I teach courses in the areas of Research Methodology, Higher Education Administration, Sociology, and Disability Studies. Currently, I am a Research Faculty Member in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at Edgewood College. I am active in several professional organizations and has presented nationally at ASHE, AHEAD, and ACPA.
Five overarching components guide my teaching philosophy. I ground my instructional philosophy in a critical perspective by focusing on the relationship between power and knowledge. Teaching inherently involves relational interactions across hierarchies associated with ability, race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, historical inequality. Hence, I employ a critical perspective by examining these hierarchies, valuing the knowledge that students bring, and cultivating an atmosphere that encourages students to make connections between course materials and lived experiences. I foster critical thinking skills; as a class we read, do, be, create, write, and deconstruct.
I use citation politics and student-centered pedagogy to develop interactive lesson plans that engage diverse student populations in participatory learning. When developing a syllabus I select readings from authors who represent the populations that are being studied. For example, if we are reading about autism, the authors we read are actually autistic. I also cultivate participatory learning by asking students to co-create portions of our syllabus by selecting readings that connect with the course content and are interesting to them. This activity shares power and creates space for students to bring in knowledge.
I follow principles of universal design and intentionally teach in a manner that includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning opportunities. I understand that not everyone learns in the same way or at the same pace. Rather than viewing these differences as deficiencies, I value the diversity that learners bring to my classroom and I include disability as part of the curriculum in my courses. Further, I am mindful of how assessment techniques create barriers and I design courses that have multiple ways for students to demonstrate that they have achieved the intended learning outcome.
I view education as a public or social good. As a fundamental component of a democracy, education is necessary to create engaged citizens that contribute to society in a thoughtful and meaningful manner. Therefore, exceptional postsecondary education must be financially accessible to all students. I inhabit my values by choosing to teach at institutions that have open-enrollment policies, serve minority populations, or hold a socially just mission.
I view teaching, research, and service as fundamentally connected activities that must be conducted with, and for the benefit of, communities. Teaching is a dynamic process and research plays an integral role by bringing new content into the curriculum and classroom. I foster innovations within my teaching practice by focusing part of my research on postsecondary educational systems. Further, as a disabled person I am well aware that teaching and research are conducted on minoritized communities, rather than in alignment with the problems articulated by those communities. Specifically, ableism is everyone’s responsibility, and disabled people should set the agenda for disability scholarship. I intentionally mentor disabled graduate students and collaborate with disabled communities to prioritize topics that disabled people think are important rather than topics that dominant institutions perceive as fundable. Further, not all bodyminds are treated equally and white disabled scholars have dominated disability studies. As part of my ASHE service role, I intentionally made sure that the Accessibility Working Group was racially diverse, and the contributions of non-white members are supported and spotlighted.