The purpose of higher education is to reflect an egalitarian and just society. Students learn not only by knowing facts, data, and studies in journals, books and lectures, but also through sincerely participating in a democratic process of exchange by respecting and learning from each other’s views. All these views are adjudicated by data or evidence that validate or invalidate specific perspectives, i.e., understanding what is and what is not supported by research and the limitations of existing studies. When members of the class adjust to, or at least accommodate the views supported by, evidence, then higher education gets closer to one of its goals. Specifically, it is through this open process of exchange that the purpose of the university becomes concretized: moving towards meaningful, substantive social change.
I foster an environment of democratic exchange and present data in the most compelling way possible, particularly by bringing practice-oriented experience. Students are expected to take an active role by asking questions, exhibiting curiosity, and keeping an open mind. Apart exams and papers, I also expect my students to write op-ed and policy reports. Knowing your audience is crucial in writing ideas so that others can understand. In the end, I actively seek anonymous feedback from students, particularly about my presentations, assignments, and readings. This iterative process improves my teaching over time and makes me a better communicator not only to students, but also to members of society.