Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow Spotlight:Amanda Goodwin
Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Amanda Goodwin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Peabody College, talks about her teaching philosophy and interests:
My main research goal is to improve literacy through better understanding how students can use morphological awareness (or knowledge of roots and affixes) to support reading and spelling. I became interested in morphological awareness because of the dichotomy between the morpho-phonemic nature of the English writing system and the relative lack of information regarding its role in literacy achievement as compared to phonological awareness. Although I have strong research goals, I am also invested in both undergraduate and graduate teaching. I primarily teach undergraduate and master’s level literacy methods courses, helping to prepare teacher candidates for their role as literacy teachers.
I try to teach candidates to be chefs rather than recipe followers, introducing them to both the ingredients and methods to be successful, yet expecting them to use their knowledge, creativity, and passions to design instruction that is even more effective than its individual parts.
“I have high expectations of both my students and myself and I have found teaching at Vanderbilt to be both inspiring and challenging. I’ve been impressed by my students’ engagement, interest, and creativity.”
Most importantly, I try to help students understand how to capitalize on ingredients they are dealt by using teaching methods that motivate and engage students. I have high expectations of both my students and myself and I have found teaching at Vanderbilt to be both inspiring and challenging. I’ve been impressed by my students’ engagement, interest, and creativity. I have seen incredible growth in knowledge and in their ability to engage children in the classroom. Their projects and comments show they are grasping foundational concepts and excelling in teaching reading and writing.
Like most of us, I face a challenge in communicating a large amount of course material in a relatively short time. I look forward to exploring ways to most effectively teach this large amount of information while still engaging students during 3 hour long seminar classes.