A Reflection on My Philosophy, Praxis, ideas, & dreams
What I think About...
Sometimes, I ask myself, "does it have to be this way?" The "it" being academia and "this way" being the toxicity: the erosion of worth, the perfectionism, the performativity, and so much more.**
As a faculty member, I have been thinking about toxicity within the context of teaching, learning, and shame. Shame prevents learning because while shame might spur action, it will never lead to transformation. And yet, so many of us are socialized into not only learning through shame (hello imposter phenomenon) but teaching through it too, using the rhetoric of "it's so simple," "what a silly question," and "so obvious." Shame manifests so well within the land of assumed knowledge to prevent the questions that bridge into this space— we don't know what we don't know, so questions and asking for help is another impossibility, another shame, another blame of self. My teaching, in part, reflects a critical deconstruction of systems of oppression (that are much aligned with my line of scholarship) and a resistance to shame-based teaching and learning tactics.
What is Knowledge?
I am, first and foremost, a Critical Race scholar. What this means is I deeply believe and try to apply the tenets of Critical Race Theory, which includes how knowledge is experiential, not just what we learn from "canon" or textbooks. Knowledge is powered, raced, gendered, abled, and more. It's why critical theories and critical methodologies exist. We are remapping the ways we engage the world.
When I assign readings and hold discussions, I want the words on the page to co-exist with the experiences we bring— to both deconstruct and reconstruct what is knowledge. The scholarship dreamed, created, designed is inextricably tied to the lived realities of the author(s), communities whether that be our own or someone else's, ourselves, and one another.
Thus, my teaching, in part, refuses the metaphor of an audience of empty vessels or knowledge as collectable, but instead embraces how learning is the incredible meeting and engagement of communities.
WHAT I TEACH & TAUGHT
ORGANIZATIONAL THEORY & ED LEADERSHIP
Instructor on Record ∙ College of Education, Health, and Society, Department of Educational Leadership, Miami University, Ohio
RESEARCH PRACTICUM: RESEARCH AGENDA & DESIGN
Instructor on Record ∙ College of Education, Health, and Society
Department of Educational Leadership, Miami University, Ohio
INTRO TO EDUCATION & SOCIAL SCIENCES
Teaching Fellow ∙ Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Instructor on Record ∙ Colin Powell School for Civic & Global Leadership (Social Sciences), The City College of New York
As an academic, writing is one of the strongest tools at our disposal. And yet, how badly trained we are with a skill so necessary. The question of "does it have to be this way" is something that I also reflect on when it comes to academic writing. Am I the only one who feels like my own writing is boring at times? That writing is painful? That writing is a chore devoid of joy?
Part of my emphasis with teaching is changing how we (academics) think of writing: how we read, how we write, what our relationship is to write. I don't think writing (or reading!) should be excruciating, so part of my teaching philosophy and praxis is about having us fall in love with writing. Here are some writing books I've enjoyed, resources on writing, my reflections and advice, and if you are curious, some books on my personal bookshelf.
And some day, when I am "done" with writing (ha!), I'll add a section on feedback because that is where I also wonder "does it have to be this way." Stay tuned~