Teaching

I was Highly Commended for Outstanding Teaching by the University of York Management School in May 2013.


Talking Back to Nike: Culture Jamming in the Sociology Classroom from In Transit vol.5 (2011) reports on my students' experimentation with Photoshop at CUNY.

Dora Jean-Charles, a student in my CUNY urban sociology class, gives a poster session about her research project on homelessness in Springfield Gardens

My Managing Change students sing the 'TYMS chant' as part of an activity critically reflecting on Walmart's corporate culture.

 

In my teaching, I encourage my students to make connections between their own life experiences and sociological concepts, fostering a critical appreciation of the social causes underlying issues such as time scarcity, gender inequality, and corporate culturism. Through freewriting, visual sociology exercises, group work, and ethnographic research projects, we look beyond the level of the individual and examine the institutions and cultural frameworks that shape and limit our behaviour.

My syllabi are aimed at integrating studentsí impressions of life with challenging theoretical material, using video and Internet resources as well as exploration of the city as laboratory to bring concepts to life. My students share their insights and expertise, drawing on their own interests in crafting research questions that speak to their own concerns and challenges.

Reflecting my own research interests, organisational theory and ethnography feature prominently in my syllabi, which highlight the work of scholars such as Arlie Hochschild, Mitch Duneier, Gideon Kunda, Andrew Ross and Jane Jacobs. My students often also engage in close reading of classical works by writers such as Marx, Engels, de Beauvoir and Du Bois.

The pedagogical strategies I adopt are informed by over a decade of classroom teaching and professional experience at Hampshire College, LaGuardia Community College (City University of New York), The York Management School (University of York), Newcastle University and Northumbria University. At undergraduate level, I am experienced in teaching general and urban sociology, qualitative methods, change management and web/graphic design. I have also taught at the MRES level and supervised Masters dissertations.

My experience in the field of instructional technology and pedagogy includes coordinating award-winning professional development seminars for the LaGuardia Center for Teaching and Learning and two years as a Writing Fellow in CUNY's Writing in the Disciplines program. This background gives me an appreciation of appropriate strategies for the use of technology and writing in a learning context.

In my work at LaGuardia and, previously, at Hampshire College, I was fortunate to work with innovative and highly experienced interdisciplinary faculty in developing inquiry-based, writing-intensive, and multimedia-enhanced courses. At LaGuardia in particular, I was thrilled to work with an extremely diverse student body, an opportunity that allowed me to cater to and draw on the life experience of students from an array of cultural perspectives and socio-economic backgrounds. I continue to use insights gained from this experience in my teaching.

I hope that my students leave my class excited about social issues, critically aware of the institutions and norms that shape their daily lives, and aware of their ability as social actors to create change and build a more equitable and sustainable world.