With my father being a primary school teacher, so I have been dreaming of becoming a university professor since when I was about 12 years old. To pursue my dream, I began learning how to teach at the University of Melbourne, Australia, while doing my PhD. I then taught various courses in Australia, Asia and also now in London, where I am teaching courses on politics, sociology, political economy, and area and international studies. The success of my teaching has been based on my ability to apply teaching philosophy and research-led teaching style.
My teaching philosophy and styles are shaped by three interactive goals. First, I aim to convey as effectively as possible the course contents and materials, so that the students can truly understand the theoretical, analytical, and practical significance of what they are learning. Second, I think it is important to also build the students’ academic competencies, such as enhancing critical thinking, debate, expression, and clear articulation about the course topics. Lastly, I like to share with my students in the enjoyment and quality of interaction that can arise within academic inquiries. I believe teaching is not just about lecturer’s giving but engaging with students in a process of interactive learning.
To this end, I have applied a student-centred approach not only in lectures but also in seminars and tutorials. I design my classes as a teaching and learning lab, where students are motivated to discuss and raise questions about the courses and the topics on global and area studies. In 2017-2018, I taught “Comparative Politics and Nation-State” to third-year students of Politics and International Studies. Using the approaches mentioned earlier, I facilitated students’ learning through the discussion on different political and economic systems drawing on different cases, such as countries and regions. I found that students were also enjoyable when discussing my research experience and papers using comparative approaches, comparing how different political systems undermine transnational advocacy networks and the relationship of global movement actors the Global South and North’s governments and civil societies. In the same year, I taught the subject “Research Methods in International Studies” to third-year undergraduate students. These students learned from several cases I drew upon for my publications. The different methods, both quantitative and qualitative, employed in my papers and other articles were discussed in the class, and that was very handy for those students to do their future policy research and even their thesis in the near future.
Recently, I also applied research-based teaching to my courses at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where I taught Area Studies courses focusing on Southeast Asia at the undergraduate and graduate levels (45 students). These courses cover a wide range of topics including geopolitics, political economy, political culture, state formation, political systems and regimes, migration and gender, conflict, globalization and other global issues linking to the region. Students were impressed by my teaching approaches, and the knowledge I gained from my research and publications on the mentioned topics. Not only do the learning lab and research-based teaching style motivate students to research and read in preparation for class, but also to prepare questions they would like to discuss. I found that this approach also motivates students from a diverse background to interact with me, as a native of the region, and with other classmates.
Apart from the courses already mentioned, I co-taught a course on Social Media and Politics at the graduate level with my research team in the Department of Anthropology at the University College London. The course looks at how global media changes the world’s politics and culture. We applied a seminar-style of teaching and learning in which we shared what we had found during our research on citizenship, politics of (visual) representations, social media and political imagination. To covey this an interdisciplinary course, students were assigned to present the topics of their choice. Followed by questions and discussion, the student-led presentations provided an extremely productive and stimulating interactive learning environment for everyone in the class.