I have experienced that education can be transformative and empowering; however, I have also experienced that education can be discriminatory and marginalizing. My aim as an instructor is to create an educational experience that results in the former, rather than the latter. Therefore, my pedagogical philosophy is grounded in the principles of inclusion, social justice, and difference. As an instructor, my ultimate aim is to create and facilitate a pedagogical space in which marginalized voices are not only heard, but also contemplated.
As a communication instructor, I work to lead and engage students in a positive, transformative classroom experience centered on the examination of culture. By focusing on the critical analysis of their own culture, knowledge, and experiences, as well as exposure and contemplation of cultures, and therefore, perspectives and life experiences, unique to their own, my aim is to develop critically conscious and social justice minded students. Through this process, my hope is that students will grow in the knowledge and skills to interrogate dominant ideologies and institutional powers within in the classroom and beyond, allowing them to be critically-minded, active, and engaged individuals, community members, and communication professionals.
Centered on social justice and equity principles, I seek to enable students to understand and challenge dominant ideologies that oppress and subordinate individuals, including themselves. To reach this aim, rather than situating myself as an unquestioned authority that disseminates knowledge, I seek to create a collaborative learning space in which students co-construct knowledge with one another. I strive to foster a learning environment characterized by encouragement, community, self-reflexivity, and most importantly, an openness to listening and contemplating different perspectives and life experiences. Within that process, I see myself as a leader and mentor. Rather than teaching material to my students, I seek to develop opportunities for students to select, present, discuss, and engage with course concepts as a classroom community.
I strive to reach this end by developing opportunities for students to summarize and present course materials to each other, choose outside reading resources to supplement the required readings, develop discussion questions and lead classroom discussions, create and implement their own classroom activities, and choose media to analyze and/or exemplify course concepts. I believe that by structuring a classroom experience that first and foremost is grounded in valuing inclusion, social justice, and difference, as well as facilitating the process of co-constructing knowledge, students will engage in an empowering and transformative educational experience that will equip them for life beyond the classroom.