David A. Alexander, Ph.D.--I Love to Teach!
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David A. Alexander, Ph.D.--I Love to Teach!
David A. Alexander, Ph.D.
Professor of Humanities and Ethics
Polk Community College
3425 Winter Lake Road
Lakeland, Florida 33803
Phone PCC AL&SS 863-297-1025
FAX PCC AL&SS 863-297-1037
"I wanna say this about my state. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of him. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either."
— Trent Lott (R), Dec 2002
On July 11, 2002 Ann Coulter wrote the following lines: "Serious political dialogue becomes the exception when political discourse is littered with ad hominem land mines." Read my page of Ann Coulter Quotes. She was talking about herself. I will pay good money for information that explains Ann Coulter's favorite phrase: "girly-girly, eye-poking attack."
I am so proud to have Shannon Berry as a friend and student--read her essay at:
At the Community College the Whole Family Goes to School
2007 Summer B
FALL 2007 PCC & PHCC
Summer A 2008
Congratulations Frank and Debbie!!!
Joseph Chapman Neilan
It's a sad day in America!!
Copyright 2002 Garry Trudeau
Our Trip to see Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter
39th President of the United States
I am proud to have worked for him since 1975
I am proud to say that he has never embarrassed me or the Gospel
My Personal Philosophy of Education
David A. Alexander, Ph.D.
“The really crucial decision comes, not when we decide to be a pastor rather than a biologist, but when we decide to allow our entire life to be a channel of divine love.” Richard J. Foster
“Our task is to envision and work to realize a society with institutions and laws and public policies that provide justice for all and enhanced life for all. . . . The plight of the unborn. Problems of poverty and housing. Issues of nationalism and militarism. Of war and peace. Of racism. Of sexism. Of ageism. Of consumerism. Of environmentalism.” Richard J. Foster
“Honor people as human beings. This means a teaching style more of drawing out than pouring in, more of making students agents than recipients of knowledge, of getting them to see for themselves more than telling them what to see.” Thomas H. Groome
When learners think critically they detect injustice, discrimination, and oppression and commit themselves to oppose such social evils. Thomas H. Groome
“Anything that brings self-knowledge fosters spirituality.”
Karl Rahner as quoted by Thomas H. Groome
I have high hopes for students and I believe in the educational process. I want to touch students' lives positively on a personal, spiritual, intellectual, and professional level-the same way that other people did for me. I want to create a place of learning where professor and students engage in respectful, vigorous and open dialogue regarding the study of history and society, which will inspire students to love God, to love learning, to live their lives fully, and to value justice.
I hope that in my classes:
Students would cultivate a passion to learn.
Students would know and understand themselves better.
Students would think, write, read and speak critically, reflectively and independently about themselves and the world.
Students would engage in active self-directed learning.
Students would recognize and celebrate the cultural richness of other traditions.
Students would respect the dignity, the rights and the humanity of all people-especially those who seem most different.
Students would recognize and value the opportunities and responsibilities associated with life in a democratic society.
Students would cherish and celebrate the great mystery of life.
Students would experience the transforming power of education.
It would be fair to say that I have loved to learn my entire life. Ever since I was a child, I have read for hours at a time every day-books, newspapers, magazines, and now the Internet. I even listen to audio books while I walk or drive! When I am not reading, I like to watch a couple of hours of classic movies or educational television (as well as an occasional football or baseball game!) I have also always loved to explore new places. As a kid my family used to take vacations every summer. Our visit to Washington, D.C. in 1968 was my favorite. Whenever I stay in Washington, I still make it a point to visit the White House, the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the museums, and several different cathedrals as many times as I can-they never tire me! I have also enjoyed wonder filled days in California, Boston, New York, London, and Germany. I want my students to love exploring new places and new ideas as much as I do.
While I have always loved to learn that does not mean that I was always a good student. By the time I was sixteen years old I had managed to pretty much throw my life away. I had developed an uncontrollable taste for alcohol, I had dropped out of high school, and I was flipping hamburgers for minimum wage. On Christmas Day, 1973, after my conversion experience, my pastor suggested that I earn my GED and go to college. With the help of my family and my friends I turned my life around and started college eight months later on my seventeenth birthday. From that point on I have been determined not to waste another moment of my life and to get the best education possible so I could inspire my students to do the same in their lives. This same intensity served me in the U. S. Army, in sports, in ministry, and in graduate school. Intensity is the mark of solid professionals in all walks of life-the military, sports, business, medicine, science, and the arts. This is why I have such a strong intensity in the classroom, because I believe so deeply that a college education is expensive, it is time consuming, and it should lay a foundation for success in the rest of your life.
In my 25 year journey I have been fortunate to work for some of the finest professors in America. I studied history and religion at the University of Florida (M.A.) and The Union Institute in Cincinnati (Ph.D.). I also studied Bible and theology at Wesley Seminary in Mississippi (M.A.R.) and Wesley Seminary in Washington, D. C. (D. Min.). From the universities I learned to read, think and write analytically (Boy, did I ever!), and they made me conscious of racism and chauvinism in world history. From the seminaries I learned to think theologically, and to value social justice in the context of spirituality. Studying social science at the university and theology at the seminary prepared me to integrate faith and learning in my personal life and my professional praxis. That is why I am so attracted to Richard J. Foster's balanced approach to theology and church history, and Thomas H. Groome's approach to pedagogical philosophy. Both authors express their convictions about history, faith, and knowledge within the context of a spirituality that values the individual and practices social, economic and political justice. My spiritual heroes include John Woolman, Charles G. Finney, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, John Perkins, Jonathan Kozol, and Robert Coles because they combine their spirituality and faith with social and political action.
I am very proud that over the years hundreds of students have found my courses very positive and life changing. Most of them have gone on to become teachers, social workers, supervisors, pastors, counselors, and graduate students. I am honored and thrilled to read about and attend their classes, weddings, ordinations, graduations, concerts, ball games, and their other successes in life. I am thrilled to do what I love the most-what I think that God intended for me to do-and to be a part of the rich tableau of students' lives. At the same time I fear for my students and I accept some responsibility for their failures. I dread that they might live without passion, live without goals or purpose, expect to learn and live passively, settle for too-little of anything, or persist as mediocre, under prepared, bigoted, or narrow-minded. I accept some responsibility to challenge them, inspire them, or confront them if I have to, because this is also an integral part of the education process. I will say that I have had a few disgruntled students over the years-that is to be expected. However, not one of these students ever came to class regularly, completed their assignments, participated in class, or even read the syllabus (so they told me). I believe that they got out of my class what they put in. I come to every class with a prepared lesson, an open mind, and all of my enthusiasm and energy prepared to teach and learn. Quite frankly, I expect students to do the same and they will not be disappointed.
Euphemian Literary Society
Webpage Updated January 2009