Teaching Ethics
I deeply believe that cultural sensitivity is not just a matter of political correctness; it is a central skill necessary to compete in an increasingly global environment. My cross-cultural perspective is not isolated in my teaching agenda, it is always a central organizing point for my international comparative research in research methods, management strategies, crime, and deviant behavior. This strategy is supported by my diverse cultural background. While being a U.S. citizen, I also lived in Europe, Asia, and Australia for extended periods in my life. I am proficient in spoken and written German and have a basic understanding of French. Based on my special expertise, I developed a cross-cultural comparative approach for the classroom that promotes critical thinking and cultural awareness. From my experience I draw real-world examples to make abstract topics more approachable.
I do not contribute to grade inflation, but promote excellence by maintaining high standards of achievement. Using clear goals, assessments, and deadlines I provide clear feedback about performance and make sure that students receive the grades they earn. Following my personal teaching ethics I have to accept the risk of lower student evaluation scores. However, to my positive surprise, I was able to constantly maintain high teaching evaluations.
My teaching is leadership by example. I demonstrate to students that there is a self-rewarding system of ethical behavior. This philosophy does not restrict me to be the only model. Quite on the contrary, others, and especially students, are encouraged to serve as examples. The encouragement of students to be their own moral judges is a critical mission for me as a teacher. Not claiming a moral monopoly, but instead holding and respecting personal moral values led my students to express very positive remarks about my ability to present and respect a multitude of different standpoints. Teaching critical thinking hereby contributes to the understanding and the acceptance of diversity.

Teaching Practice
In my Introduction to Sociology course (SOC 1301) I recruit many students to major in sociology and hereby significantly contribute to the goals of our department. Meeting students in advanced undergraduate classes who tell me that because of me they are in sociology not only touches my heart, it affirms my feeling of responsibility. Another reason why, over the years, I increasingly enjoyed this introduction course lies in the recent listing as part of the multicultural core curriculum requirement. Now I see my critical cross-cultural perspective even more legitimized and welcome. I use C. Right Mill’s Sociological Imagination to demonstrate how historical and cross-cultural comparison are tools to step away from our daily routines and look at ourselves from the outside. In this way I apply fundaments of sociology to make it very clear to students that integrating culturally diverse viewpoints in their analysis is not a question of political correctness, but an important instrument of success in an increasingly globalized economy. I analyze real-life examples of cross-cultural misunderstandings to demonstrate to students the efficiency of a culturally diverse approach.
As a microsociologist I developed the graduate seminar SOC 5320 in Microsociology that for curricular reasons was called “Social Psychology: Symbolic Interactionism”. In this seminar I introduce basic theories and focus on the striving symbolic interactionist approach. Special focus is put on the affect control theory approach that with its symbolic interactionist background focuses on culture, subculture, and gender culture and hereby integrates many classical approaches in microsociology and management. My seminar attracts a very diverse body of graduate students from outside our department. This course gives me the opportunity to apply my interdisciplinary background to facilitate and integrate the contributions of this diverse student body. I accommodate the diverse background of students by allowing them to choose one paper subject within the boundaries of the course. Instead of multiple papers with different topics, I require papers on the same topic continuously implementing critiques and suggestions. This more realistically reflects the development of an academic journal publication and supports students to produce a work of impact. This multi-stage method clearly facilitated student publications and thesis developments.

With SOC 4311, Sociology of the Person, I annually teach Microsociology on the advanced undergraduate level. While providing the general background in micro-sociological theory method and application, this course also refines the presentation skills of students. Presenting an argument is an important skill that can be learned. Providing clear criteria of structure and assessment helps students in their learning process.
My interest in cultural differences fundamentally informs my SOC 5325 Graduate Seminar in Deviant Behavior. This course deals extensively with the thin threshold separating cultural excellence from deviance. What are the cultural factors turning corporate success stories into prosecuted corporations? Or the other way round: how can deviant behavior promote success? Here I show how aspects of deviant subcultures like sado-masochistic attire have been successfully promoted to haute couture by icons like Madonna. How do we identify potentially successful cultural trends that are currently either undiscovered or still stigmatized? Theories about differences in the diffusion of contemporary culture can take the basic variables in management – time and space – to determine what is hip or what is out. They can further help us to be culture sensitive in our marketing and management.

While we first go through the contemporary sociological literature on terrorism, my presentation on terrorism is very innovative. I use the original publications of incarcerated German Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF) terrorists and their supporters who themselves studied psychology, theology, and sociology. I provide students with insights of the minds of terrorists whose works are only available in German. With this unique literature I demonstrate how to locate the points at which highly engaged political citizens turn into dangers to society. In this two hour lecture with the provocative title “Learning from Terrorism” I demonstrate to students how a value-free academic approach can help us to develop solutions to social problems.
Related to my research in deviance I teach the advanced undergraduate class SOC 4327 Juvenile Delinquency. This class draws so many students that on multiple occasions I had to find accommodations to meet the interest. I always enjoy the challenge to teach to this extremely diverse student body that so far always fell into three classes of students: First, the “stoners,” students who believe that their own delinquency qualifies them for this course. Second, the “cops,” students interested in the professional application of the course to law enforcement and detention. Lastly, the students with truly academic interest that often enroll in this advanced undergraduate class on their way to become graduate students.
Not only do I encounter very different expectations about this class amongst these groups, it is also the hardest class in terms of class management. In my teaching style I turned these challenges into an asset. I actively use the diversity of the student body to demonstrate the different points taken in the subject on juvenile delinquency. I use a textbook that, while having in my opinion the best coverage of theories, is diametrically opposed to my approach to juvenile delinquency. This choice serves as an example that we can only engage in a critical academic analysis if we understand the different standpoints that can be taken. While I profoundly challenge students of all three groups, many let me know that they took home an intensive learning experience.

Innovative Instructional Materials
Back in 1994, I invented the electronic syllabus, a teaching methodology that increases class participation and adds structure while allowing courses to be more dynamic. Investigations have shown that there are profound pedagogical merits in the application of the electronic syllabus and that it receives enthusiastic feedback from students (Schneider 1998).
Since 1994, I developed 51 electronic syllabi for the World Wide Web. In the spirit of the early Internet, this method of Internet-based teaching was widely copied. Today, the electronic syllabus is a standard teaching tool on the Internet. Documentation of my development of the electronic syllabus and its effectiveness is provided in publications, local and regional presentations, by national (Indiana University) and international (Study Web Award for Academic Excellence) awards, and most recently in a Wikipedia article.

While I still hold the claim for the design innovation of the eSyllabus, new forms of electronic support in the classroom have developed. In this lucrative market, professional software solutions like BlackBoard© or WebCT© found commercial niches.
Having been at the forefront in the development of internet-based teaching technology made me more critical of its use today. Sources of information tend to be used for their ease of access not for their quality. I address this problem of rather indiscriminate use of online materials with my students and hereby promote a critical use of sources. The second problem that in my opinion emerged during an increased implementation of online instruction is the tendency to use it for cost-cutting reasons. I see the greatest efficiency in the triangulation of instruction methodology where I can merge the benefits of face-to-face interaction with selective online support.

Graduate Student Direction
Following the restrictions of the graduate committee in a small Master's Degree only graduate program, I am currently only allowed to offer one graduate course per year in order to allow other courses to fill. I alternate between the seminar in Microsociology and the seminar in Deviance. Drawing a large proportion of students from outside sociology, I occasionally have doctoral students in my seminars. This is the reason why I was also involved in five dissertation committees. Within my department I served on and chaired ten M.A. examination committees.
My foremost interest in student direction is to get students involved in a hands-on research process. I hired and supervised students in funded research projects. As an early adopter of electronic communication media, I was able to supervise a TTU student in his overseas data collection for his thesis project.
Another way I get students started in academic research is through my support of presenting papers at annual meetings. While this is common for regional conferences, I was especially delighted presenting a coauthored paper with a student at a national conference. I provided independent study courses for undergraduate and graduate students to support their research interest.

Research Publications with Students
My recent article in Social Psychology Quarterly started in collaboration with a Ph.D. student at the department of business psychology (Organisations- und Sozialpsychologie) at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. At Texas Tech, my graduate seminar in Microsociology always attracted doctoral business students. This led to recent collaborations with faculty and students of the Rawls College of Business. We presented at national conferences and recently published a research monograph at Leadership a high-ranking management journal. Currently we continue our collaboration on a publication project in leadership.

It was a pleasure working with Lee Chambers, a Ph.D. Student of Fine Arts (Musicology) who participated in my Graduate Seminar in Deviance. I provided extended guidance on his class paper on Alice Cooper that is now published in the peer reviewed journal of Popular Music and Society.


Currently I am working with Tom Turner, a Ph.D. student in Fine Arts (Visual Arts) at Texas Tech on visual sociology. In our manuscript we use photographs of abandoned hotel rooms in Lubbock to sociologically construct categories of hotel guests.
I enjoyed several success stories where I placed students of my seminars in Ph.D. programs or where students engaged in very admirable professional careers in government agencies. What I want to share here is just one long-term observation of one student’s progress. In 2005 I was contacted by a German graduate student, Tobias Schröder, who was interested in the data collection that I did as part of my German Diploma thesis. We quickly realized that his plan of replicating my study would provide a valuable resource for over time comparison in his dissertation. At that point, the uses of empirical data in Affect Control Theory (ACT) were barely known in Germany, so I supported his project by presenting at his department at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. We met the following years in Germany to extent his project into a fruitful research collaboration. We presented collaboratively at an annual meeting in Atlanta and continued our collaborative publication efforts. Tobias reciprocated my visits to present in my seminar in Microsociology at TTU. After receiving his Ph.D. Tobias received a post-doc position in Canada. In March 2014 Tobias will start his faculty position at the Fachhochschule Potsdam, Germany. Obtaining a faculty position in Germany is extremely competitive. We recently met in the intimate surrounding of a conference of the small group of ACT researchers at Indiana where two new doctoral students from Germany presented and his former dissertation chair was a keynote speaker.

International Impact
In Fall 2007 I was invited to establish and teach the graduate seminar on Electronic Publishing as a visiting professor at Université de Paris X in Paris, France. While my other classes benefit from my ongoing research in microsociology and cross-cultural comparison, this course was largely supported by my active international engagement as the inventor of the electronic syllabus, my editorship of an academic electronic journal, and my practical experience as a publisher. My international experience in teaching was instrumental for my research/teaching Fulbright Scholarship application for Thailand where I taught a graduate seminar at Burapha University (2012/2013). Teaching in Paris and Burapha, Thailand provided a profound multi-cultural learning experience that highly benefits my students in the US.

Texas Tech University

Current courses are supported on BlackBoard.

Spring 2018

CRN49816 SOC 4311 001 Sociology of the Person MWF 0900 0950 HOLDEN 226

CRN53986 SOC 3300 001 Sociology of Globalization MWF 1100 1150 HOLDEN 033

CRN49817 SOC 4327:001 Juvenile Delinquency MWF 12:00-12:50 HOLDEN 152

Fall 2015, Spring, 2016, Fall 2016 and Spring 2017:  I developed three new online courses. This allowed me to teach four semesters online only while engaging in international research and accompanying my wife on her Fulbright stay.

SOC 3300 Special Topics in Sociology: Sociology of Globalization
SOC 4311 Sociology and the Person
SOC 4327 Juvenile Delinquency


All syllabi below were originally eSyllabi available online. There are just two links maintained as examples. All others are now taken offline to avoid potential conflict with new and emerging regulations.

Spring  Semester 2015

SOC 4311 Sociology of the Person, TR 9:30-10:50 AM Holden Hall 038

SOC 4327 Juvenile Delinquency. TR 12:30-1:50 PM Holden Hall 121

SOC 1301 Introduction to Sociology TR 14:00-15:20 Holden Hall 075


Fall  Semester 2014

Introduction to Sociology  - SOC 1301 – 014  CRN  34664  MWF 9:00-9:50 AM Holden Hall 130 

Juvenile Delinquency - SOC 4327-001 CRN13369 MWF 11:00-11:50 AM Holden Hall 075

Seminar in Deviant Behavior - SOC 5325 CRN32635  Thursdays 6:00-8:50PM Holden Hall 226


Indiana University

  • S230 Society and the Individual Spring 1997
  • S325 Criminology Fall 1996.
  • S320 Deviant Behavior and Social Control Summer II 1996.
  • S320 Deviant Behavior and Social Control Spring 1996.
  • S320 Deviant Behavior and Social Control Fall 1995.
  • S320 Deviant Behavior and Social Control Summer 1995.
  • Quantitative Methods.
  • Micro-Macro Interdependence and the Simulation of Interaction: A Practical Application.

    Disclaimer: The documents linked to other sources on the WWW, others than http://www.courses.ttu.edu/Schneider/ and its subdirectories, do not necessarily express the views of Texas Tech University or Dr. Andreas Schneider. @Copyright 2009 Andreas Schneider