My teaching is dedicated to improving the analytical writing and oral skills of my students. I teach courses on globalization, race & health, sociology of sex & gender, sexualities, social movements & collective action, and social problems.
My teaching methods, in virtual as well as in-person formats, combine interactive lectures, seminar-style discussions, classroom activities, case studies, and analyses of media contents in the classroom. I use writing and oral exercises to develop students’ analytical skills. Students write structured essays based on detailed prompts during lecture weeks and on seminar weeks, they discuss analytic memos to the assigned weekly readings to gain experience in analyzing and reflecting on arguments. I give detailed feedback to students’ essays and memos as well as to their discussion questions which they use to lead seminar topics in class as seminar leaders. Seminar leaders discuss their questions of broader interest in smaller groups and present their answers to the class. This seminar format allows students to develop their critical writing skills and oral skills.
I also make sure that students from all backgrounds feel included in the class. In my pedagogy, I make a point to invite all students to participate in class discussions and serve as seminar leaders. I ensure their participation in the special topic weeks in my courses that are carried out in the seminar format and involve student discussions in small groups. I circulate the role of seminar leader to each member of the group throughout the seminar weeks and whenever possible, ask seminar leaders to credit ideas to the individuals they came from. This is a simple but a meaningful way to signal that every student is recognized as a valued contributor to the class.
I am also committed to diversity and inclusion in my courses. I incorporate intersectional and transnational perspectives in my course materials and coursework. For example, a writing assignment in my gender & society course helps students appreciate that the covid-19 crisis has affected everyone, but not everyone is experiencing this crisis in the same way. Students choose an intersection of identities and use their knowledge and imagination to brainstorm the specific struggles and opportunities that a category of people might face. They consider what the experience of the pandemic might have been, for example, for a single mother with a chronic illness that requires twice-weekly trips to a dialysis clinic, a migrant farmworker in California who sends his family in Mexico a portion of his paycheck, a young Asian man who is an essential worker at a nursing home, or a wealthy mother of four who takes full responsibility for the household while her spouse works long hours. Within the assignment, students discuss with their peers the specific fears, vulnerabilities, stressors, and privileges their chosen category of people might face, both in public and in private. These discussions help them understand that social inequality affects different people differently depending on their particular social locations.
In sum, my approach to teaching is designed to develop oral and writing skills in students by way of an intersectional, cross-cultural, and transnational analysis of the dynamics of social inequality and those of social change. In this way, students develop analytical skills to apply throughout their education and beyond.