I aim to be a dynamic and engaging lecturer, offering students a research-led teaching experience. At the same time, as a scholar I benefit immensely from working with students, reflective of the value of teaching-led research.
My extensive and varied teaching experiences have long been a source of personal enjoyment and professional growth.
In lectures and seminars, I eschew more traditional approaches of 'transmitting information' in favour of a ‘semi-Socratic’ method—in asking questions, I guide students to arrive at the answers themselves. This is just one important part of the student-centred approach that I employ in my teaching.
I work to create a learning environment wherein different perspectives are valued and encouraged. By welcoming a diversity of views, students are more comfortable participating in the class. Conversations tend to be more lively, interesting, and productive.
Like many of my colleagues at the LSE, I also take pride in doing research-led teaching. By drawing upon my own research I am able to strengthen and enliven my lectures. Students enjoy seeing how research done outside the classroom can directly relate to the issues explored within it.
In that vein, I like to provide students with a look at the entirety of the research process: from identifying interesting and important research questions, to analysing, conceptualising, and finding an appropriate publication outlet.
- While teaching at LSE’s summer school in Beijing I invited students to help theorise and conceptualize GONGOs (government organised non-governmental organisations), which helped forming the basis of a working paper on the topic.
- I've had graduate students do ‘research autopsies’ of my work to demonstrate how research can be messy and full of surprises. In doing so, they also learn how to adapt to challenges, and see how even research with 'null findings' can be important for knowledge production.
Teaching forces me to think differently about my own work and make my arguments clearer. It is not unusual that conversations with students in lectures and seminars have given me new research ideas, some of which have turned into published work.
- My article linking the one-child policy and elder care to family pressure felt by LGB Chinese was born out of conversations in my graduate seminar on sexuality and social policy. And my current research on attitudes to the anti-HIV drug PrEP was provoked by discussions with students and colleagues in that same course.
Thus, teaching-led research can co-exist with research-led teaching, benefiting student and professor alike.