“We see the world the way we do, not because that is the way it is, but because we have these ways of seeing”- Wittgenstein
Courses I’ve taught
- Introduction to Sociology
- Social Inequality/Social Stratification
- Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
- Data Analysis
- Social Psychology
Active learning approaches are core elements of all of my courses, and undergraduate research in my lab is an extension of my classroom that allows students to develop and implement their skills.
My mission is to help students learn scientific reasoning and the sociological imagination as “ways of seeing,” or, approaches to understanding issues in the world around us. I aim to impart critical analytical, reasoning, and quantitative literacy skills with the ultimate goal of empowering students to address a wide range of social & environmental justice issues. To this end, I use several techniques that promote student learning.
First, I use a variety of activities to stimulate active learning and encourage discussion. Rather than relying solely on lectures, I act as a facilitator in the classroom to foster an environment that promotes diversity of views, critical analysis, and discussion of difficult topics and concepts. I utilize Powerpoint slides as outlines for each session (with bullet points so that students actively take notes), and post them to Blackboard immediately preceding each class.
Second, all of my courses incorporate reading, active participation in classroom discussions and activities, and written reflections on the material. I encourage reading and participation by having students write “memos” briefly summarizing and critiquing readings, which also develops writing skills. I also use exercises such as “Think-Pair-Share” to promote discussion. Recognizing that learning is a process, I evaluate student learning throughout the course, rather than only with exams. For example, the grading rubric includes points for active participation in class discussions, reading quizzes, and other assignments. I use a variety of modalities in these assessments– from multiple choice questions, to essays, and presentations– to ensure that students with different learning styles are given opportunities to evidence their learning.
Third, I incorporate experiential and service learning activities into my courses, which helps give meaning to abstract concepts by linking the classroom to the “real world” and students’ own lives. In the GIS course, students visited the GIS offices at the City of Orange and presented their final research projects to city officials. In the sociology courses, I offered extra credit to students who participated in Chapman Day of Service or volunteered at the OC Rescue Mission and wrote a reflection on their experience.