A mentor once told me, “Teaching is the noblest profession one can have. It demands humility, reflection, and a mind that is open to transformation.” My mentor’s remarkable ability to connect with students and teach sociological concepts in meaningful ways had a significant impact on me. His words influenced my teaching philosophy and fortified my passion for helping others to learn.
Both teaching and learning should take place in a symbiotic fashion, to the benefit of all involved. Asking my students what they think is an invitation for them to engage in a dynamic of teaching and learning. My desire to facilitate educational synergy reflects the confidence I have in students to positively challenge themselves and each other to think deeply and broadly about their social worlds.
I believe in recognizing the various perspectives that students bring to the classroom. These perspectives represent the heart of students’ belief systems, and a sociological approach often disrupts what students have believed to be ‘true’. I am persuaded that rocking the pillars of knowledge introduces the possibility of thinking in more critical and innovative ways.
Quality teaching requires a solid yet malleable foundation of knowledge. As I contribute to the fields of sociological learning and research, I strive to keep students mindful that social structures are made by humans. Structures are not outside of ‘us’, they are a result of ‘us’. Therefore, we all possess the ability to be active agents of positive change. Teaching is not just informing. It is also about transforming ourselves, our world, and our capacity to see possibilities.
- Sex and Gender
- Social Structure and Personality
- Introduction to Sociology
- Social Problems
- Introduction to Women’s Studies
- Social Inequality
- Ethnicity in America
Areas of Research:
Race, Class and Gender Inequalities; Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; Identity Processes in African American Males.
- Daniels Smith, Anisi. 2011. “Health Disparities and the Office of Minority Health.” Invited Presentation at Black Male Summit. University of Akron. Akron, OH
- Daniels Smith, Anisi and Sloan Sanford. 2009. “Addressing Health Disparities in Ohio.” Invited Presentation at Ohio Public Health Association Conference. Columbus, OH
- Daniels Smith, Anisi. 2007. The Man I Am: Identity Construction Among Single Custodial African American Fathers, Master’s Thesis, Kent State University