I believe that the culture of a student's academic environment has a profound influence on their behaviors and actions as global citizens. Sadly, when the total of relationships in which the student engages amount to a lack of voice all notions of interrogative dialogue and diverse understandings of multiplicity and multiculturalism disintegrate.
Besides leading an innovative classroom space, there is a robust relational process embedded in my actions and interactions with all academic settings. Striving to develop one-on-one relationships, I believe my task as a steward of education is to cultivate each student's and each colleague's ability to find their voice by creating an environment in which individual and collective consciousness-raising and dialogue occurs.
I work hard to validate students' experiences and feelings, challenging students to explore their experiences without invalidating them. Then I encourage them to move beyond their experiences and opinions to voice arguments and reasons.
The most important principle in my classroom is doing. I enjoy giving students as much ownership and responsibility for the class as possible while maintaining boundaries and guidelines for doing things. I believe the more decisions they can make about what they want to learn or read and how they want to be evaluated, the more invested they will be in the process and the more empowered they will be as learners and thinkers.
I would say that I am a celebratory academic who believes different theoretic lines inform one another. For me, there is something to be said for quantitative research methods and the interrogation of variables, and there is something to be said for qualitative methods seeking the subjective experience.
On a pragmatic level, my desires are to:
1. Create room for students who have different learning styles.
2. Create room for students who are at different cognitive levels.
3. Make my teaching methods transparent.
4. Emphasizes critical thinking skills.
5. Focus on process over product.
6. Make direct links between the fields of study.