My teaching philosophy is inseparable from my research approach and values. Community psychology values of collaboration, respect for diversity, sense of community, and power sharing guide my teaching philosophy and practice. I strive to create a sense of community in my classroom, and just as I aim to dissolve the divide between researcher and subject, I attempt to lessen the split between student and teacher. Ultimately, I conceive of teaching and learning as processes of mutual knowledge sharing between teacher and students.
Based on these values, one of my primary goals as a teacher is to create a space where everyone’s presence and experiences are valued. In my classroom and lab, I attempt to foster collaboration instead of competition through the use of collaborative projects and small group discussions. Additionally, I strive to move beyond a respect for diversity to full inclusion of diverse cultural perspectives. For example, to account for different cultural perspectives in assessment, I give students the option of proposing alternative ways of assessing their mastery of course content and knowledge that are grounded in their cultural backgrounds. Additionally, in line with my values of collaboration and inclusion, I am committed to mentoring students from marginalized backgrounds in order to encourage academic success and increased representation in academia. I aim to make my classroom and academia a more welcoming space that values multiple experiences.
Teaching, much like community work, is messy, and I approach it with humility, flexibility, and reflexivity.