Jim Burns is an Assistant Professor of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at South Dakota State University.
Reflecting on my experiences as somewhat of a transient growing up and working in multicultural contexts, quite often with children, families, and communities victimized by systemic poverty, racism, and other forms of oppression, I have committed my career as an educator to overcoming the poverty of indifference and working for social justice and building inclusive communities.Prior to my life in higher education, I was a high school teacher in the Washington, DC area, where I taught social studies and English for speakers of other languages. I also served in the Marine Corps for eight years, primarily in Asia.
My teaching philosophy centers on critical pedagogy in which I, as a teacher-student, collaborate with my students-teachers to interrogate oppressive precepts in curriculum, teaching, and in the social, economic, and political messages to which children are exposed. I regard the work I do - teaching, scholarship, and service - as a political act with the goal of educating truly reflective, critical democratic citizens who build and sustain inclusive communities in which every person is valued and the human needs of all are met. I am the father of an amazing young woman from whom I have learned so much. My personal interests include cooking, which I have done professionally in a previous life and allows a creative outlet, and I love being outdoors skiing, hiking, camping, and running. I love literature, film, and other visual art forms, and I integrate them into my teaching. I also enjoy writing and am attempting to employ more autobiographical and narrative forms in my academic work. Finally, I believe in teaching, and all human relations, in a holistic manner by which we can meet the complex human needs of all.