My primary goal as a teacher is to help students to broaden their knowledge and skills to become better students and engaged citizens. Specifically, I want student to think about the ways that they interact with the world and the way they use the information that they attain in the classroom. The knowledge and skill set that they attain will vary depending on the course, the tools I use for instruction, and the students enrolled in the course.
Learning in my class is supported through relevant reading and group class activities, online activities for solo student engagement, and in-class discussion. I want to engage my students on a variety of topics and themes to provide a better understanding of politics and provide them a forum to engage as active political citizens. The study of politics requires a sensitive but firm hand to foster discussion while recognizing the diversity of students’ backgrounds and experiences. I want to promote their opinions and perspectives as I go through my lectures, seminars, and activities so that they feel comfortable in every setting. We are poised at a time in history and teaching that allows us to maximize the opportunities of technology in and outside of the classroom. Students can capitalize on opportunities to engage in the lecture materials with new and exciting enthusiasm. It is this type of engagement that is at the center of my teaching philosophy. Student participation of this magnitude, in and out of the classroom, will create an atmosphere of achievement, involvement, and success. I plan on presenting material in both historical and analytical contexts in an effort to engage student’s needs and interests.
Assignments are organized in an effort to promote critical thinking, writing, analysis, and both group and individual engagement. Dependent on the size of the class and the environment, I plan on offering assignments that will promote critical engagement skills that they can begin to develop to benefit them both in this class and the rest of their college careers. Examinations and quizzes are aimed not only to evaluate student comprehension of the material, but also to synthesize the results of the learning environment, my teaching strategies, and to measure their engagement and comprehension of the materials presented.
In introductory courses, my goal is to teach students how to synthesize and consume information within the field of political science as a whole and in upper division courses in specialized areas. Processing information and encouraging critical thinking is important to foster productive college graduates. My overarching goal is for students to maximize their abilities to synthesize information from a variety of sources and use critical thinking to assess the conditions of politics and address its problems. By the end of my classes, students should be better consumers and processors of information in the classroom setting, and in the world. I am invested in the teaching process and try to use the feedback that I receive from students to adjust course plans and material. I am constantly updating and adjusting curriculum (including text books, readings, assignments) from course to course to reflect feedback from students and adopt methods that are most effective for student learning. Ultimately, the final goal as an instructor is to provide an environment for learning that encourages success in the course and beyond. I strive to create a report with students that allow them to communicate in the academic setting and more importantly beyond the classroom setting as college graduates in the workforce.