Teaching Philosophy

Knowledge formation is a research interest that informs my teaching.  One of the visible divisions in the literature on knowledge formation is to be found between those who adopt a process perspective and those who identify knowledge in resulting products.  The first involves a relational epistemology where knowledge is acquired in contextual and dynamic ways. The second assumes knowledge can be codified and stored. I adhere to the first approach, and this informs my educational philosophy.  

I create interactive classrooms and foster a climate of two-way learning between student and teacher.  The role of students is not one of passive recipients of “knowledge.” They are continuously required to be actively engaged in shaping information into higher levels of analysis.  In this sense, I always strive to create knowledge, rather than pass on information.

My classes stress practice and require students to propose their own solutions to the political, social and economic problems we address.  I provide several ways to contribute to the issues that we face each week. I devote time to develop pedagogical tools and use various methods to cater to different learning styles.  


the global classrooms project

With support from the University of Toronto’s Teaching Fellowship, and the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation I embarked on a special project to internationalize the traditional classroom.  I conducted a robust literature review followed by interviews with practitioners of globally networked learning approaches in the United States and Canada, and then an extensive faculty survey within the University of Toronto.  To facilitate sharing this research, I created a website that serves as a knowledge hub of publications, case studies, tools and other useful resources for faculty interested in global classrooms.   Throughout this website, you will find guides for developing your own global classroom.


2016-2017               Winner of the University of Toronto Teaching Fellowship

2014 & 2016           Winner of the Dean’s Excellence Award, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

2013                        Winner of the Dean’s Excellence Award, Woodsworth College, University of Toronto


GLA2091 - Water as a Global Challenge:  Science, Economics and the Politics of Policy Making, Munk School of Global Affairs, Economics and Engineering Departments, University of Toronto, 2016

POL380 - Localizing Global Governance, University of Belgrano, Argentina, Summer 2014

GLA2000 - Graduate Capstone Seminar, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, 2013-2016

MUN105 - Global Problem-Solving: Laboratory Opportunities, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, 2013-2016

MUN102 - Governing Global Public Goods, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, 2015-2016

WDW152 - Order and Disorder: Problems and Solutions, Woodsworth College, University of Toronto, 2013

WDW151 - Order and Disorder: Issues and Perspectives, Woodsworth College, University of Toronto, 2012

POLA81 – Leaving Home: Politics and Emigration, University of Toronto Scarborough, 2007 and 2008 (Guest Teaching)

Selection of Recent Invited Lectures

  •  “Global Classrooms.” Presenter at the Center for Teaching Support and Innovation, University of Toronto, October 17, 2016.
  • “The Animal’s Wife and Gender Violence in Colombia.” Discussant at the Toronto International Film Festival, Global Speaker Series, September 14, 2016.
  • “Simulations and Small Scale Experiential Learning: Practice, Application and Experience.” Presenter at the Tri-Campus Teaching Assistance Training Day, University of Toronto August 31, 2016.
  • “Orwell’s Animal Farm and the Importance of Active Citizenship.”  Opening Speaker for #OrwellArt Gallery, Metro City Hall, May 31, 2016.
  • “Small Scale Experiential Learning.” Presenter and facilitator at the Faculty of Arts and Science Community of Practice on Teaching and Learning, University of Toronto.
  • “Urban Water Security: Moving Towards Sustainable Strategies.”  Moderator of an expert panel debate on global and local water challenges. Munk School of Global Affairs, April 1, 2016.
  • “Accountability in Global Environmental Governance.” Invited to present my research and upcoming publications in a series of special lectures at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Cornell University Department of Natural Resources, Balsille School of International Affairs and University of Toronto Environmental Governance Lab, February 22-26, 2016.
  • “Characteristics of Wicked Problems and Goal-Oriented versus Systems-Thinking Project Development,” Global Ideas Institute, December 3, 2014.
  • “Is Cooperation Possible in Global Affairs?” Spur Festival, Toronto, April 4, 2014.
  • “The World Bank and Environmental Governance,” University of Toronto, March 25, 2013.
  • “Diplomacy in Global Affairs,” University of Toronto, November 15, 2013.
  • “Teaching and Learning: Instruction and Experiential Learning Strategies.” Youth engagement training for UNICEF volunteers. Toronto, November 14, 2013.
  • “The World Bank’s Partnerships for the Environment,” University of Toronto, March 21, 2013.
  • “The World Bank: Bureaucratic Rule and Partnerships for the Environment,” Woodsworth College Alumni Association, Toronto, March 6, 2013.
  • “Public-Private Partnerships and Development Studies,” University of Lausanne, Switzerland, November 22, 2012.