The Value of Teaching in Polemic Spaces: Humanizing Learning & Empowering Higher Ed’s Promise of Critical Thinking with Dr. Jocelyn Evans, Kwame N. Owusu-Daaku, and Dr. Greg Tomso of The University of West Florida, By: Zoe Mills

Dr. Jocelyn Evans, Dr. Kwame N. Owusu-Daaku, and Dr. Gregory Tomso from the University of West Florida facilitated Honours students’ visit to The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. They then collaborated to create question-driven instruments, encouraging in-depth student reflection and integration of what they had learned. This work, alongside these students, resulted in a small but powerful dataset that illustrates learners who are open and invested in critical thinking. It offers glimpses of what’s possible when we incorporate polemic spaces as a vehicle for affect, rhetoric, and understanding – something not achievable through today’s textbooks alone.


Meet our Guests

Dr. Kwame N. Owusu-Daaku 

Dr. Kwame N. Owusu-Daaku is a Faculty Fellow in the Kugelman Honors Program, as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, both at the University of West Florida. He teaches the Honors Core course: Systems Thinking and Interdisciplinary Research using experiential learning methods such as collaborative projects, systems thinking exercises, and reflective essays. Dr. Owusu-Daaku is also interested in community engagement, and civic scholarship and engages his students in community-based research related to the themes of environmental justice, climate change adaptation and resilience, brownfield redevelopment, and the social aspects of biophysical science. 

Dr. Jocelyn Evans 

Dr. Jocelyn Evans is the Director of the Kugelman Honors Program at the University of West Florida. She has taught all first-year students in the Honors Program for a decade, engaging students in undergraduate research with faculty mentors from across the UWF campus. She has written several books on American political institutions, including Women, Partisanship, and the Congress by Palgrave, Congressional Communication in the Digital Age by Routledge, One Nation under Siege: Congress, Terrorism, and the Fate of American Democracy by University Press of Kentucky, and The U.S. Supreme Court’s Democratic Spaces through the University of Oklahoma Press. She also is the coauthor of a popular introductory textbook on American politics in its 13th edition entitled Central Ideas in American Government with Soomo Learning. Her current research focuses on the social meaning of civic spaces. 

Dr. Gregory Tomso 

Dr. Gregory Tomso is Vice President for Academic Engagement and Student Affairs at the University of West Florida.  UWF is a public regional comprehensive university in the western Florida panhandle serving over 14,0000 students. His research and teaching interests include Cultural Studies, American Literature, and LGBTQ Studies. 





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*This podcast is one of a five-part series, this season, produced in partnership with the Experiential Learning & Teaching in Higher Education journal (ELTHE) which brings you informative and important research and work from ELTHE authors, scholars, and researchers worldwide.


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