Debora Barrera Pontillo
Statement of Teaching Philosophy
I encourage students to not rest on the surface of an issue but to dig to the root, uncover the core, the source of its origin. I work with students as a community of learners who have come together to construct knowledge, not passively receive it from the professor. There is no keeper of the knowledge. My classroom is a place of participatory and liberatory education.
I hold a tremendous respect for the creative act and I encourage my students to hold their work with the same esteem. We engage with the art formally and also focus on art as a signifier of the sociological, historical, and political aspects of culture and society. Technically, I believe it is my responsibility to introduce and explore a wide range of practices, processes and styles form which students may work with. Just as I am committed to the development of each students artistic vision, I am committed to the development of each students technical ability. I believe that technique is the tool through which artistic vision is realized and manifested.
I believe the academic classroom and the art studio are creative spaces. My teaching philosophy holds true for both. In each I challenge the students to engage in critical inquiry, to reflect, to articulate, to challenge, to act. And I am challenged to the same heights and depths. Teaching is never static, but embraces movement. The classroom is alive, dynamic. For me, teaching is performative. The classroom should be a performative environment. I hope to create a space where community happens, where thought is expanded, where artistic vision is realized.
I hope to create a place where things "happen", a place where "story" is shared, a place where we can all "unmask".