My teaching philosophy is rooted in a democratic, inclusive, and global approach. First, I believe that teaching should be practiced in a democratic way that establishes horizontal relations between teacher and students and lets students engage with the material on their own terms. It should also be inclusive, empowering students to speak from their unique perspectives and become active agents in the conversation. Finally, it should be global, providing students with viewpoints and knowledge rooted in transnational contexts and histories. Drawing upon these principles, I strive to lead in the classroom by listening and guiding instead of dictating. I let my students engage with the material on their own terms while always helping them to situate the topics in global contexts and challenging them to reflect on prejudices they might be carrying. The resulting practice enables students to creatively interact with knowledge and each other without losing their way in a potentially novel and unfamiliar world.
My teaching is also informed by my international background and experience. As a scholar from the Middle East, I both know underprivilege firsthand and carry a global perspective. This position helps me appreciate the challenges faced by both international undergraduates who increasingly form a significant population at colleges, and other U.S. minorities who occupy a range of underprivileged positions. I also bring to the classroom rich international experience and empirical knowledge from outside the U.S. I develop my syllabi with the same global mindset. In my Social Theory and Political Sociology courses, for example, I have structured major themes around problematizing and critically reflecting on the established canon of their respective subject matter and worked on moving beyond a narrow white, male, and Western-centric selection of authors. This perspective has been much appreciated by students as I have consistently received high evaluations praising the critical and global approach we took in the classroom.
Sample Teaching Evaluations
College of Global Liberal Arts 2-150 Iwakura-cho,
Ibaraki, Osaka 567-8570