Teaching Philosophy

Teaching is about reaching and improving the whole of a student's person. Proper course planning and good reading selections form only the backbone of an inspired education. As such, my job is to help students see that political science is active and relevant to their lives, their learning, and their potential careers. To do this, my courses on comparative politics must have lessons directly applicable to student experiences. The intersection of intuition and experience with theories and cases that students have never been exposed to creates excitement in and out of the classroom and broadens students' conceptions of learning and of the discipline. I can be a knowledgable guide as students move through this experience by introducing different approaches to the same subject, different activities to reinforce the same concepts, and different assessments designed to challenge students to think about political science in relation to other disciplines. Once relevance is clear and I show students that the field is active, immediate opportunities emerge for collaborative and structured independent research that promote the highest levels of synthesis, prediction, and thinking.

Teaching Experience

  • Assistant in Instruction, Political Protest and Violence (Spring 2018): I taught one-third of the classes in this course. Class time involved short lectures, simulations, small and large group discussion, multimedia activities, and structured work on a group project. I designed all the classes I taught. I was also responsible for designing and evaluating all assessments in the course including a midterm short answer exam, ten page research based term paper, and simulation based group project. I developed comprehensive assessment procedures for these assignments. I also individually mentored about half the class on their writing for the term paper. During the classes I did not teach, I developed several in-class activities in conjunction with the primary instructor to increase active learning in the classroom.
  • Assistant in Instruction, Theories of Social Justice (Fall 2017): I was responsible for mentoring students on argumentative term papers and for evaluating and monitoring progress on essay exams. I implemented a plan to increase student learning after the first exam that resulted in an average one letter grade increase in performance on the next exam. I individually mentored about half the class, and students who I assisted scored, on average, one letter grade higher on their final paper.
  • Graduate, Course Design Institute: Intensive instruction on course design and planning. I developed a syllabus and schedule of readings, classwork, and activities for a course titled "Identity and Action." The course brings together different identities (ethnic, regional, gender, religion) with different forms of individual and collective action (terrorism, protest, riots, civil war) and looks at similarities, focusing on how identities are combined and how actions shift.
  • Teaching Center Graduate Advisory Group: Advise the Teaching Center on graduate student workshops and programming throughout the year. Plan and hold events related to pedagogy and engaged learning as part of the Graduate Teaching and Learning Community.
  • University Teaching Citation (expected 2021): University-wide recognition for teaching experience and excellence. Involves teaching or co-teaching three courses and engaging with scholars of teaching and learning through numerous workshops.

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