I see pedagogy as a form of social justice and I see myself as an engaged scholar and educator committed to higher education. I use critical pedagogy as a form of teaching that examines structures of power and brings value to students’ life experiences. This allows students to see themselves in their educations, and in my classroom I stress the necessity for students to be subjects in their own lives and not solely objects in the stories of others. The ultimate goal of my courses is for students to develop theoretical foundations to think through race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and class and social difference while developing media production skill sets that allow them to compose their thoughts in written and multimedia registers.
There is no such thing as a neutral education: I firmly believe that every lesson holds a political dialogue over what is being taught and what is being ignored. My teaching lays the foundation for students to interrogate their materials and methods in order to have a constant critical eye about what kinds of learning happen inside the classroom and its applicability to their every day lives and the world around them.
I envision the classroom as a space for inspiration, engagement, and transformation. Creative associations are utilized to draw relationships that link bodies of epistemologies to the lives of my students. Technology facilitates a connection between classroom learning and the students’ real world lives. Through the use of digital media in the classroom, I honor the different ways of knowing and the lived experiences of my students. I use technology to extend and enhance the classroom, rather than replace it, and recognize multiple intelligences that access the different methods in which students learn. My classroom environment is a combination of lectures accompanied by screening visual materials (slides with text, videos, and images), small group discussions that share main points back to group, and adapted theater exercises that put students’ bodies into their learning experience. I acknowledge that students participate in different ways and I structure my classroom environment to facilitate various styles of student participation.
My teaching is a reflection of my research using digital media as a conduit for learning. While students may find themselves missing from history, digital media skill sets allow students to write themselves into their futures. If students can critically read their realities, digital media skills will serve as a bridge so that they can write their own history. The ability of students to be active producers means that underrepresented students with digital media training can use these tools to interrupt the master narrative of learning and insert themselves into their educations.
In sum, my pedagogical strategy creates a generation of critical thinkers and future leaders by encouraging students to take a proactive role in their education. My method of participatory learning fosters creative problem solving, where students can explore and create their own solutions to issues taking place in their lives.