As a social science and cultural studies professor, my teaching philosophy is rooted in promoting global social justice. On the first day of any class that I teach, I introduce myself as the "professor" and the learning facilitator. I believe that the
role of the role professor is to facilitate the growth of students. The professor's role should start as a learning facilitator, encourage Socratic style learning, and promote writing. The professor's role should be to help students find their "spark." I firmly believe that education is the best tool for promoting change, and I use every tool in my arsenal to educate students.
My most important goal as a learning facilitator is to help students grasp essential issues that fundamental in any class that I teach include: intersectionality, identity, human rights, and diversity. These are the building blocks for any class I teach because it helps deconstruct students "world views." I use a transdisciplinary approach where I go beyond my political science background to ensure that my students have a full diverse understanding of the subject. As there learning
facilitator, I must ensure that my students can talk scholarly and think sophistically about these critical issues. I want to encourage my students to adopt a cosmopolitan attitude by thinking about these global problems in binary lenses and providing solutions. I firmly believe that all of the students I teach will become future global leaders, so I challenge them.
I teach in a Socratic seminar-style, asking difficult questions and creating an open dialogue in which the information of ideas can flow in a way the students can understand well. I use PowerPoint as a visual canvas where videos, lectures, and discussion questions are embedded to help promote the learning process. An open class forum is vital to the social sciences and cultural studies field. A standard lecture does not engage the students to the point that they are a part of the conversation. Therefore, all of the classes that I teach include discussion. As a learning facilitator, I want to make sure that they cannot summarize the material but analyze it critically. During the discussions, I always tell my students that I do not
always have all of the right answers, and it is okay to challenge the literature on various issues respectfully.
Regarding the delivery of the course content, I do not just rely on the curriculum provided by the textbook manufacturer. I always develop my lesson plans and assessments, and every unit that I cover includes a hands-on activity, so I know that the students fully understand the material. I also highly encourage writing as a frequent exercise for my students to express their opinions and beliefs in their own words. Throughout my courses, I require my students to write at least one type of essay per unit. I firmly believe that if a student has truly mastered the content, then he/she/they can express it in a clear, enthusiastic way.
Visual aids work! My diverse use of videos may include Vox Videos, Cut Videos, and even clips from films and music videos. After explaining a complex topic, I always show a visual presentation covered in the chapter. The pure lecturer does not keep students engage, so along with Socratic seminars, YouTube clips, guest speakers, and full-length films make the learning process fun. For instance,
when I teach "Building a Multiracial Society" class on Day 1, the first video I saw is a music video by Joyner Lucas called-"I'm Not Racist." Although provocative, it gets students talking, and that is often easier said than done.
Beyond the Classroom: A Case Study on my Experience at West Point
For the 2021-2022, I have been employed at the United States Military Academy as a professor in the American Politics department. Teaching the young cadets at the United States Military Academy has been a rewarding experience because it has reinforced the need that every student deserves a classical education. At West Point, Introduction to American Politics is a required class, and this enables cadets to think critically about the " oath " that they took when they were admitted into West Point.
My job as an educator is not just to ensure that a student understands the material because a student does not need a university to do that. My job is to ensure that my students can take that knowledge and apply it globally. I have a mandate as an instructor to make sure that students are prepared for the diverse
job market. If I am teaching a class on human rights, I will inspire someone to work for the United Nations. My goal as an educator is that my students take what they have learned and do something positive in the world.