Teaching Philosophy: A Brief Reflection

As a scholar of critical media studies with a focus on gender, women, and sexuality studies I am eager and able to teach both traditional and interdisciplinary subjects. Over the past eight years, I have had the opportunity to teach both seminar and large-lecture introductory and senior courses on a variety of subjects across Communication and Media Studies – including Public Speaking, Intro to Media Studies, Sports Communication, Queer Media Studies, and Studio Television Production. I have also taught writing intensive courses such as Media Literacy and Intercultural Communication.

In an effort to reject what critical pedagogy theorist Paulo Freire calls the “banking style” of education, where knowledge is a gift bestowed by those that consider themselves knowledgeable onto those that know nothing at all, I see the classroom and my role in it, as an exchange that occurs on three levels: between instructor and student(s), theory and praxis, and between research and instruction. I approach these exchanges as a facilitator, one that helps students to identify, analyze, and respond to their social conditions and to actively reimagine and transform those circumstances. In order to do so, I employ a variety of methods to actively engage students in the learning process and to accommodate different learning styles. Whether, I teach television production, intercultural communication, or a broad survey course of intro to media studies, one of my primary goals is to enable students to take the concepts and theories that we discuss in class and effectively apply and integrate them into their everyday lives by challenging them to think independently and critically about the socio-political context of the world surrounding them both locally and globally.

As co-founder and former editor of Teaching Media Quarterly, an online journal dedicated to circulating media teaching resources from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives, I am dedicated to advancing (under)graduate learning as well as fostering a pedagogical community that underscores the links between teaching and research.

In my classroom I primarily integrate digital media technologies as a teaching tool to foster an investment in learning communities and in multi-modal writing. I utilize an interactive course website (Lore) in every class for students to not only post their reflections on assigned readings prior to class, but I also encourage them to share links and videos relating to our course content and to communicate with each other beyond the classroom. In my current Queer Media Studies seminar, students actively engage in knowledge production about LGBTQ media representations by utilizing various social media tools through blogging (Tumblr), microblogging (Twitter), collaborative timeline construction (TimelineJS), an interactive course feed (Storify), and video-production (iMovie). In this course students are exposed to multi-modal writing skills beyond the traditional term paper format by learning to integrate and embed audio-visual materials in their writing and participate in digital story-telling processes.


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