TEACHING

I am motivated by the potential of education to counter institutionalized inequities and facilitate students’ personal transformation and social and economic mobility – particularly amongst marginalized students.  I do this by employing a High Demand x High Support pedagogy in my teaching, modeled after that developed by Dr. Paula Clarke and Professor Ted Hamilton (Columbia College, California).  What this means in practice is that I hold students to very high collegiate standards regardless of their starting points and I provide considerable support to help students develop the competencies necessary to meet these academic challenges.

 

Far too often students of low-income, first-generation, and/or underrepresented backgrounds are products of a highly unequal education system in which they are neither expected nor taught to aspire to academic excellence or professional careers. Coming from underfunded school districts, they often have not received adequate preparation for college. Contrary to common stereotypes, this does not mean that they are incapable of advanced collegiate work. When provided considerable support, access to resources, and mentorship, all students can build the skills necessary to excel in rigorous courses and overcome the institutional and economic barriers in which their lives have often been structured. To facilitate their success, I provide all of my students with:

  • challenging coursework;

  • extensive office hours and learning resources;

  • preliminary review of and opportunities to revise their work;

  • a grade improvement option to recognize students’ academic transformation over time;

  • interactive writing workshops; and

  • service learning opportunities.

All of these strategies are designed to assist students in becoming stronger writers and more critical thinkers; prepare them for university transfer, professional work, and engaged citizenship; and nurture their enthusiasm for the social sciences.