Vancouver | Assistant Professor |
Master of Public Policy and Administration
My passion for teaching was one of the primary reasons behind my decision to pursue a PhD in Economics at University of Porto in Portugal. That passion was initially sparked by my experience of teaching Principles of economics, Macroeconomics, Costing, and Financial management subjects to undergraduate students at Cosmopoint College in Malaysia for over two years, and by pursuing a Ph.D., I hope to eventually become a professor and teach at a higher level.
Teaching is a noble profession that plays an active role in shaping the future of the next generation and thus of a country in general. Every teacher was once a student and hence can easily understand a student’s expectations of a teacher. In my view, teaching by simply exposing a student to new information is not enough. That would be the equivalent of a student buying a reference book and learning by reading it without third-party guidance to help them achieve maximum understanding of the topic. I strongly believe that teaching is about not only delivering knowledge to students but also teaching them the skills they need to learn successfully and to construct new knowledge themselves. Hence, my teaching philosophy is very much based on a student-centred learning approach, with a specific aim of helping students develop robust analytical skills. Given that, I have organized my teaching philosophy base on the eight main principles: i. Promoting critical thinking, ii. Knowledge development vs skill development, iii. Understanding the learners, iv. Assessing learning, v. Equity, diversity, and inclusion.
i. PROMOTING CRITICAL THINKING
Students should not only be exposed to new information but should also learn: 1) how to relate the new information with real life examples and 2) how facts can be interpreted before they are encouraged to arrive at their own conclusions. As such, I believe that teaching is not about my dissemination of knowledge but about how the students, those on the receiving end, can be taught to comprehend that knowledge and to develop the thinking skills that will allow them to use it. Student engagement is key to this process.
ii. KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT vs SKILL DEVELOPMENT
In my view, students better understand abstract concepts if they are illustrated with everyday examples. This helps provide a relatable context for abstract concepts. As someone with substantial real-life experience, I can share practical examples of the application of theories so that students appreciate how their newly acquired knowledge can be applied in the workforce. I would occasionally invite experts to share their experiences and talk about the problems they solve in the context of the subject being taught. As this will help students to relate the knowledge to new contexts inside and outside of the classroom.
iii. UNDERSTANDING THE LEARNERS
I would not tell a student that a certain step in a topic is obvious or easy and that they should be able to understand it quickly. Some students’ confidence would be badly affected if they could not work out a concept on their own and they may be too shy to seek my help. In my experience, this pitfall is most common when teaching statistics/econometrics and quantitative research methodology subjects and is rooted in a teacher’s familiarity with a topic and a lack of recognition that students are coming to the class with less experience and knowledge of the topic. I go the extra mile to teach each step thoroughly and discretely so the continuity of a lecture is maintained and students continue to build on what they learn at each point.
iv. ASSESSING LEARNING
Active dialogue sessions involving questions and answers during my lectures are key, as this allows me to assess the students’ understanding of a topic and their ability to handle similar problems with similar or more challenging levels of complexity. I have focused on both formative and summative assessment plan when assessing the learning of the students in my class. With the significant involvement of student participation, remedial actions can then be taken, such as revisiting some topics or reviewing key concepts that may have been challenging for the students.
v. EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION
Issues of diversity and inequality are profoundly important to me, both personally and professionally. I grew up as a minority in my country of birth, which does not have any minority-based legislation in place, and so I have direct experience of being disadvantaged in a system where all the policies and support mechanisms are geared toward helping only the majority of the population. I am a firm believer that everyone is equal and should be given equal opportunities in all sectors, including academia. All my engagement with students, whether in teaching or research, would be inclusive and bias-free, thus respecting and upholding the diversity for which Canada is renowned.
Located in the heart of the city, the Chicago Campus was designed to provide and inspire the learning and living experience. To that end, we have created an environment that caters to your mental, emotional, and intellectual growth. Our classrooms are bright and spacious with windows to the outside world and the latest technology. In our Library, you will find every resource you need to research, form, and shape your journey. At Adler University, we have more than enough room to share your thoughts and flex your intellect.