My research agenda is to understand educational stratification and to evaluate reasonable solutions to ensure a just society. As global citizens, students ought to be aware of inequality and educational problems. In my teaching, my goal is for students to develop a greater understanding of these issues so that they can investigate or solve them or, at minimum, have greater empathy for diverse groups of individuals living in dissimilar spaces. I also want to enable students to ask complex questions since the most difficult problems never have simple solutions. Being a critical thinker is essential to repairing the world, and, in my teaching, I seek to use approaches that can facilitate deep learning.
In my teaching, I like to use multiple pedagogical formats (e.g., lecture, think-pair-share, in-class work time). I find that this approach not only engages students more, but also acknowledges that students may learn in a variety of ways and can better accommodate their diverse learning styles. I also try to relate the course content to students' life experiences and contemporary issues. Whether they know it or not, students bring a great deal of knowledge into the classroom, and by capitalizing on these funds of knowledge, the material becomes more tangible and easier to digest.
At Stanford University, I taught EDUC 401B (Mini Courses in Methodology: Stata) during the autumn and winter quarters of the 2015-16 academic year. The goal of the course was to provide graduate and undergraduate students with the basic skills to clean, manage, and analyze quantitative data using the statistical software program Stata. I was the sole instructor in the course and designed the syllabus, activities, and assignments and met with students in optional lab and office hours.
From January 2015 to June 2016, I served as a consultant for Social Science Data and Software (SSDS), a group in Stanford University Libraries that provided students and staff with support using statistical software. At SSDS, I met with individuals in weekly drop-in hours and one-on-one appointments, primarily giving advice on how to use Stata for data cleaning, management, and analysis.
At Rice University, I co-taught two courses, SOCI 437/537 (Sociology of Education) and SOCI 327 (Houston Education Research Consortium). Sociology of Education included graduate and undergraduate students and provided an overview of educational inequalities in the U.S., ranging from affirmative action to the children of immigrants. The course was a seminar in which students were expected to participate and lead discussions of the readings; in fact, the second half of the class was led by a student. The writing assignments were varied and asked students to compose an autobiography of their educational trajectory, a letter to the state superintendent on an important policy issue, and a literature review.
The course on the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC) was designed to expose and train undergraduate students to learn how to do research in a research-practice partnership (RPP). The course required students to read HERC research as well as research produced by other RPPs. It also provided students some training in qualitative and quantitative analyses. I was responsible for teaching students how to use Stata for data cleaning and management. I re-designed my Stata teaching materials so they were more digestible for an audience with limited exposure to research and statistics.