As a teacher, my most important objective is to encourage students to think critically about themselves and their societies. To do so, I emphasise the importance of learning how to ask good questions; that is, questions that will allow students to complicate their common-sense assumptions about the world around them. My teaching philosophy is based on what is known as “Socratic questioning”: a pedagogical practice that involves deep, disciplined, and systematic scholarly reflection.
At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, I employ a variety of teaching techniques. To start, I deliver interactive lectures intended to both shape and be shaped by student participation. Similarly, I facilitate structured student-led debates on topical issues that provide students with the opportunity to learn how to build cogent and, above all, convincing arguments. And finally, I present thought-provoking material designed to ignite my students’ intellectual imaginations so that the prospect of coming to class each week is an exciting one.
I draw deeply on my own passion when I teach. I want my students to find the material as engaging as I do. If I can succeed in transmitting this passion to my students, then I can also succeed in enabling them to develop themselves and their thinking in new and transformative ways.