Sherri Hope Culver is an associate professor at Temple University in the Department of Media Studies and Production. Besides her teaching duties, Culver is the director of the Center for Media and Information Literacy at Temple. She teaches children’s media and communications along with media management. Her specialty is content development and executive management for public media and companies working in children’s media.

(Photo Courtesy of Sherri Hope Culver)

(Photo Courtesy of Sherri Hope Culver)

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What is the most challenging aspect of teaching in the classroom environment?

“Staying up-to-date on all the changes in the media industry. Students have an expectation that their professors will know the answer to everything, at any time.”

Are continuing education courses beneficial for teachers?

“Well, I guess that depends on what the continuing ed course is teaching. In any career, I think it’s helpful to explore professional development opportunities so you’re incorporating the latest ‘best practices’ in your work. There is often new research about teaching methods, pedagogy, new ways to integrate technology, and other recent trends. In my field of media & communication, the industry is changing so much each year that it’s vital that the content of my classes reflects contemporary issues and business concerns. In my experience, continuing education courses are more likely to address issues around how to teach, not what to teach.”

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Do you feel a masters in education would be helpful in your day-to-day career?

“I do have a master’s degree. I pursued it a few years before I started teaching but after more than 25 years working in the industry. I found the experience of pursuing an advanced degree worthwhile in helping me to hone my focus areas, research interests, and help me think through how my industry experience could best be shared in an academic environment. Although, honestly, I didn’t even know I’d be pursuing a teaching position when I started my masters program. I just knew I wanted to explore certain issues more deeply and a graduate program seemed like the most appropriate place to do that.“

Do you have any advice for people wanting to enter the teaching profession?

“Be sure you are doing it for the students. I honestly feel that teaching college students is a gift. They are at a pivotal point in their lives and their college professor holds a unique position; neither parent, nor boss, nor spouse, nor religious guide. I take that relationship very seriously. I want to explore issues about media with them, but also explore the value of critical thinking, innovative thinking, adventurous thinking…and how that impacts career growth and personal growth.”

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