Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is strongly shaped by two things: my early training as an artist and the people who encouraged me once I began my university studies as a single mother. My success in completing my PhD in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, establishing a research and teaching career, and seeing my girls become young women, is entirely dependent on my hard work and my family’s support. But it is also due in large part to the teachers who inspired me. Often these pedagogical encounters combined intellectual challenge with personal generosity. Perhaps the most important lesson I take from this is that teaching and learning are interrelated, balanced and shared. In the design of thoughtful, up-to-date and engaging course curriculum, I seek to engage students as active participants in the learning process.

My training in the arts has lead me to use a variety of approaches that augment traditional academic texts. These approaches include the use of popular culture and alternative culture texts; film, video and other forms of visual media; and visits by guest speakers and artists. In the triangular didactic encounter between teacher-student-subject matter, visual material doubles as pedagogical methodology and course content. This is an exciting and rewarding approach even in non-fine arts courses. As a researcher I am interested in culture, in cultural production, and in how people create and give social meaning to a wide variety of cultural texts. As a teacher I am interested in how culture can serve as a productive and dynamic site for developing the capacity for critical and creative thinking in order to connect theory and practice, undertake research and understand the possibilities and constraints of social change.

Fine Arts Cultural Studies Courses

Canadian Arts and Culture FA/FACS 3300 3.0
Critical and Creative Fictions FA/FACS 2960A 3.0
Internship/ Senior Project - FA/FACS 4960A 3.0
Photography, Film and Popular Culture FACS 2400A 6.0

Humanities and English

Roots and Modern America AK/HUMA 1730 6.0
Intercultural Theory and Contemporary Children's Literature AK/EN 3640A