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PEDAGOGY

My teaching is inspired in postcolonial feminism, global southern epistemologies, Freire's pedagogy of the oppressed, my standpoint as a Latin American immigrant as well as in my own experience growing up in Argentina where a culture of critical thinking, constructive dialogue and collective learning permeates education.  

 

I believe that science does not consist of possessing and retaining knowledge, but in sharing and building it creatively with others.  As a professor, I have approached students with three main goals: to guide them through the depth and breadth of the sociological world, to develop their analytical, critical and creative skills, and to strengthen their sense of self and mission through the understanding of how social structures enable and constrain our lives, and how we recreate, resist or change them through our interactions. 

 

In choosing the bibliographical and audio-visual materials for my courses, I include theoretical and methodologically relevant journal articles and books, as well as newspaper accounts, news clips, films, television shows, and documentaries from diverse ideological and regional perspectives.  My lectures are combined with high-impact practices, such as flip classrooms, group assignments, debates, reflective essays, field trips, photovoice and artistic activities, with the double-fold aim of engaging students throughout their learning process, and connecting abstract notions to historic and current affairs.  I also utilize electronic teaching resources to communicate with the students on a regular basis and foster their involvement in class topics.  Online fora on each of the courses’ units and exams give students the possibility of clarifying doubts and develop constructive conversations with their peers, teaching assistants, and myself before and after lectures.  A diverse array of students, from the savviest to the shyest, have welcomed the extensive use of electronic resources as it complements in-class participation, lectures and office hours. For the courses that I teach exclusively online, I have emphasized debates and shared portfolios for peer interaction and provided numerous opportunities for communication and constructive input.  

 

Thorough feedback on written and oral participation improves the students’ command over a new body of knowledge.  I believe in their capacity to develop their critical and creative thinking skills, particularly in learning how to listen, read and think about others’ worldviews.  I have witnessed students’ attitudes towards otherness change from rigid disagreements to constructive dialogues as they create their own sociologically informed perspective.  This accomplishment is particularly relevant in teaching issues of social inequality; raw observations on class, gender, sexual, racial and ethnic discrimination become justified commentaries, which include theoretical frameworks and possible routes of action.  Throughout the semester, students’ awareness of the tension between acquiescence and agency over social structures grows as they develop new attitudes about their everyday lives. 

 

I live to continue teaching because I feel compelled to share what I have been able to learn in all these years of education, and because I value the opportunity to learn more from the students’ ideas and reactions.  I take every semester as a new challenge: reviewing previous syllabi, updating reading materials, and incorporating students’ feedback.  So far, my thirteen years of academic teaching experience taught me that covering a lesser amount of issues in more depth is better than trying to teach it all in fifteen weeks. It also taught me that students are very perceptive: uncertainty, pretense, and rigidity are not welcomed; an open and relaxed, but committed atmosphere is always more engaging. Transparency and an honest portrayal of my passion for transformative scholarship have proven key to engage students in respectful, constructive and liberating learning. 

I have designed and taught several undergraduate and graduate level courses including: 

  • Introduction to Sociology;

  • Research Methods;

  • Classical Sociological Theory; 

  • Contemporary Sociological Theory;

  • Migration, Labor and Justice

  • Sociology of Poverty, Migration and Marginalization;

  • Sociology of Latina/os in the U.S.;

  • Latin American Social Movements;

  • Immigration and Inequality;

  • Migration and Refugees in Development: Humanitarianism, Gender and Inequities;

  • Human Trafficking;

  • Gender in a Global Context;

  • Gender and Development;

  • Family Violence;

  • Sociology of Gender;

  • Sociology of Family;

  • World History Seminar in Women and Gender History;

  • Senior Sociology Seminar. 

​I have also designed and taught free community workshops in Spanish on topics like Health and Migration, Gender Violence, Memory and Social Change, and specialized trainings on Research Methods for Health and Migration abroad. 

 

My teaching does not end in the classroom. I have advised hundreds of students, many of whom continue to look for guidance after graduation.  In mentoring, I encourage students to go deeper and fly higher. I believe in their strength and ignite their potential. And they grow to become mentors themselves as they are clear that knowledge is not to be kept selfishly, but to share and put into action. 

All in all, through the cycle of learning/teaching/learning..., I practice my Latin American Activist Feminism as I work on bridging academia and community across social, cultural and geographical borders and believe on the power of education to promote social justice. 

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