My teaching philosophy is greatly influenced by my former professional roles, in which I designed civics, service learning, and restorative justice curriculums for middle school, high school, and undergraduate students. I strive to create a classroom environment in which students can see aspects of their own identity and experiences reflected in sociology, policy, and ethics. The classroom is an environment in which dynamics of race, gender, sexuality, and class are particularly prominent - I am always reflecting upon my role as an instructor in acknowledging and working amongst these power structures, and strive for my syllabi, lectures, and assignments to incorporate voices, knowledge, and ways of expression that reflect a diversity of experiences.
I believe deeply in the power of asset-based approaches of community-engaged learning and co-creating knowledge alongside students. When possible, I especially enjoy incorporating pop-culture or policy examples into my teaching. I've taught class sessions on the sociology behind topics including reality television, the "Summer of Scam," France's "yellow vest" movement, and the role of philanthropy in Detroit's Grand Bargain.
Below are a collection of statements around classroom environment and "hidden curriculums" that I have included in previous syllabi; please feel free to use and adapt as you see fit. I am grateful to Dr. Jessica Calarco and Dr. Anthony Jack for informing my practice in this area.
HARVARD UNIVERSITY, INSTRUCTOR OF RECORD
EDU BQO11D - Foundations of Race and Ethnicity (Fall 2022)
HARVARD UNIVERSITY, TEACHING FELLOW
EDU L103 - Thinking Strategically about Reform (Fall 2022)
EDU EVI101 - Evidence (Summer 2022)
EDU A147 - Education and Resistance in Community-Based Youth Organizations (Spring 2022)
EDU A312 - Philanthropy and Education (Fall 2021)
EDU A305 - Deeper Learning for All: Designing a 21st Century School System (Fall 2020, Fall 2021)
EDU F101A - How People Learn (Summer 2020, Summer 2022)
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, GRADUATE STUDENT INSTRUCTOR
SOC 215 - Organization and Society (Field overview of organizational sociology for undergraduate students)
PUBPOL 587 - Public Management (Required core course for Master of Public Policy students)
ORGSTUDY 204 - Nonprofit organizations (Grader, undergraduate elective course)
"Abby made the class more interesting and her discussion sections were fun while better educating me on current events and organizational theory. She has been the best GSI I have had as she is incredibly prepared, very willing to help, and wants to incorporate our interests into the class. I looked forward to going to section every week." -Undergraduate, SOC 215
"Abby is a wonderful person, a smart academic, and a responsive TF. Her sections helped me apply the readings to our class, and she was great at following-up personally with additional resources. I appreciated how Abby spoke from her own experiences, and
helped us as students to further cement ideas from our main synchronous session. She is personable and funny, and very human, which was so important in the virtual setting . . . I love that she is willing to share her opinions, but never from an authoritative or definitive standpoint. She was always honest and open about how she was learning alongside us, and embodied the idea of being a "partner" and co-inquirer in the learning experience. Her energy and optimism, combined with her ability to hold serious space for suffering, made her someone that students feel comfortable talking openly with . . . Abby helped diminish the sense of isolation that is common amid these virtual-learning times, and create bridges for meaningful and truly enjoyable class sessions."
-Graduate Student, A305