Pedagogical Examination of an Award-Winning Instructor’s Studio Teaching

By Ji Young Cho.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Design studio, as a core of architectural education, has been a significant topic for research in the field of architecture. However, there is little research on teachers and their pedagogical approach to teaching, such as what constitutes excellent teaching in the design studio. This may be due to the complexity of the study topic and a rigorous research procedure. Since the day-to-day education does not allow for immediate responses, it is difficult to find out which strategies, tactics, and techniques impact students’ learning and advancement without being in the studio context for a sufficient period of time.
This paper attempts to understand how outstanding instructors (i.e., those who have won teaching awards) guide, coach, and teach students in the design studio. As a part of a larger quest, a case study of one professor, who received teaching awards from his university several times, was conducted at a midwestern university. Observations of the instructor’s design studio were conducted once a week for a semester, and interviews were conducted with the instructor, regarding his teaching philosophy. In addition, interviews with 10 students were carried out to understand how such guidance is experienced by the students and how the instructor’s feedback influenced the students’ design evolution.
The findings of this study have three facets: (a) interpersonal attitudes of the instructor toward students; (b) the way the instructor conveys his knowledge; and (c) strategies the instructor uses to guide students’ design evolution. The findings provide a rich description of good studio teaching based on various channels— from students’ voices, the teacher’s voice, and the researcher’s experience as well as observation of the instructor’s studio. In addition, it is expected the findings may provide pedagogic strategies for educators who want to improve studio teaching for architectural students.

Keywords: Excellence in Studio Teaching, Design Studio, Teaching Pedagogy

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.387-406. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.994MB).

Ji Young Cho

Ph.D Student, Department of Architectural Studies, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA

Ji Young Cho is a doctoral student and graduate instructor in the Department of Architectural Studies at the University of Missouri. Her line of inquiry is in architectural education; pedagogical exploration of studio teaching and understanding the role of aesthetics in architectural education. She has taught several undergraduate classes, such Design Studio, Design Communication, and Computer-Aided Drafting with AutoCad, and currently teaches Design Studio at the University of Missouri. She received both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Architecture from Pusan National University, South Korea. Before joining doctoral program, Ji Young Cho worked as a senior designer in JAD (Joong Ang Design) in South Korea for 10 years, and designed numerous new or renovation architectural and interior design projects - public library, hotel, and commercial space, etc in Korea and overseas. She also worked as a researcher in CREDITS (CREative Design & Intelligent Tutoring System Research Center) at Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea. In 2008, she received IDEC (Interior Design Educators Council) Creative Scholarship1st Place Awards in the Interior Design Category in Montreal, Canada.

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