them, to entertain different perspectives, and to be informed and open-minded citizens.

Ultimately, I want my students to take away from the class not just the knowledge of foreign names and images but a perspective to see things critically and open-mindedly, which in turn will enrich their lives.

Image courtesy Jinah Kim

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