Asst. Professor, HPEAT/Educ Dept.
During my three decades of teaching at Luther College, three areas of academic expertise have emerged. 1) Course development: I have developed and implemented numerous courses in physical education and education, ranging from foundations, diverse learner, growth & development, curriculum, and pedagogy. 2) Student teacher supervision: I have been involved in supervision of pre-service teachers in health and physical education which affords me the opportunity for reflective observation and evaluation. 3) Pedagogy: Teaching various courses in elementary, middle and high school physical education methods enables me to model effective teaching practices, as well as incorporate new innovations. The challenges associated with course preparation and implementation, student teacher supervision, and modeling effective teaching strategies are not only extremely stimulating and rewarding, they are my passion!
My academic expertise (pedagogy) extends to a personal avocation—dog training. A professional dog trainer since 1990, I have taught various levels of obedience classes which have provided me with opportunities to pursue an avocation where I share with others my passion for teaching and my love for dogs. Because the dog-handler teams that enroll in m classes are very diverse, it is imperative that I develop strategies and techniques that meet their unique needs. Oftentimes, I find myself "teaching" humans and "remediating" dogs! In the world of dog training, the ability to problem solve is immeasurable and poses thought-provoking challenges. And, the study of canine behavior is priceless! I have placed numerous performance titles on our miniature schnauzers, and more recently, standard schnauzers. Further, our dogs have consistently placed in the top ten nationally for conformation, with many of these champions being dogs that we have bred. My dog training pursuits have also taken me to various seminars conducted by some of the top trainers in the country. I have served as a presenter of dog-related topics in various venues; member of dog clubs; served as a 4-H judge; steward for dog shows; and author of numerous dog-related topics in journals and newspapers. Most recently, I have become extensively involved in animal-assisted therapy (dog therapy visits to area nursing homes). Without a doubt, for well over three decades, I have been living, breathing, and experiencing pedagogy, not only in academia, but also in my personal avocation—dog training.
It is the intention of "Team Luther" to offer a course for juniors and seniors that aligns specifically with the intent of our Paideia II program, which focuses on required courses that are an interdisciplinary study of ethical issues that confront society, with special attention to the nature of moral decision making and to the continued development of students' writing skills. "Considering Animals" is a topic that characterizes the notion of the "Three R's" of academia: relevance, relationship, and rigor. We anticipate that such a new course will involve, but not be limited to, these issues: philosophical, physiological, psychological, spiritual, and sociological investigations of the human/animal bond; the significance of animals in present society, as well as other cultures; the importance of animals in wellness, rehabilitation/convalescence and stress management; social and societal issues surrounding animals; interdisciplinary investigations of controversies in animal research; aging and animal-assisted therapy; animal ethics; health issues (zoonotic diseases); and, quality of life. It is our team's intention to offer a course whereby students will become engaged, motivated, challenged, transformed, and ultimately, reflective learners.