Pedagogy

My pedagogy informs my research in 19th Century American literature, and my work on Ralph Waldo Emerson has deeply influenced my teaching. As Emerson advises in “The American Scholar,” I believe students must settle questions in their own minds, search to know themselves, challenge old ways of thinking, and learn from experience in the worlds to be found inside and outside of books. I view each text as a new window into our present moment, and every assignment as an exploration of multimodal expression that prepares students for the future. Read more about my digital pedagogy here.

My teaching philosophy balances backwards planning with student-driven learning, aiming to empower individual students. For example, students in my classes have: provided the starting points for discussion by posting their questions on Twitter; written their own final exam and learned the art of asking a good question in the process; and determined what texts will be on the syllabus by giving me their input. These exercises have helped foster a respectful and flexible learning environment, increased transparency and made me more approachable as an instructor, and instilled a confidence in students that assists the development of their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

My student evaluations are available here, and observation reports here.

Courses Taught with Sample Syllabi

Full course descriptions are available here.