Teaching

Teaching

I became a Professor because I love teaching. As a teacher, I want my students to see the study of history as an ongoing endeavor in which they play an important part.  I create hands-on courses that provide spaces for students to develop their own ideas and opinions through primary source research, critical thinking, reading, and writing.  I encourage students to see the course as part of a continuing conversation about a topic, rather than a survey of texts accessible only to experts.  To this end, I use media in all of my classes to illuminate points from the reading and to give students more ways to become interested in the subject.  I also use a course blog, where I ask my students to post links to contemporary media and debates related to the topics in the class.  I ask students to pay particular attention to how authors use evidence to support their arguments and what counts as evidence in different fields.  By focusing on evidence and method I hope to emphasize something that I did not fully understand in college — that books are not infallible and that authors are simply people who have done a lot of research (hopefully).  By demystifying what historians do, my goal as a teacher is to make the study of history more accessible and relevant for students both inside and outside of the classroom.  All of my students are historians, even if they don’t know it yet.