Teaching

Teaching Philosophy

My primary goal as a teacher is to ensure that students are treated as individuals, with varying skill sets and educational objectives, as serving as a conduit in their learning process. I set high standards and goals for students to reach, asking students to perform at their uppermost possible ability. I find that students derive a personal sense of gratification once they have recognized what they can accomplish.  By treating students as individuals, even in large lecture courses, the entire class benefits by student internalization of personal academic accomplishment as it fosters a higher degree of academic engagement. 

 

Additionally, I believe that students learn best when they feel a connection to the information presented.  Similar to Molefi Asante’s concept of ‘centering’- situating education in culturally, socially, and psychologically meaningful ways - I find that students are empowered by culture, both that of their own and others. Therefore, I design my classes to be inclusive of students’ backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge bases. I strive to create an inclusive classroom, where students are encouraged and rewarded for contributing to class. To ensure that students are comfortable adding to class discussions, I envision my role as instructor and facilitator is to insist that respect is given to me as well as other students.

 

My own research has benefited from my experiences as a teacher.  I have learned that listening is as important as lecturing. Specifically, I have learned to interpret the silences within conversations. These silences speak volumes and have alerted me to certain uncomfortable topics where polite yet further prodding is needed. Being an active listener has helped me to pay closer attention to not just what people say, but how they say it.  Teaching has helped you hone my listening skills. Next, my students have pushed and challenged me to become clearer in the practical execution of political concepts. Consequently, my writing became more fluid and concise as I was forced to thoroughly flesh out specific theories in my lectures. I have learned to think of my toes, to give a variety of examples to reach students of varying backgrounds.  

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Course Information

Learn more about the courses I teach and how to request a letter of recommendation if your

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Past Courses

  • African American Studies Research Methods

  • Black Political Participation

  • Black Women Rising

  • Introduction to African American Studies

  • Race and Ethnicity in American Politics

  • Black Women in Politics

  • Race, Ethnicity and Representation

  • Race, Gender & the Political Representation of Intersectional Identities

  • Black Queer Politics

  • American Race Relations

  • Contemporary Black America: The Age of Obama

  • Representation of Black Womanhood: Politics, Hair, Skin Color, and Culture

  • Race & Gender in U.S Politics African American Studies Capstone Course

  • Gender, Power, and Politics

  • Black Impact on Western Civilization

  • American Government

  • Politics of Black America

  • Comparative Politics

  • Critical Thinking

  • Black Feminism(s)

  • Political Action

Current Courses

  • Theories in African American Studies

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