Teaching and Mentorship

My teaching and mentorship encompasses traditional settings at US-based universities and progressive experiential settings notably as the Lead of the Leaders of Africa Institute’s flagship Research Methods Program. Learn more about my approach and select courses.

Approach to Teaching
and Learning

I believe that good teaching cultivates a learner’s perception, voice, and skill. Perception is important because it involves critical inquiry and often self-reflection that helps us uncover things that are not easily seen or personally experienced. This is achieved in part by offering a diverse learning space with diverse learners, experiences, and materials that are inclusive including amplifying presently under-representative voices. Voice emerges as the avenue through which learners express themselves through communication and activist persuasion. Skill underlies both perception and voice with an emphasis on using cutting-edge and traditional tools and techniques to pursue inquiry and co-creation, including rigorous research methods.

In practice, my teaching has three parts: foundations, inquiry, and co-creation. I want to ensure that all learners have strong foundations, which involves understanding the history, present state, and projected future movements in the field. This is important because it allows the learner to observe both continuity and change in the field while also situating themselves as active participants in the present and shaping the future of the field. Inquiry is the process of investigation, interrogation, and self-reflection with the purpose of generating original insights. I emphasize asking and justifying interesting questions, identifying gaps in our contemporary knowledge, designing creative methods to generate new knowledge and data, and doing so through diverse assignments, exercises, and projects. On the basis of inquiry, I encourage my learners to co-create social innovations that translate our ideas and improve the human condition. I believe that we should ensure that the fruits of our knowledge production are shared equitably.

Select Course

Comparative Politics

International Relations and Development

Research Methods

Media, Communications, and Social Entrepreneurship

Peter Penar, PHD

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia