Josh Franco, M.A.

Home - Research - Teaching

Courses Taught

POLI 100, Congressional Politics, Spring 2017

POLI 107, California Politics, Summer 2017

POLI 107, California Politics, Fall 2017

My Teaching Training

Pedagogy Workshop Participant, American Political Science Association, San Francisco, California, 2017

Certificate in General Pedagogy, UC Merced's Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning, Fall 2015

Certificate in Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning, @ONE, Spring 2017

Teaching Individual/Agent-Based Modeling, Humboldt State University, Summer 2015

My Teaching Philosophy

Inspiration:
My teaching inspiration derives from the totality of my formal education, from elementary school to doctoral training, and informal education from my family, relatives, friends, and community. I have continually been curious and sought to learn from every person and every interaction, whether positive or negative, in life. This desire to learn from others inspires me to be an effective communicator, educator, and professor of data, information, and knowledge that is derived from abstract understandings and practical engagement.

Motivation:
My teaching motivation is derived from my desire to effectively connect and engage students in the active and passive processes of data acquisition, information engagement, and knowledge creation.

I am driven to excel as a communicator, educator and professor in a way that personally relates, attaches, and connects with each student.

Given my five years of professional experience working in the California State Capitol and U.S. Congress, I want to offer my students an experience that blends my practical experiences with my doctoral-level social scientific training to provide a well-rounded perspective and informative learning experience.

Approach:
My teaching approach relies on: well-organized courses based on learning units to effectively deliver course content; balancing the use of the Socratic Method with fostering an environment of student self-initiation with myself, their peers, and their course materials; and actively listening to students questions, comments, concerns, and suggestions to iterate course materials and activities.

Additionally, I am pioneering innovative teaching methods by utilizing Technology-Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) which is a teaching format that merges facilitated discussions, simulations, and hands-on desktop experiments to create a rich collaborative learning experience. Furthermore, I fully utilize online learning management systems, such as Canvas, for content distribution, collaboration and assessment. Using a combination of PowerPoint, multi-sensory based activities, and working groups, I activate and enhance the range of learning styles. Finally, I am pioneering the use of collaborative mind mapping for knowledge creation and sharing among students.

To develop applied skills, I promote students’ development of their project management capacities through public policy simulations, service learning, and research activities; facilitate the development of a personal portfolio that can aid students when pursuing employment or self-employment in public, private or non-profit sectors; and incorporate teamwork, leadership, and public speaking for students to enhance their abilities.

Goal:
My teaching goal is to create a dynamic environment for students that activates their curiosity, stimulates their innate and acquired intelligences, encourages retaining theoretical knowledge, understanding empirical regularities and anomalies, and developing practical skills. I want each student to feel better engaged, more enlightened, and ever empowered about course subject matter and ultimately strengthen their desire to be a better life-long learner and educator to others.