Racial and Ethnic Politics | Immigration, Race, and Politics (undergraduate and graduate level)| Black Politics | Latino Politics | Race, Ethnicity, and Social Policy | Introduction to Latina/o Studies
My student-centered pedagogy aims to influence the full development of students as holistic individuals, and aids in their participation in the world as informed global citizens. My teaching style reflects my belief in the importance of critical thinking, collaborative learning, mutual respect, and intellectual and social diversity. Critical thinking skills are one of the most important skills for students to obtain. I strive to teach critical thinking through course content, assignments, and class discussion. I encourage my students to challenge the status quo and to question preconceived beliefs about the nature of the American political system. I believe that one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching is learning from the experience and from the new reflections of the material that come from a mutual engagement with students. Students learn best when the instructor is motivated and enthusiastic about the topic, willing to listen and proactive in creating an environment of mutual respect. It is only in such a context that student’s unique perspectives and sets of skills can flourish. I make them aware of the role diversity plays in moderating certain human behaviors and attitudes through readings and class assignments. I ask students to think about the ways in which people of different ethnicities or ideological views differ and how those differences influence their political attitudes and behavior.
Teaching effectively is a dynamic endeavor. As an instructor, I am always looking for ways to enhance the experience in the classroom through course design, the structure of interaction with students, and technology use. It was as a college student that I was able to understand and question my own position in the world and grapple with the social and political realities at the micro-, meso-, and macro levels. I want this same experience for my students. My purpose is to facilitate critical thinking among my students so that they can become active citizens of the world in which we live. I strive to make my classroom a space in which students begin to understand the world and themselves better, and begin to question not only who they are, but also who they can be and what they can do from their place in society.