Chip Neville, MFA - On Education

Chip Neville - Educator

   My first job teaching was in 1991 at USF working for the Community music division teaching guitar and electronic music. I worked there for four years and discovered I was able to work with a variety of age groups. It was a great part time job and although I loved teaching guitar, other business interests took precedent. I started on the current leg of my teaching career in 1997 while working as Art Director of International Learning Systems. I felt like I needed to do something different and earn a little extra money. I thought it would be a good idea to give back a little and teach a class or two at a local college. Inevitably while seeking faculty positions in both ACIS and SACS schools, the question of acredibility arose. That led to my theory laden visual art MFA. Almost twenty years later I have a rich background teaching illustration, graphic design, digital audio, video effects, and animation. What began as a way to earn some extra cash and make myself more useful became a fulltime career.

   My best qualities as a teacher are my ability to re-present material to students that are having a hard time assimilating information, in a way they can better understand. I also seem to have a knack for teaching digital media. I believe this is because when I was trained it was on traditional medium. When I was in my career I was using digital medium. The combination of experiences gives me the ability to draw analogies helpful to the experience and background of the student. I think my patience and empathy with students also allows the student to relax enough to look at the information unencumbered by fear of the instructor. I try to maintain a comfortably professional familiarity with my students. The more at ease they are around me the more likely they will be to ask questions and solicit me for additional information and explanations.

L-R Knot tying with the BSA and a St. Petersburg College MIRA classroom (Music Industry and Recording Arts)

Chip Neville - Teaching philosophy

   My teaching philosophy is that students must learn through doing. This is described in the social constructivism theories that stress interaction over observation.  After the initial information is presented in class lectures, group discussion, and activities are used for reinforcement and to expand understanding of key concepts through their relationships to a broader historical, cultural, social and economic context. Additional relative practical and theoretical material is offered to illuminate subject matter further. That is, whenever appropriate, insights are offered by relating my own or more well known experiences as an example. 

Teaching primary and secondary education requires a creative approach.

Once the course's informative materials have been related, my focus switches to the creative process where the use of those materials, aid the creation, refinement, completion, and ultimately exhibition of the students creative work. In regard to guiding students through the creative process, I have a strong belief in theory informing content. I promote research and preparation as key elements to creative activity. As a result, students produce intelligent informed work that is critically engaged.
During my classes I believe strongly in empowering my students to succeed. This includes providing space, tools and techniques, but also demonstrating enthusiasm for the topic and its practice.  This positive energy in the classroom provides for better assimilation of the topic and creative space for production. This is particularly well suited in the subjective area of the arts where student work must develop visibility in an ever more dense media world. My goal is to guide students of all ages through experience, to be deeply insightful about the tools and techniques necessary for the creative process, with regard to the broader context in which that work is expressed.

My desk at the Art Institute and hosting the view of Phenokistiscopes at Tampa Museum of Art's Big Draw.


I have made my primary income as a college instructor for almost 20 years. I have experience teaching all ages from primary through post secondary. I can confrortably convey complex information effectively to a variety of age groups and academic levels. To see a portfolio of student work please click below.

Teaching Portfolio