Philosophy of Teaching and Learning
Students should be able to learn in ways that encourage their creativity, critical reading, logical thinking, awareness about contemporary issues, and civic responsibility. The teaching of writing and literature is most successful when students feel a connection to the subject matter and a sense of control. Thus, my teaching is designed to engage students with course material so that they actively participate in the production of knowledge along with the authors they study: they are writing their own theories as a new generation of scholars. As a result, I use a combination of teaching and learning strategies that promote diversity through collaboration, service learning, and technology.
In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that minorities will be majority, becoming the 54% of the nation’s population by 2050. Therefore, it is important for professors to instill values of tolerance and understanding amongst communities to prepare us for that shift. It is also important to acknowledge the diversity of voices within the classroom so that students feel empowered and entitled to participate in class and the world regardless of their ethnicity or race. Through years of neglect and silencing, some students might not feel like their opinion counts because it does not match that of the majority race or ethnicity. As an example, I always talk about myself so that students feel open to discuss difference. Since I am Latina from a West African Spanish colony (some call it a province) currently teaching at an HBCU, my experience of being in-between cultures because of my origin and my current academic position allows students to understand that my experience, like anyone else’s, is more enriching when placed within cultures.
Undergraduate Courses Taught
- Freshman Composition ENGL 002 (4 sections ): 3 credits, 20 students per semester, fall semester (1 section in the spring semester)
- Freshman Composition ENGL003: Pop Culture & Multiculturalism (3 sections): 3 credits, 20 students per semester, spring only
- Freshman Composition ENGL003: New Media & Race (2 sections): 3 credits, 18 students per semester, spring only
- Freshman Seminar: 1 credit, 10 students, fall semester only
FRESHMAN COMPOSITION ENGL002: Although I use the common text for this course to emphasize the Black experience (Revelations), I ask students to connect their experiences to that of people from other cultures or communities in the U.S. or abroad. We also use a different literary text each year.
FRESHMAN COMPOSITION ENGL003: POP CULTURE & MULTICULTURALISM. I designed this course to explore the roles of Latinos, Blacks, and Native Americans in popular culture.
FRESHMAN COMPOSITION ENGL003 ON NEW MEDIA WRITING & RACE.
FRESHMAN SEMINAR: I volunteer to teach this course. This course has been redesigned and now guest speakers teach while I advise and grade the group presentations of 50 students.