As a Research Fellow, my teaching tasks are currently limited to the annual National Graduate Student Workshop on “Representing Belief,” convened in the summer for students from across Australia researching issues of religion, cultural and belief. I am also the assistant supervisor of three PhD students, researching entrepreneurial habitus in South Africa, multifaith peace-building in the Philippines, and Shi’ite practice in Australia and Iran.
Over the years I have taught a variety of courses in the social sciences and humanities in Australia, Britain, and Finland Youth Culture and Consumption (University of the West of England), Contemporary Social Research (Deakin University), Spirituality and Secularization in the West (University of Helsinki), and Music, Sound and Society (University of Helsinki). In the past I have also guest lectured on research ethics at the University of Helsinki, and facilitated tutorials and seminars in a variety of subjects in the social sciences at Monash University, the University of Bristol, and the University of Helsinki. In addition, I worked on a voluntary basis as a tutor to secondary students from a refugee background in Melbourne between 2005 and 2008.
As a teacher, clarity is very important to me. Many of my students have spoken English as their second (or third, or fourth) language, and often my classrooms have included students from different class backgrounds, with different expectations, and with different ambitions and motivations. I feel that it is important for me to make clear to my students what they should be able to comprehend at the end of a course and at the end of a class. It’s then our joint responsibility to make sure that each student reaches that level of comprehension. So I am always looking for new ways and new methods to clearly explain the concepts that we work with in the social sciences, to understand the case studies that we investigate, and to appreciate the relevant changes that have taken place in society and in scholarship over the years.