My teaching philosophy draws upon engaged (bell hooks) and critical pedagogies. These approaches, in addition to a focus on universal design and inclusion, make for a dynamic classroom environment that engage students from a variety of backgrounds and learning styles. Within the classroom, I use mini-lectures, small group discussions, large group discussions, and workshops. In addition to developing a mastery of content, students also hone their analytic, writing, and research skills through interactive learning. As a result, most courses that I teach are centered around community participation and/or student-led research projects.
THE EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE
During the 2016-2017 academic year, I was a Visiting Professor at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. The Evergreen State College is an innovative public liberal arts school. Students take a single course, referred to as a “program”, for up to a year. Programs are co-taught by faculty across disciplines. During my year at Evergreen, I co-taught “Deviance, Crime and Punishment in the Past and Present” with Dr. Stacey Davis (historian). The program included content consistent with the following courses: Sociology of Deviance, Criminology, Race and Social Justice, Restorative Justice., Research Methods, and Writing for the Social Sciences and Humanities.
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
I taught for 12 quarters as the Instructor of Record in the Department of Sociology and the English Department. I have taught the following courses: “The College Experience: Introduction to Qualitative Methods through an Examination of College Life”, “Criminology”, “Sociology in Practice: Education Practicum”, and “Interdisciplinary Writing Program”.
CREATING AN EFFECTIVE PEER REVIEW
For final papers, I find peer reviews to be an effective tool for collaborative learning. Peer reviews reinforce writing as a process, allow students opportunities to learn from each other, and increase the quality of final papers. Drafts and revisions are a critical part of becoming an effective writer. However, I have found that fewer and fewer undergraduates, particularly those at larger universities, write papers for classes, let alone multiple drafts of a paper. A carefully scaffolded paper assignment with peer review increases the quality of student writing. Further, as reviewers, students learn about their peers’ research projects, internships, and even relevant literature. I am frequently asked, “I saw that ____ used this source. It seems like it would be useful for me too. Can I also use ____ source?”
Included here is an outline of a peer-review process that I use for small to medium-sized classes (8-50 students). I provide an overview of the timeline, activities during each week, and issues to consider. In addition, here is a version of the peer review assignment given to students.