Kathleen Johnson receives Knox teaching awardDec 22, 2011
Kathleen Johnson, associate professor of English, was awarded the 2011
E. Phillips Knox Teaching Award at Miami University’s 2011 fall commencement.
Established by Miami alumnus E. Philips Knox, a 1968 graduate, the award recognizes creative, innovative and engaging teaching methods at the undergraduate level. Miami’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and University Assessment selected Johnson for the honor.
A member of Miami’s faculty since 1996, Johnson has taught a variety of courses in multiple departments and programs, including English, the Western program, film studies, and women studies.
According to Kerry Powell, professor and chair of the English department, “Katie’s work takes place both inside and outside the classroom, and it is marked by innovation, direct and individualized engagement of students with course content, and an emphasis on critical and contextual learning.”
Johnson describes her classrooms as “performative” and “innovative.” She does not simply invert the classroom to make it student-centered. Her classroom “becomes a dynamic space in which knowledge is actively performed, analyzed and re-forged.”
In addition, Johnson includes intensive writing in her courses using traditional assignments, as well as creative writing prompts, such as role-play activities, debates, and playwriting. Her approaches generate excitement among students who she explains become “invested”; thus, making for a dynamic learning experience.
Johnson has taught and designed more than 30 different courses and mentored undergraduate students on individualized research projects — nearly 50 students altogether. Her rigorous approach to one-on-one instruction includes close reading and revision of drafts and weekly meetings with each independent-study student. The result – undergraduate students creating work at the master’s degree level.