Teaching Interests and Experience
Two main goals drive all my teaching endeavors: I strive to help my students learn how to think critically and how to communicate effectively. Teaching students to be cautiously skeptical goes against the grain, but the independent and careful analysis of information it inspires can be immensely rewarding. I think it is critical to help students develop their ability to clearly communicate their thoughts through challenging discussion or written work, as our collective attention has become more scarce. To put it differently, the benefits of analytic and communicative skills diffuse widely: they are necessary not only for grappling with primary texts in political theory or for writing good seminar papers, but for understanding contemporary moral and political problems and facilitating democratic participation.
I believe these goals are best achieved through student engagement, good deliberation and discussion, a multi-method learning approach, and skills extension. A copy of my teaching statement, as well as my syllabi, are available upon request.
In Fall 2016, I will be teaching a graduate course on Economic Inequality in Modern Political Thought. The syllabus will be available here soon.
In addition to my work as a TA and Associate Instructor, I created and implemented an in-course Supreme Court simulation for a Constitutional law and politics course and a simulation for a course on representation, and twice served as the program coordinator for a study abroad course on global development in Geneva, Switzerland. The SCOTUS simulation was created to give students first-hand experience with the appeals and decision-making processes at the Supreme Court. An instruction manual for the simulation, which uses the internal UC Davis SmartSite system, can be found here. As the on-site coordinator for a course on global inequality, I facilitated student visits to a host of international organizations involved in development in Geneva (e.g., WHO, WTO, UNCTAD, UNDP). More importantly, I was also able to work with students at a much more personal level than in a large lecture hall setting. Information about the program can be found here. Finally, I have recently developed and implemented a simulation for a course on representation, which asks students to propose a new framework for student government on campus, and to justify that framework, in order to demonstrate difficulties with procedural, descriptive, and other types of representation.
A summary of my student evaluations is available upon request.