Teaching Philosophy


It is my belief that an educator’s key responsibility is communication. Communication takes many forms, whether it is the transmission of specific subject matter, technique, or concepts. The ability to communicate thoughts clearly and effectively is the most important asset an educator can provide students. Any subject matter will be more effectively conveyed by a teacher whose passion for teaching is equal to their powers of expression. I strive to provide both a passion for teaching and the ability to express subjects and thoughts concisely to students of all skill levels. Ultimately the legacy of an institution rests with the quality of its graduates.

The Arts can be both confusing and intimidating for students. As a teaching professional it is my duty to pass on the knowledge associated with studio art and art history as well as provide inspiration. In order to inspire students by example I must be a dedicated educator, a prolific artist and fearless experimenter. This is how I instill creative passion in students and passion for the artistic struggle itself. Students must be encouraged to use a critical lens to determine the merit of a work of art. Does it display artistic creativity, craftsmanship, diligence? Does a work have a conceptual foundation or is it mere fluff? Visual Arts programs at many institutions struggle to maintain enrollment levels and funding due in part the perceived difficulty of the various artistic disciplines. Sculpture and ceramics suffer from this academic tendency. Without technical skills student work lacks virtuosity but without concept they lack legitimacy and intellectual depth. I intentionally challenge students to reach beyond their sphere of comfort ability and push perceived limitations.

I expect my students to establish an open dialogue between their art work and the work of others. Student’s learn to evaluate the direction a piece is going and specify what goals he or she is trying to accomplish, technically and conceptually. This type of discourse enables students to realize how effectively their ideas have been conveyed, and how well they have actualized their own goals. The ability to express and articulate oneself visually is at the core of studio art.

My educational goal is to provide each student with a toolbox of skills that will enable them to actualize anything they imagine. I endeavor to demystify the creative process by providing students with techniques to approach their technical and conceptual goals. I encourage the use of traditional sculptural and ceramic processes and materials coupled with strong conceptual and spacial awareness. When I teach studio arts I try to impart the fortitude of spirit that is needed to cope with artistic adversity. My motto in the studio is: Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome. Improvise a solution to a problem, adapt your solutions to the environment, and overcome obstacles. If you can’t go over it, go through it, under it, or around it…never give up.


Cody Kroll
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