Paris D. Wicker, Ph.D.

Higher Education Researcher | Comtemplative | Vocalist

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy centers on two guiding principles: (1) teaching for well-being, and (2) teaching for social justice. While some accept a world where education and socio-emotional trauma are normal companions for minoritized students, as a future faculty member, I believe education and well-being should not be negatively correlated. Teaching is a key component of this process and I desire to teach, research, and serve others in a way that will contribute to a larger initiative of harm reduction and support within higher education, while also building blocks for institutional change and thriving. I am well prepared to teach courses in college student development and identity, higher education leadership, and foundations of higher education and student affairs. I possess a variety of teaching experiences and training that include an instructor of record for a transition course (On Course College Success) at the community college level. I also have multiple experiences as a teaching assistant for in-person and online graduate courses on college student development, critical theory and qualitative analysis, and diversity and inequality in higher education, as well as an undergraduate guest lecture on race-conscious college admissions. I embrace universal design for learning (UDL), and I intentionally design my curriculum to represent multiple perspectives, especially centering Black and Indigenous knowledges and historically excluded experiences. As an instructor, I constantly ask: who (or what) is missing from my teaching? How can my students learn and be well? I also integrate meditation, reflection, and storytelling to center well-being as a central component of the education process. Overall, my teaching pedagogy assumes that well-being and social justice are the same, one cannot be achieved without the other, and that classrooms without a foundation of anti-racism can perpetuate violence and harm, especially to students of color.

Teaching Interests

 | College Student Identity 
 | Mixed-Methods Research
 | Critical Theory
 | Survey Research
 | Sociology of Education
 | Social Network Analysis
 | Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education
 | Higher Education Administration
 | Student Affairs 
 | College Student Success         
 | Qualitative Research Methods   
 | Well-being and Human Flourishing in Higher Education


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