I have been a teacher since 1987. I have taught in universities, secondary schools, and post-secondary vocational schools. I have taught in two languages and in four countries. I have acquired four teaching credentials/awards. Over the years that I have been teaching, I have developed a method of pedagogy that I call empathy in the zoped. It starts from the position that learning occurs as an encounter between the teacher and the learner in the zone of proximal development (Vygotski). The type of encounter that occurs in the zoped, whether alienating or empowering, is one factor in the social construction of subjects and their society. In order to avoid alienation, I take an empathic stance towards the student(s) when I enter the zoped. By this I mean that I use active listening (Carl Rogers) to become aware of how my students are learning; I experience their learning process as they experience it themselves. In this way, I can gauge my teaching methods to best fit every student and seminar. The variety of my teaching experience, from street gang members in the Special Day Classes of the public school system in Los Angeles, to university students at a British Russell Group university, has allowed me to test and develop the efficacy of my pedagogy in a variety of educational settings. This form of teaching is obviously well-suited for individual pastoral and tutorial work with students, but it is also best practice for seminars. Not only do individual students each have their own zoped, but seminars as a whole also have a zone of proximal development of which the tutor needs to be aware and allow to guide his/her teaching. Here is a video of me teaching student-centred digital pedagogy through the Teaching Grid (use this password to access – librarytg1): http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/staff/teaching/teachinggrid/wit/201506051349
I held a secondary school teaching credential as an educational specialist (mild to moderate disabilities) from 2001 until 2008. I have a qualification in teaching university-level psychology from CSULA, 1992. I have Postgraduate Award in Technology-enhanced Learning from the University of Warwick, 2012-2013, and a Postgraduate Award in Introduction to Academic and Professional Practice from the University of Warwick, 2011.
University of Warwick
I worked as a teaching fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick for three years. Before that, I worked as PG tutor in the same department for four years.
I taught two Shakespeare modules. One was a Masters-level Shakespeare module – ‘Shakespeare in History’ – in which I situate Shakespeare in the history of ideas. We look at how Shakespeare worked with the ideas and paradigms of those who influenced him and how he influenced writers after him. In this way we track ideas from the Greeks and Romans to the early modern playwrights to German theorists – from Athens and Rome to London to Berlin, Vienna and Frankfurt. The second half of the module traces the history of theory through its intertextual relationship with Shakespeare’s plays. We begin with the 18th Century’s problematic reception of the plays and then look at the British and German Romantic literary movements’ critique of the Enlightenment through their reading of Shakespeare. Then we spend two weeks looking at the influence that Shakespeare had on Marxism and on psychoanalysis respectively. We end with an exploration of Shakespeare’s place in the history of the dialectic. The second Shakespeare module that I taught was ‘Shakespeare, Freud and the Power of Scenes’. In this undergraduate honours module, we explored a selection of Shakespeare’s plays using psychoanalytic literary criticism, especially organised through Jean Laplanche’s critical reading of Freud.
I taught two psychoanalysis modules under the convenorship of Prof John Fletcher. The first one was ‘Literature and Psychoanalysis’, an undergraduate honours module that presented psychoanalytic literary theory by using it to critique literary texts including Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, E.T.A. Hofmann’s Mademoiselle de Scudery and The Sandman, and Jensen’s Gradiva, along with other works of art such as Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings and Handel’s opera Semele. The other psychoanalysis module was ‘Shakespeare, Freud and the Power of Scenes’ described above. I also developed and maintained the modules’ moodles (see digital pedagogy below).
I taught a world literature module. This was Modern World Literatures, a large first year module convened by Nicholas Lawrence. Guided by both World Systems Theory and Critical Theory, we read some of the defining texts of modernity from 1789 to the contemporary period. In that module, I lectured on Bertolt Brecht’s Mutter Courage und Ihre Kinder. I was a seminar tutor on the module, and served in capacity as the senior tutor. I also developed and maintained the module’s moodle, the Modernity Clinic (see digital pedagogy below).
I taught a literary criticism module. This was Modes of Reading, a large first year module that studied some historical developments in literary theory through using them to do a close and interpretive reading of four literary texts.
I taught academic writing through the Academic Writing Program in the department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. As well as teaching academic writing in the department, this program also delivered academic writing services to other departments including Warwick Business School, Warwick Manufacturing Group, Dept of Chemistry, Dept of Physics, Dept of Biology, and Dept of Computer Science. I taught essay writing, academic poster making, and academic public speaking. As part of this program, I developed a digitally-enhanced seminar pedagogy working in collaboration with The Library Teaching Grid and the Dept of Computer Science. See digital pedagogy below.
I did research in and taught Digital Pedagogy at the University of Warwick. As a part of the Technology-enhanced Learning Forum and the Moodle User’s Group at Warwick, I experimented with different ways that digital technology and services could be used to teach seminars and run modules. The hardware I used included Smartboards, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and video cameras in the classroom. The software and services that I used included Evernote, Google Drive, iMovie, Moodle, Screenflow and Jing. Once developed, I used this digitally-enhanced methodology to teach seminars in academic writing and all of my modules in the English Department. With this pedagogy, I created not only more efficient ways of learning, studying and researching, but I also developed parallel cloud-based learning spaces. Students could work both in-person in seminar and on the cloud connecting simultaneously to others in the module. An example of this is the Modernity Clinic, a moodle that served as a space for students in the large world literature module to work on understanding the meaning of the term modernity, a difficult and contested term. The Modernity Clinic was a space for student-centred learning (see the link to my video on this above) I served as the Moodle Coordinator for the Department from 2013-2016.
In the early 1990s, while studying for my Masters in Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, I took a class on how to teach university-level psychology. The class included an internship in which I taught undergraduate classes at the university.
Secondary School Teaching
I have many years experience teaching at the secondary school level. I began teaching middle school in East Los Angeles at Hollenbeck Middle School in 2002-2005. I taught students with learning disabilities and emotional disturbances. I taught Social Sciences, Health and English literacy to Spanish speakers. Then I moved to Hollywood High School to teach English, History, Biology and Life Skills from 2005-2008.
In 2013, between finishing my doctorate and obtaining my teaching fellowship, I taught at a British grammar school in Alcester. I taught in the English department and worked with A-levels, GCSE, Year 9 and Year 8 students.
Post-secondary Vocational School Teaching
My first teaching job was at the Massage School of Santa Monica where I taught physiology, anatomy, Swedish Massage, Structural Bodywork, Craniosacral Therapy, and Bodymind Integration. I taught there for 14 years from 1987 to 2001. I also taught bodywork at the Bodymind Institute, Los Angeles, in Nicaragua (workshops) and in the United Kingdom (workshops). I am currently teaching bodywork and therapy workshops in Berlin (see Forest of Arden Healing Arts in the Links page.)