Dr. Ben Barry | Philosophy
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Being a student is a time that I will always remember. Each class was filled with wonder as I discovered new ways to see the world and self-confidence as I realized the power of one individual to create a better world. Mixed with these positive emotions was apprehension and anxiety as new frameworks often challenged my own perspective and as I struggled to understand concepts.

It is this lived experience from my time as a student that guides my teaching philosophy today. I strive to unleash my students’ imagination to design a better world while empathizing with their challenges of being at university. Placing myself in the shoes of my students has enabled me to design a teaching philosophy for fashion studies that is guided by four principles.

Empathy and Diversity

I prioritize the development of empathy to foster a learning environment that values diversity. By feeling the experiences of others, empathy allows students to understand diverse ways of being in the world that differ from their own.


I believe a good teacher instills students with the ability to challenge received wisdom, develop and defend their own ideas, and change their positions based on reflection and discussion.

Active Engagement

An effective teacher does not simply discuss theories but provides students with opportunities to apply these ideas to practical contexts. By seeing how academic thought connects to their daily lives, students understand the value of theories to illuminate how we think.

Agents of Change

I believe that my purpose as a teacher is to prepare the next generation of fashion leaders with the knowledge, skills and motivation to disrupt the status quo fashion system and create an industry that fosters diversity.