My name, Camara, in African culture means "one who teaches", a title that I proudly embody. As a social science and cultural studies professor, I am deeply committed to promoting global social justice through my teaching, fostering an ongoing dialogue of learning.
From day one in any class I teach, I establish myself not only as a professor but also as a learning facilitator, underpinning the belief that my role is to spark growth in students. My responsibility goes beyond the traditional understanding of a professor. Instead, I champion a Socratic style of learning, encouraging critical thought, writing, and most importantly, the discovery of a student's unique "spark". Education, I firmly believe, is the most potent tool for catalyzing change, and I strive to use every tool at my disposal to instill this belief in my students.
As a learning facilitator, my foremost goal is to help students grasp essential topics that are fundamental to my classes, such as intersectionality, identity, human rights, and diversity. These serve as the cornerstones of any course I teach, as they help to deconstruct students' worldviews. I employ a transdisciplinary approach, going beyond my background in political science to ensure my students gain a diverse and comprehensive understanding of the subjects. I see it as my duty to ensure that students can discuss these critical issues in a scholarly and sophisticated manner. Encouraging a cosmopolitan outlook, I urge my students to view global problems through various lenses and work towards finding solutions. I view all my students as future global leaders and thus, I challenge them relentlessly.
My pedagogy is rooted in the Socratic seminar-style of teaching, asking probing questions and creating an open dialogue where ideas flow freely and are accessible to all students. I utilize PowerPoint as a visual canvas, incorporating videos, lectures, and discussion questions to enhance the learning process. A standard lecture may not engage students sufficiently; hence, every course I teach incorporates discussion as a vital component.
In the spirit of maintaining an open class forum, I emphasize that I do not always hold the right answers, and that it's perfectly acceptable for students to respectfully challenge the literature on various issues. When it comes to delivering course content, I take an active role in creating my lesson plans and assessments. Every unit includes a hands-on activity to ensure students truly grasp the material. I also frequently encourage writing exercises as a way for students to express their views in their own words. I believe that true mastery of content can be expressed clearly and enthusiastically.
The learning journey extends beyond the classroom, as exemplified by my experience at the United States Military Academy. Here, teaching young cadets reinforced the importance of a comprehensive education. My job as an educator goes beyond ensuring comprehension of the material. Rather, I ensure that my students can apply their knowledge on a global scale, preparing them for the diverse job market. Ultimately, my goal as an educator is to inspire my students to use what they have learned to create positive change in the world.
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