My Approach to Teaching and Learning
According to its mission, Miami University is an educational institution that seeks to provide the best conditions and opportunity to prepare students to “improve the future of our global society.” As a member of the faculty, we are guided by the teacher-scholar model. This means that I must actively engage the process of creation knowledge, the transfer of knowledge, and development of skills that can be applied to areas of life that concerns human families. The creation of knowledge is through my role as a family science scholar, where I engage in research with my faculty colleagues and students (undergraduate and graduate) that advances understanding about families. The transfer of knowledge is through my role as a teacher, where I introduce students to family science content and methods. The value of the teacher scholar model is two-fold. One, it promotes an ethic among faculty keep current on cutting edge thinking in their respective fields, while also providing an opponent for students to access the cutting edge thinking on a topic, which they can effectively apply in the industry of their choosing. Importantly, both faculty and students are afforded the opponent to reach their full potential in their given professional interests.
My Teacher-Scholar Journey
I am a family scientist. Family science is a field with roots dating back to the early 20th century. From its inception, family science has concerned itself with the scientific study of families and family life. A universal experience of humanity is that nearly all humans are born into, develop within, or are somehow connected to a family (or multiple families). Human families can be peculiar institutions, especially in that they have a remarkable ability to be responsible for both great human joys, and devastating human pains. Oftentimes, simultaneously, which can drastically shape the lives of its members. Family scientists use scientific methods to systematically study families — to better understand, develop, and house knowledge and critical information about the positive and negative lived experiences of diverse family structures, conditions, and experiences. The vast diversity in family structure, conditions, and experiences means that family science scholars must continually develop knowledge about families, so they can best prepare professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to help families and to achieve their goals.
Knowledge is Power
“The teacher-scholar model at Miami University allows me to contribute to knowledge production by publishing three books on family life with two forthcoming in 2023, serving as editor for two prominent journals in my field, and authoring or co-authoring numerous papers and book chapters. I also get to teach talented, curious, and intelligent students to help them develop skills and techniques that they can use to prevent unwanted family experiences and conditions.”
Ph.D. University of Missouri- Columbia
M.S. University of Missouri-Columbia
B.S. Lincoln University (Missouri)
More About Me
Anthony James Jr. is a professor in the Department of Family Science and Social Work at Miami University. His scholarly work uses an interdisciplinary approach to understanding social interactions and human development, with an expertise in family science and program evaluation. He is the editor of Black Families: A Systems Approach (2020) and Letters to a Young Practitioner: Essays of Advice (2022) and author of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Practical Guide (2021) and What is Family Science?: An Answer (2022). James is also the editor-in-chief of Marriage & Family Review.