Dr. Mi Ok Kang's Teaching Philosophy:
Teaching is sharing for Dr. Kang. After having taught students for about 25 years, she realized teaching is not just interpreting knowledge and experiences for students, but it is mutually sharing many things together with students. She has been empowered by my students academically and emotionally, as her students have been inspired by her teaching. Now she knows what she did not know 25 years ago, mostly from sharing many thoughts, ideas, and real life experiences with her students. It has been amazing for her to observe many changes in her students’ minds because her words have motivated, persuaded, and encouraged them to do their best. Also it has been fabulous for her to realize how individual students’ changes, whether miscellaneous or extraordinary, could bring changes among their families and their communities.
In this context, teaching is not only individual work but also social work which aims at bringing both individual and social changes. Students build up their thought and ideas by responding to the world - nature, people around them, and socio-economic, cultural and political circumstances. Teachers mediate between outside stimuli and students’ inner reactions. Teachers as cultural workers, says Paulo Freire (1970), dream of and act for meaningful changes in society at the center of a community. Dr. Kang believes teachers, as mediators of very reciprocal activities for social change, need to develop various ways of changing the world while working closely together both with students and with outside communities.