Definitely one of the worst professors I've taken at UCLA. He doesn't really care about you learning anything. I've attended every single lecture, took extensive notes and he gave me a C in the class. He doesn't have the notion of positive feedback, seeing as his criticism on the essays due were: "This concept is wrong" or "Not necessarily true". In addition, when asked if I could go over the grade of the paper in detail, he replied with: "I believe that students lack the expertise and the knowledge of the subject to discuss grades with me" At the same time I was taking an upper division course, and putting in the same amount of work for each class, I received an A in the upper division course, and a C in the lower division course. How does that make sense?
Professor Rocco has a very structured lecture routine-ppt. slides that are setup purposively, something he doesn't stray far from. In lecture it is largely one sided communication, with inquiry limited to his limited office hours. He is very knowledgable about the material, which is really interesting on its own (Marcuse, Freire and Gramsci), and he gives a good explanation of their respective theories in layman terms. The reading isn't absolutely required for the class since he gives all the material he requires on the final in lecture, but it does help a lot (especially with Gramsci). This class is helpful for theory/philosophy of institutional power, political organizing, critical pedagogy, etc. I would suggest this class for someone already interested in the subject, maybe not for someone who is bedazzled by the title and thinks it a glamour course: the final essays are not glamorous. But I would suggest opting in for the weekly page responses, comprising up to 25% of your grade. It takes a lot of pressure of your otherwise sole determinator of your grade-the final. I also took Rocco for PS10, and I would suggest taking him for upperdiv rather than the lower- he cares more.
Winter 2021 - This class was genuinely *so* amazing! I learned so much and had wonderful discussions with classmates & Dr. Rocco about the importance of grassroots movements and community organizing. Rocco is so smart, caring, and overall just wonderful. He shares about his own experiences with organizing, which is really insightful and inspiring. If you're interested in community organizing either personally or professionally, I definitely recommend taking this course! In terms of the course itself, the workload and difficulty was pretty balanced. While it's very reading-based, Rocco's lectures really help to break down the readings into the main points. The course is designed to ensure that students do the readings and understand them, so the main assignment was weekly summaries (which he calls "talking points") on the readings. The final was an 8-10 page comparative paper. A midterm was listed on the syllabus, however, it was cancelled.