Madeline Baugher
Department of Computer Science
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Contact Information
    Telephone:  (580)-774-3122 
              Fax:  (580)-774-3795 
             Mail:  Southwestern Oklahoma State University 
                       Department of Computer Science 
                       100 Campus Drive 
                       Weatherford, Oklahoma 73096
Teaching Philosophy

Learning about computers is like trying to take a drink from a fire hose. Not only is the volume of material overwhelming, but also the rate of change is tremendous. My desire in teaching is to see every student learn how to use a computer to accomplish his or her learning goals. Weather that goal is learning the common productivity tools, creating web pages or writing computer programs, the skills learned should serve the student throughout their life. Although facts are important, teaching is more than just transferring facts. One must include problem solving, teamwork, and ethical decision-making. I want to challenge each student to achieve more than they thought was possible.

How does one accomplish these goals? As a teacher, I serve as a guide to filter the tremendous amount of information that is available down to material that can be mastered in a finite amount of time. I help students learn how to study and point them to resources which will help them in the process. Facts, such as syntax rules for a programming language, are fairly easily mastered by studying textbook material. Problem solving is much more difficult and must be demonstrated by the teacher and practiced by the student throughout the course of the semester. Group interaction necessary for teamwork may be the most long-lasting skill a student learns because none of us lives in isolation. Learning to articulate and communicate oneís own ideas about a problem solution to others is as important as learning to consider and appreciate another personís contribution. Most importantly, modeling and teaching ethical behavior has eternal consequences. "What does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world, yet lose his soul?" When I insist that students turn in their own work and hold them accountable for learning material by giving performance exams and projects, I reinforce the truth that lying and stealing are wrong.

Why do I choose teach? I have had the privilege of contributing to the success of others for over twenty years. To watch students arrive on campus nervous and unsure of themselves, to see them mature and learn over several years, and finally to celebrate their success, confidence and accomplishment at graduation is a joy to me. I can look out across the Oklahoma and surrounding states and see many former students in productive jobs making a contribution to their employers and communities. I thank God that He has given me this opportunity and I give Him the glory for any success I have had.

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