“The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.” - Paulo Freire, We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change
In teaching philosophy, it is my goal to guide students towards understanding a number of central questions in philosophy: What are their values? What is their place in the world? What duties do they have towards others and their communities? How can they best contend with injustice? How they can live meaningful lives?
My teaching philosophy is informed by my training in Ignatian pedagogy, critical pedagogy, and transformative learning. All of these traditions view learning as a type of transformative self-discovery. That is, we come to learn who we are and who we can be for others through our philosophical practices. According to this view, learning requires doing, and so philosophy is to be viewed as the art of living.
I try to give my students this kind of learning experience by being a facilitator of active learning in the classroom rather than through traditional lectures. My students learn through cooperative, problem-based learning scenarios, consistent reflection on personal values, debates and discussions, living philosophy projects, creative projects, and more. Beyond developing the skills consistent with the discipline of philosophy, I intend to have my students leave my classes having developed or deepened their value commitments, nurtured a sense of meaning and purpose in life, and cultivated a philosophical community.
Note: Emerging research on active learning in the classroom (as opposed to traditional lecture-based courses) continues to suggest the pedagogical importance of active classrooms. See, for example, one of the most recent meta-analyses of active-learning within the context of humanities courses in higher education.
In the past, I have taught a number of courses, including Social & Political Philosophy, Moral and Social Problems, The Meaning of Life, Philosophy as a Way of Life, Shaping a Work Life, and Work, Leisure, and Play. Here, you can find course syllabi from past courses as well as a number of sample courses that are related to my philosophical interests. I look forward to continue developing these courses as my research interests continue to grow.
Teaching Awards & Honors
I was awarded the 2021-22 Teaching Scholar Fellowship at Loyola University Chicago for excellence in teaching. During this time, I served as a mentor for graduate student instructors of record and as a co-facilitator, organizer, and instructor for a year long, university-wide teaching effectiveness seminar for graduate student instructors. I worked with mentees on a number of pedagogical practices including Ignatian pedagogy, inclusive pedagogy, effective course design, and universal design for learning (UDL).
In the spirit of pedagogical openness, please feel free to take a look at my teaching portfolio. It includes a statement of teaching philosophy, course evaluations (including quantitative and qualitative feedback), sample syllabi, sample assignments, and more.
As part of my pedagogical studies, I have completed certifications in anti-racist pedagogy, experiential learning, and Ignatian pedagogy through the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy (FCIP) and The Center for Engaged Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (CELTS) at Loyola University Chicago.
Fall 2021-Spring 2022
Fall 2020-Spring 2021
“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul. It is one of the hardest to define. A human being has roots by virtue of [their] real, active and natural participation in the life of a community which preserves in living shape certain particular treasures of the past and certain particular expectations for the future. This participation is a natural one, in the sense that it is automatically brought about by place, conditions of birth, profession and social surroundings. Every human being needs to have multiple roots. It is necessary for [them] to draw wellnigh the whole of [their] moral, intellectual and spiritual life by way of the environment of which [they] form a natural part.”- Simone Weil, The Need for Roots