Herb is a professor of education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Ashland University. He teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses with an emphasis on middle school education, instructional methods, and outdoor/experiential education.
He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio State University and his doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from Kent State University. His long career in teaching includes experiences as a sixth grade teacher; resident outdoor education program teacher and codirector; conservation summit faculty at the National Wildlife Federation; and environmental education summer workshop series faculty at Kent State University.
“Teaching at any level, whether kindergarten or college, is both an energizing opportunity and an awesome responsibility,” says Herb. “I feel that teaching is more of a calling than an occupation. As teachers, we must always recognize that we have the power to help or hinder, to lift up or tear down, to bore or enlighten. There is no such thing as a “neutral” teacher.
“A genuine enthusiasm both for teaching in general, and the discipline in particular, is what brings a classroom alive. Enthusiasm is infectious. It’s hard to be around a person who is excited about a topic and not at least pause to give some though to what is being said. I love the pure enthusiasm and eternal optimism of preservice teachers!”
Herb’s areas of specialty include the use of outdoors as an instructional tool; resident outdoor education; middle school education; instructional planning; the use of GPS in instruction; place-based education; environmental education; and teaching professional development.
“Professional development needs to be ongoing throughout a career, and it should take into account the career stages, as well as the perceived needs and interests of teachers. Generalized, whole-staff development is useful to introduce new concepts, but implementation of new ideas requires the provision of learning options that take into account the differing needs of teachers. It’s critical that teachers be an active part of the staff development planning process.”
Herb and his wife, Janet, have three adult children: Emily, Matthew, and Michael, and thoroughly enjoy their relatively new roles as grandparents.