Lead Instructor— Public Policy Challenges in U.S. Politics (Spring 2022, UC Berkeley undergraduate course) [Syllabus available by request]
Teaching Interests and Approaches
I look forward to teaching a wide array of courses in American politics, public policy, and research methods. Within American politics, I would be interested to teach introductory surveys of American political institutions as well as topics including the politics of public policy, state and local politics, federalism, American political economy, Congress, the Presidency, and political behavior. I would also be interested to teach courses focusing on particular policy areas, especially climate and energy policy and health policy. Finally, I look forward to contributing to research methods training, particularly in quantitative methods and causal inference.
I apply a problem-based approach to teaching. In teaching political science, I frame abstract concepts in terms of the broad problem of producing effective and just policy. This highlights the stakes of the questions being investigated and can make the material more tangible for students. In teaching quantitative methods, I similarly aim to contextualize the math of statistics as solutions to problems faced by researchers or policy analysts. Starting with concrete problems builds the intuition behind statistical concepts and motivates the importance of learning statistical approaches.
I believe that most students—particularly undergraduates—tend to learn more by doing than by listening. In my sections at Berkeley, I prioritized small-group discussion of focused questions over lecturing, allowing my students to arrive at key insights through their own dialogue—and not just hear them delivered from the front of the room. In this vein, the Spring 2022 seminar I designed prioritizes developing student writing and analysis that complements focused reading assignments.