Teaching Philosophy

My life was forever impacted when my father handed me a camera at 15. I loved that the process required technical knowledge to be creatively expressive. A perfect left brain right brain amalgam. From there through graduate school my passion evolved beyond the conceptual and theoretical elements to exploring how to use photography to engage people and actualize change in societal behavior. Teaching photography and watching its impact on students is one way I accomplish my objectives as an artist.

Each individual approaches the creative experience differently, the challenge for the visual artist as educator is aligning the demands of the discipline with the underlying abilities and personality of the student. In the classroom, I strive for an interactive and dialogical environment. My primary objectives are to integrate the technical goals of a curriculum with the historical significance of photography, design, and the visual arts.

Students are encouraged to experiment with different techniques and to challenge themselves to study familiar subject matter with a more informed perspective. Discussing contemporary artists and having an interdisciplinary approach is key to helping students to refine their artistic goals. The darkroom/lab environment allows for hands-on learning, problem solving, technical training, and aesthetic experimentation.

In my classroom students are challenged technically and aesthetically. I encourage them to set high goals and engage in problem solving to reach them; especially when they believe it is beyond their ability. I always make myself available to my students beyond the classroom providing guidance and support. I have taught students with a wide variety of learning styles and abilities. I have worked successfully with students with learning disabilities and various forms of autism. I have had many students for multiple courses, which has given me the opportunity to learn about individuals and their coping mechanisms; in turn, I can accurately gauge my response accordingly. I focus on facilitating a space that will foster productive critique while maintaining a positive atmosphere.

When I teach technical courses, I encourage theoretical practice and critical thinking. I take an interdisciplinary approach that includes elements of art history and photography’s impact on society that not only brings relevance to the students’ learning experience, it reinforces their choice to learn photography and become skilled in visual art and technique. By making practical and contemporary applications a focal point in the classroom, my students learn that their studies have a lasting impact. They will be able to follow through with their artistic goals, as well as enter the marketplace with confidence and viable career opportunities.

I have opted to teach a wide variety of courses to gain the broadest possible experience and a deep courseware portfolio. This has also refined my skills in developing new and engaging curricula. I am most interested in teaching within a program that successfully balances the technical aspects of photography and the visual arts, with criticism, aesthetics, history, production, and research.


  • Contact

    Phone: 908-418-2544
    Fax: 908-418-2544
    Email: laurenzadikow@gmail.com

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