Teaching

A teacher’s job is to push students to ask thoughtful questions.

Regular Courses

click links below for syllabi

History of Multicultural America (HIST 10713)

The African American Experience (HIST 10703)

History of Working People in America (HIST 30603) – coming soon!

U.S. Urban History: Race, Space, and Community Activism (HIST 30803)

Graduate Readings in American History: Political Economy and the People (HIST 70603)

Special Projects

TCU Justice Journey (formerly the Civil Rights Bus Tour)

Texas Communities Oral History Project class (HIST 30813)

Philosophy

I work from a set of four concrete convictions:

  • First, I ask students to take an active role in their own education. I keep uninterrupted lecturing to a minimum, preferring instead to engage in Socratic dialogue… I require constant writing and reflection through worksheets and other focused assignments completed outside of class. Students in my course write almost as often as they read, and I provide them with timely feedback to keep them constantly engaged.
  • Second, I rely heavily upon group work and individual research projects. Both of these teaching techniques help students learn course content by forcing them to take a wide range of previous knowledge and recreate it in their own language. …For example, in my review sessions I reject the common question and answer format and instead ask students to join in groups and collectively synthesize the course content.
  • My third conviction holds that students’ ability to become critical thinkers (or their ability to produce knowledge through inquiry) requires them to engage in a process of critical self-reflection… I encourage democratic discussion and interaction on a daily basis through active facilitation. Vocal students cannot be allowed to speak incessantly, not even to end an uncomfortable silence. Students who are not as predisposed to speak out must be given time and an encouraging format if we wish to hear their voices.
  • Finally, as the teacher I must constantly remind myself that the students are experts too, that their process of inquiry remains as valid as my own quest for knowledge, and that I can only convince them that they are thinkers in their own right if I treat them as such, respectfully, as I would the greatest scholars.