Teaching philosophy and interests
I am committed to bringing out the best in my students and enabling them all to constructively challenge themselves in their learning. Through my enthusiasm for sharing knowledge and supporting others’ learning, students in my classroom tell me that they feel welcomed, engaged, and encouraged. Learners in my classes feel empowered to step outside their comfort zones and try out new activities and ideas in order to stimulate creativity and productivity.
I have experience teaching introductory and advanced level courses, undergraduate and graduate levels, and online and in-person modalities.
My areas of teaching expertise include:
- Comparative and international (higher) education
- Public policy/administration and education policy
- International development
- Organizational, institutional and societal change
- Politics of higher education
- Central Asian education, society and politics
- Institutional theory
- Qualitative research methods
Introduction to International Development Studies, Centre for Critical Development Studies, University of Toronto, Summer 2020 (Sole Instructor)
- Undergraduate course, 100 students, online modality
- Fully revised and redesigned the course to create a mainly asynchronous online teaching/learning environment.
- Created complete course site in Learning Management System to an extremely tight deadline.
- Managed, supported and trained two Teaching Assistants in transition to online teaching.
- Course description: History, theory, practice and key actors of international development; current approaches and debates in international development studies. Covers key development issues and the academic discourses that surround them.
Introduction to International Development Studies, Centre for Critical Development Studies, University of Toronto, Fall 2018 and Fall 2019 (Teaching Assistant)
- Undergraduate course, ~300 students, in-person modality
- Responsibilities: Preparing and conducting tutorials (two sections of 25 students), grading essays/assignments, attending lectures, teaching lecture on Education, Gender and Development, communicating with students/teaching team, developing online learning portal.
- Course description: History, theory and practice of international development; current approaches and debates in international development studies. Explores the evolution of policy and practice in international development and the academic discourses that surround it.
International Academic Relations, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Fall 2017 (Teaching Assistant)
- Graduate course, ~20 students, in-person modality
- Responsibilities: Attending classes, teaching one class, facilitating student discussions, grading essays, communicating with students/course instructor, managing online learning portal.
- Course description: International relations; examination of higher education’s role and responsibilities in an international arena. Critical challenges to accepted views of knowledge. Academic freedom in a global context.
Comparative Education: Theory & Methodology, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Fall 2016 (Teaching Assistant)
- Graduate course, ~25 students, in-person modality
- Responsibilities: Attending classes, presenting course materials, facilitating student discussions, grading essays, communicating with students/course instructor, managing online learning portal.
- Course description: An overview of the evolution of comparative education as a field of study. Central themes of the course are the purpose of comparative education, the impact of diverse views of social change, and the idea of scientific method.
Guest lectures and other teaching experience
|Crisis in Higher Education||2020||Guest speaker||Graduate students, University of Toronto|
|Covid-19 and the Politics of Education||2020||Guest speaker||Graduate students, University of Manitoba|
|Immigration and International Student Mobility||2020||Guest speaker||Graduate students, University of Toronto|
|Whose Knowledge Matters? Education, Gender and Development||2019||Guest lecturer||Undergraduate students, University of Toronto|
|Policy Initiatives to Internationalize Higher Education in the Former Soviet Space||2019||Guest lecturer||Graduate students, York University|
|Comparative Education & the Postmodern Challenge||2018||Session leader||Graduate students, University of Toronto|
|Phenomenological Approaches to Comparative Education||2018||Guest lecturer/Session co-leader||Graduate students, University of Toronto|
|Systems of Higher Education in Central Asia||2018||Guest lecturer||Graduate students, University of Toronto|
|Transformations in Higher Education in Eurasia (webinar)||2018||Invited panellist||Members of Eurasia Special Interest Group of the Comparative & International Education Society|
|Policy Borrowing||2017||Guest lecturer||Graduate students, University of Toronto|
|Comparative Education & the Postmodern Challenge||2017||Guest lecturer||Graduate students, University of Toronto|
|Populism and the Academy (panel held in Toronto and broadcast online)||2017||Invited panellist||Participants in Annual Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education|
|Interviewing||2017||Guest lecturer||Graduate students, University of Toronto|
|Data Analysis for Case Study Research||2016||Session leader||Graduate students, University of Toronto|
|Non-Academic Careers||2015||Guest lecturer||Graduate students, University of Toronto|
|Managing your Career in Higher Education Administration||2014/15||Trainer (5 sessions)||Early and mid-career administrative staff working in UK higher education institutions|
|Career Development for Women||2013||Guest speaker||Early career female administrative staff at University of Oxford, UK|
As Course Instructor for Introduction to International Development:
- Quantitative feedback: median score of 5 out of 5 in feedback relating to intellectual stimulation, subject matter understanding, conducive learning environment, and quality of learning experience.
- Students commented that “this course has been the most interesting and thought-provoking course of my time as a student” and “I hope all the online classes in the September term are as good as this one”.
As Teaching Assistant:
- 95% or more of students rated my performance as ‘very good’ or excellent’ in eight of nine indicators (2018 and 2019)
- Student feedback includes:
“I was hesitating a bit about majoring in International Development Studies but your tutorials have really made me love this class! Thank you again for your help and the positive and motivated atmosphere you constantly bring to the class.”
“Emma is an amazing TA who is committed to helping us learn. She is passionate about it which made my learning more meaningful.”
“Emma supported [the course instructor] in creating a very challenging process of learning. I’m specially thankful for her help and patience when talking about my final paper project.”
“Your presentation was great! So interesting… the buzz around the room afterwards – people were really impressed and also very inspired.”
- Advanced University Teaching Preparation (AUTP) Certificate, University of Toronto, 2017-19
I actively participated in ten workshops on multiple aspects teaching and learning (e.g. Building Community in Your Classes and Tutorials, Decolonizing the Syllabus, Fundamentals of Course Design), an in-class observation and a peer-reviewed microteaching session. In addition to workshops undertaken for the AUTP Certificate, I also completed a University of Toronto job training day for Teaching Assistants in 2018.
I bring to my university teaching a range of learner support skills honed during my previous professional career. I have led and managed people, supporting and challenging them just as I do now with my students.
I have a career long commitment to promoting women’s professional development, both in my former professional career and in my current role as an emerging researcher.
I am very experienced at coaching in two areas: improving writing skills and career development/planning.
- Teaching related publication
In my previous career, my commitment to professional development led me to co-author the first UK book on careers in higher education administration with two colleagues.
The book, Managing your career in higher education administration, was designated a Book of the Year in 2014 by the Times Higher Education (UK) and the Chair of professional body the Association of University Administrators called it “the go-to text for anyone working in or thinking about working in higher education administration”.