Pedagogy and Teaching
My teaching agenda centers the political struggle of marginalized groups whose democratic contributions are often made invisible by dominant approaches to the study of politics. In line with my approach to research, I emphasize the way material artifacts, technologies, and forces structure inequalities, produce silences, and sediment modes of subjugation. This has the effect of attracting students from underrepresented groups whose perspectives are oftentimes treated as ancillary. In line with my approach to research, I supplement traditional texts with the non-traditional materials such as artifacts, technologies, sound, art and literature, thus, engaging students whose learning styles are non-traditional and who think across disciplines. I choose class readings that take a strong position and, thus, provoke student responses of an issue. Lectures are a necessary part of instructing undergraduates, but I use them as the starting point for student thinking, not an end. This approach reinforces my commitment to de-mystify the problematic notion of neutrality and the paternalistic model of banking knowledge in students. If education is oriented toward emancipation, then my role as instructor is to spur, direct, and mediate critical thinking.
To encourage student investment, I often require students to present on readings—typically in groups—and to lead the subsequent discussion. I find that generating student investment in this way leads to more empathy, more engagement, and greater intellectual rewards. Courses I develop begin with a lesson on good argumentation, which addresses the difference between claims and warrants. A dialogue is initiated about good research practices and, as a class, we generate a notion of evidence that improves both writing and . I have learned the effectiveness of this curriculum learned firsthand from teaching (for eight semesters) an undergraduate seminar introducing politics through debating to first year students at The New School.