Teaching

PREVIOUS COURSES TAUGHT

 Baylor University

  • FCS 3204 Intro to Research for FCS
  • CFS 4191  Professional Practices in CFS
  • CFS 4357 Child and Family Policy & Advocacy
  • CFS 4358 Planning & Administration
  • CFS 4363 Adolescent Development

Texas A&M University

  • RPTS 304 Administration of Recreation Resources
  • RPTS 370 Youth Development Organizations and Services
  • RPTS 489 Youth Development in Faith-Based Organizations

 

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

 My teaching can be summarized in these 3 simple statements:

  •  Intentional Design of the Class Experience: “I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” —Albert Einstein
  •  Involve Students: Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand. -Chinese Proverb
  •  Learning is Fun: “What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” —Alfred Mercier

Human services is complex, developmental, interpersonal, intersubjective, and contextual. During my professional experience, I encountered countless good-hearted individuals who felt called to improve individual’s lives but lacked the knowledge and skills necessary to attain their goal successfully. Therefore, I take my role as an instructor very seriously. I am called to tend to the students in my care and prepare them for their calling as human services professionals. This philosophy of teaching statement overviews important concepts that I try to embody in transferring knowledge to students.

The purpose of higher education for the university undergraduate is to enable the student to both become a generalist and a specialist. Higher education plays a social role in providing the student with certification of education and skill attainment in a specific field of study and application. As an instructor for specialist courses in the field of child and family studies, it is my role to understand today’s students learning needs; to stay current with topics in our field; to ensure that students are taught to utilize the necessary resource to stay current in the field, to enable students to develop basic skills required for professional positions, to provide opportunity for students to become critical thinkers; and above all else to be a quality mentor and role model to students.

In developing courses, I consider Aristotle’s three intellectual virtues: episteme, techne, and phronesis—which are generally translated as scientific knowledge (i.e. context-independent principles assumed to apply to all situations), technical knowledge (i.e. skills—the application of concrete and context-dependent knowledge), and practical knowledge (i.e. value judgment and ethical decision making in social practice). These three virtues are needed to become a skilled practitioner, and thus these virtues guide my teaching behaviors, values, and attitudes. In addition to these virtues, I believe that learning can be enjoyable and should be enjoyed in the classroom.  Class enjoyment is maintained through high-impact learning activities that simultaneously engage and empower students. My role as an instructor is to maintain the balance of enjoyment and accountability in learning. The best environments for our students are the ones that lead them to take responsibility for their learning. It makes a  difference in a student’s mind knowing that they’ve discovered the answer for themselves or is been able to create the answer if it wasn’t there. Likewise, I believe that learning can be enjoyable in every way for both teacher and student, and it should be. When students are engaged and invested in their learning and are truly having fun, that’s a big part of how learning “sticks.”

As the instructor, I feel great responsibility in designing learning environments and experiences that are highly enjoyable and deeply memorable. Class time is not used as a regurgitation of the book but rather clarification of difficult and new concepts as well as development of practical and professional skills that will be used in the field. Assessment of learning is not through multiple choice tests but rather assignments that are intentionally designed to provide students with opportunities for critical decision making that they may encounter in a variety of employment situations. It has been stated that by the time we graduate our current students, some of the information they have learned is already outdated. Thus, my role is to empower students to know how to learn and to continue their education outside of the classroom rather than stopping their education at the point they obtain a degree.

Aristotle’s intellectual virtues along with an understanding of adult education theories guide my philosophy of teaching. These perspectives guide and direct each course design to engage and empower students inside and outside of the classroom. In the end, the goal of my teaching is to provide students the opportunity to develop a skill set essential to becoming an informed practitioner, that is to say these students will have the ability  to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate a variety of supports, opportunities, and program services for their clients.

 

BAYLOR STUDENT EVALUATION

Overall Teaching Effectiveness Score Students Taught

N=366

Response Rate

84%

Effectiveness Score

5.74 (out of 6.00)

Baylor University Student Comments: 5 Comments from 5 Courses

  • Melton is very passionate about research and has extensive knowledge on the topic. She did a great job of introducing us to legitimate scientific research without pressuring us to make everything perfect. She effectively made the class a learning experience. (CFS 3204: Research Methods)
  • Melton always makes class worth going to. She always came prepared and she was always ready to answer any questions we had. I liked that she made it less of a lecture and more of a conversation between the class and her. She really showed that she not only wants us to do well in her class, but also once we leave Baylor. And having this class and her style really help prepare me for what comes next after graduating. (CFS 4191: Professional Practices)
  • Melton you are awesome! It is so great to go into a class where you as the professor are so interested in the topic and really wants to teach your students. You are so knowledgeable about the topic it was great to hear you teach on this subject. It is great how you really try to involve us students by finding out what we are interested in and incorporating that into the class. The activities we did in class were creative and interesting. (CFS 4357: Policy & Advocacy)
  • Melton is a very practical instructor, and I appreciate that all of the assignments in this course served a very specific purpose in helping us learn the process of program planning and grant writing. I thoroughly enjoy Dr. Melton’s teaching style—she is fun, relaxed, knowledgeable, and expects a lot from her students. (CFS 4358: Planning & Administration)
  • I love Dr. Melton’s classes. They are a lot of work, but she makes learning exciting and is extremely engaging during class. She also forces her students to learn the material and apply it, instead of memorize it for a semester. The assignments and exams take a lot of time, but they work, so I guess I can’t complain about the workload. (CFS 4363: Adolescent Dev.)

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