Teaching PhilosophyWelcome to my ongoing reflections about teaching. The content here will continue to evolve but I wanted to use this space to promote my belief that teachers and students need to work together to build a responsible and constructive learning environment. In light of my commitment to become a better teacher, and to allow my students to benefit from the comments of previous students, please see the following listing of all my teaching evaluations from Mount Royal University and the University of Victoria.
Having sat on many hiring committees over the past 20 years I have had the opportunity to read many colleague's statements about their approach to teaching (commonly referred to as a "teaching philosophy") and while some were excellent and passionate, others were trite and boring.
My approach to teaching is less about a defined philosophy or approach than it is about how I see myself and my career as a teacher. In really simple terms I see myself as a passionate tour guide who shows students the wonderful world of sociology. As I stand in front of a new class of students for the first time I see them as visitors to my country who are looking to me to show them all the highlights as well as putting their trust in me to make sure they do not get lost or hurt on the journey. I love teaching introductory sociology because I have the wonderful opportunity of showing students the very best of sociology and the beauty of its diversity. My hope is that our time together will help them see the areas of sociology they would like to visit again and by doing so inspire them to continue their journey.
I realize this is a simplistic approach to teaching but I can assure you that it is difficult to achieve. During our journey some students get motion sickness, some want to phone their mom, while others are so happy to be on their own for the first time that they lose focus and stay out too late and "miss the bus".
I have the best job in the world - I am around people who are just beginning their journey into sociology. I believe that in my own way, I am changing the world, one student at a time.
Teaching DocumentsTeaching Reflections Fall 2012
Teaching Reflections Fall 2014
Teaching Reflections Winter 2013
Teaching Reflections Fall 2013
What an unsuccessful 3M application looks like :(
Teaching Reflections Spring 2015
Teaching Reflections Spring 2014
How I know I am making a difference.
Teaching Reflections Fall 2015
Teaching Reflections Spring 2016
Teaching Reflections Spring 2017
Teaching Reflections Fall 2016
Samples of Student Work
Links of InterestDo Sociologists Work Outside of Universities? - Good article about the varied things a sociology degree prepares you for
Jon Ronson - How one Tweet can ruin your life
Sky is Pink - Video about fracking
Teaching Sociology - Teaching Sociology Journal
Senator McCarthy - A brief review of his life - controversies
Content Analysis Overview - A good overview to help you with Assignment One
Sherry Turkle - Alone and Together - Video shown in class in media section
To the last drop - Presentation of the impact of the Tar Sands
Careers in Sociology 5 - Careers for sociologists
Marx's theory - A quick YouTube video
Sociology of Gossip Clip - Great analysis of why gossip is sociological
Purity Balls - video shown in class
Purity Balls: lifting the veil on a special ceremony - a short video on what they are
CBC Are We Racist? - clip shown in class
Residentional Schools in Canada - A wonderful resource that puts in one place a unique overview of what happened.
The Lady Stripped Bare - A good clip on what women do to get ready in the patriarchy
Pipelines out of Parks - Keeping our parks free of corporate interests
CW Mills Disaster Sociology Presentation - MP3
Crossover kids - Good clip on trans kids
Russell Brand rant - gotta see it to believe it
Harper, Environmentalism and the Tar Sands - Good piece from the NY Times
Zimbardo's Prison Experiment - Video presented in class
TVAC - Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada
Torture - Not for the faint of heart - describes various implements of torture
CW Mills - A fairly good overview of Mills work as a YouTube video
CorpWatch - A site that attempts to hold corporations accountable for their actions
Amnesty International - Interesting resources on the practice of
World's Religions - A listing of resources on the world's religions traditions
Ethics - The Code of Ethics for Sociologists
Status of Women - Federal Governments' site
Canada Without Poverty - Canadian Organization fighting poverty
Murrow vs. McCarthy - Murrow, a journalist, was instrumental in challenging the McCarthy hearings
Careers in Sociology 4 - Careers in Sociology 5
U.S. Military Spending - What the U.S. spends on their military compared to other countries
Video Clip 1 - Here is the link to the clip about the young man who went to war...
The Caligula Effect: Why Powerful Men Compulsively Cheat - Time article on cheating
Society Pages - US site with interesting sociology perspectives
Love has no boundaries - A feel good clip ...
Violin street performer - How do people react to a violinists in the subway?
Perception - How many passes?
Sociological Images - Great site that uses imagery to see the world a little differently
Cost of War - A website that estimates how much the U.S. has spent on the war in Iraq and what could be achieved i
AFN - Assembly of First Nations homepage
Assisted Suicide - Here is a wonderful resource about a man who wants to end his life with dignity
Welch vs. McCarthy - the famous
MakingSociologyMatter - Bruces website to promote sociology
WaterFootPrint - A great site for information on worldwide water usage
Innovation of Loneliness - Good clip on how social media may lead to increased feelings of loneliness
Chevron vs. the Amazon - What was left behind was not pretty
How the homeless are invisible - Would you recognize your mom if she were on the street?
Ernestine Johnson performs average black girl - A really powerful spoken word poem ... wow.
Alone Together - Sherry Turkle's analysis as shown in class
Racism in Canada - YouTube on history of racism in Canada
Science, Racism and Colonialism - Scientific Racism The Eugenics of Social Darwinism
Transforming Gender - A GREAT video on challenging gender binaries
Nature vs. Nurture - video shown in class
Kamikaze Sperm - as shown in class
Value of Education - BC Report on how much more post-secondary education adds to earnings
The Genderbread Person - Graphic to challenge the gender binary
Is Canada racist? - A CBC presentation
Education - Why I hate school but love education
Our Bodies and lands are not your property - Erica Violet Lee is an Indigenous activist with great insight to share
Louis CK on cellphones - A humorous but insightful review of what cellphones have done to us
Defending Our Lives - part 1
Defending Our Lives - Part 3
The Five Largest Religions - Here is a link to a nice overview of each
Defending Our Lives - Part 2
This Changes Everything - Short documentary on the Oil Sands
Making Sociology Matter - My new site where I am trying to collect examples of positive impacts of the social sciences