Teaching

My teaching philosophy has three main goals: providing a flexible and student-oriented approach; integrating theory and practice; and creating a learning environment that is conducive to student development.

Flexible and Student-Oriented

I acknowledge a diversity of learning styles among students and incorporate a wide variety of instruction techniques in order to meet disparate needs. I routinely use group activities, student presentations, and games in order to facilitate peer-learning. Knowing that students experiencing marginalization often feel uncomfortable in large group discussions, I deliberately include a high degree of small group work into lectures, ranging from quick ice-breaker activities in pairs to problem-solving exercises. I also provide opportunities for students to participate through written means rather than discussion, for example by completing short critical reflections. I incorporate materials from a range of sources, including podcasts, photography, documentary videos, blogs, and infographics in order to stimulate discussion and debate. I structure opportunities for ongoing formal and informal feedback into course design – for example asking students to complete a quick anonymous survey indicating what they would like to see more/less of in seminars – and use these evaluations to adapt lesson plans as needed. 

Experiential Learning

As someone with experience learning both inside and outside of academia, I am firmly committed to experiential learning and the value of grounding theory in practice. My approach is rooted in problem-based learning focusing on real world problems and challenges. My teaching materials draw on cases from a variety of policy areas and contexts. I have used role playing games based on climate change deliberations, case competitions on municipal food policy, and problem definition exercises based on daily news articles to help students connect with policy issues in a concrete way. Strong applied work is rooted in a firm understanding of key concepts and theories. In order to facilitate conceptual learning my lectures are well-organized, provide clear statements of learning objectives at the beginning of each class, and include a mini-review of prior concepts before moving on to concept new concept definitions and illustrations.

Student Development

I create an environment that facilitates student development through skills-based learning, focusing on communication and writing skills, and creating opportunities for service learning. Drawing on my training as a writing centre instructor, I often use “think-aloud” practices to provide students with feedback, a process-oriented approach designed to help students understand the implicit effects of word choice, argumentation, and style on their reader’s comprehension. Some examples of service learning include course assignments requiring students to conduct informational interviews with government officials and designing research projects that address specific policy needs of particular non-profit and government organizations.

COURSE INSTRUCTOR

Department of Political Science, University of New Brunswick

POLS 2202 Canadian Politics (2021)

POLS 3643 United Nations (2021)

POLS 3215 Issues in Canadian Public Policy (2020)

POLS 4725 Climate and Energy Policy (2020)

Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto

PPG 2008 Comparative Public Policy (2020)

Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

POL 317 Comparative Public Policy (2015)

TEACHING ASSISTANT

Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto

PPG 1000 Governance and Institutions (2013, 2017)

PPG 1001 The Policy Process (2014)

Department of Political Science, University of Toronto Scarborough

POLC53 Environmental Policy (2015)

POLC66 Public Policy Making (2011, 2012, 2013)

POLC67 Canadian Public Policy (2013, 2014, 2015)

POLB11 Statistics for Public Policy (2011)