“Beth is my favorite woman ever and her dog is even more incredible.”
“Engaging, honest, knowledgeable, relatable, clear, concise, communicative, smart.”
“INCREDIBLE WOMAN STUNNING STUNNING STUFF…”
“FAVE PROF OF ALL TIME.”
“…she has no weaknesses.”
“Prof. Red Bird sometimes had trouble getting technology to work but honestly it was quite funny so I wasn’t complaining.”
Goal 1: Understanding the Broad Social World
I especially enjoy introducing students to the logic of the everyday.
When my students are lawyers or teachers, and the intellectual leaders of their community, I want them to understand and explain their world, and that is not something that can be accomplished simply by remembering who Fredrik Barth was, or memorizing the intellectual antecedents to racial threat theory.
To facilitate transformation of sociological thought into understanding of the world, my courses are structured around current issues and the national dialogue. By the end of the quarter, I expect students to keep up with recent events and employ lecture material to explain these events.
Students learn best when lessons are relevant and experiential, so I build the class around the them. As I learn their backgrounds, research interests, learning styles and personalities, I provide in-class examples and select readings that match those interests. Tailoring the course in this way also helps address some of the sensitive and controversial topics we must deal with. The goal is a personal and interactive experience that connects students to the discipline of sociology.
“This course should be a requirement for attending Northwestern, or being a human in America. “
“Many of the subjects we discussed in class could be connected to life on campus and life outside of Northwestern which helped me understand what was going on around me more.”
“Super easy really chill and yet you walk out actually knowing things about the world.”
“It really changed my perception of the world.”
“It is a class that taught me many small essential things that I needed to know for how the “grown up” world works which I’ve never learned in another class before.”
Goal 2: Critical Thinking Skills
Students learn by doing. Since my simple and overriding goal is to encourage well-informed critical thinkers, my assignments are designed to develop these skills. Assignments require students develop the ability to understand public debates, evaluate each side fairly, form a well-considered opinion, and articulate it concisely.
My students have been successfully published in the Stanford Daily, the San Jose Mercury News, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
“This course was a lesson in critical thinking and opening your eyes. “
“Assignments were challenging and required critical thinking.”
“I loved how creatively this course was designed. At first I wasn’t really sure of the format but as the quarter went on I came to love it.”
“She creates a very relaxed classroom setting which, for me, allowed me to feel more free to think critically because I didn’t think I would get judged.”