"The urban phenomenon is universal... What is needed is a department that can focus existing disciplines on an analysis of the urban phenomenon... This would require a change in our ideas about education, for such a discipline would be based not on a body of acquired knowledge that it can dispense but on a problematic"
Henri Lefebvre, 1968/2003: 54-55
My teaching philosophy is based on the ideas that teaching and research are connected as learning activities and that theory and practice must be thoroughly integrated. I organize courses and conduct the classroom to maximize student participation in learning and discovery so that my presence as the deliverer of knowledge fades while experience takes center in students’ learning. I explore concepts through empirical contexts, with emphasis on the practical effects of urban change, planning and policy.
In order for future scholars and practioners to know how to act, they must understand real-world problems and transformations in historical and geographical context. Moreover, this approach helps students understand the origins of policies and how problems have become recognized as such, and rendered open to certain solutions rather than others. Through using media, guiding questions, and classroom discussion, students make historically- and contextually-based assessments about what has been defined as policy “success” and “failure”, often upending accepted wisdom about policy problem formation.