Upcoming Conferences

Spring Perspectives

Spring Perspectives on Teaching

May 2, 2018 ~ Social Science Centre, 2050

2018 Program (pdf)

Welcoming Remarks - 9:00am to 9:15am

Jim Weese (Acting Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President (International))
Nanda Dimitrov (Director, Teaching Support Centre)

Keynote - 9:15am to 10:30am (SSC 2050)

Internationalization, Inclusion, and Intercultural Understanding: What are Students Learning?

Kyra Garson (Thompson Rivers University)

kyra-web.jpgThe demographics of our classrooms and campuses are rapidly changing.  In the last decade, there has been a 92% increase in international student enrolment nationally. For 84% of universities surveyed, “preparing internationally and interculturally competent students” is a top reason for internationalization efforts (UNIVCAN, 2014); yet, there does not appear to be much formal assessment or evidence of such outcomes beyond assumptions that structural diversity will simply result in international and intercultural competence.  Kyra will share research findings from a BC study that explored students’ intercultural development and their perceptions of pedagogy and curriculum as influencers of their intercultural learning (Garson, 2017).  The results demonstrate that merely inviting cultural diversity to our campuses may not result in substantive intercultural learning without intentional pedagogical and curricular considerations. Based on her research, Kyra will share strategies for planning and facilitating multicultural group work in ways that prepare students to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work effectively and reflectively with culturally diverse peers (Reid & Garson, 2016).

Dr. Kyra Garson is a member of the Faculty of Student Development at Thompson Rivers University.  She is also an intercultural trainer and researcher who has developed and delivered professional development programs to educational institutions across the Canada and internationally.  Her research interests include intercultural and global learning as core competencies for the 21st century required for successful interactions both domestically and globally. In 2011 she received the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s Internationalization Award for her work supporting faculty in interculturalizing the curriculum and in 2017 was awarded the British Columbia Council for International Education’s Distinguished Leadership Award.

BREAK - 10:30am to 11:00am

Concurrent Sessions A - 11:00am to 12:00pm

A-1 Teaching Outside the Box: Creative Ways to Revitalize the Classroom (SSC 2050)

Daniel Leger (Family Medicine)

This unique and interactive “Welcome to My Classroom” session will explore ways to implement new innovative teaching methods of gamification, portable curriculums, microburst teaching and educational entertainment to help revitalize our current classrooms and re-engage our millennial learners. Be prepared to "think outside the box"!

A-2 Paths to cultural humility: practices to encourage collaborative and individual reflections (SSC 2036)

Angela Borchert, Amrapali Chatterjee, Alex Condrache & Nafise Shajani (Modern Languages and Literatures)

Working effectively and respectfully in cross-cultural groups is an essential skill for students to develop in their undergraduate studies. In the new Intercultural Communication program in Modern Languages and Literatures, students develop this skill by collaboratively and individually reflecting on cultural humility. Through individual and interactive activities, students learn to become self-aware, to respect and incorporate different perspectives, and to critically engage with diversity. In this “Welcome to my Classroom” session, participants will have an opportunity to experience a collaborative reflection, identify prompts for student reflection, and discuss how these practices can apply to their own classrooms across the disciplines.

A-3 (SSC 2032)

The Development of Pre-Service Teachers' Beliefs, Knowledge and Skills about Inclusive Education (30 mins)

Deanna Friesen & Doris Cunning (Education)

The session will provide attendees with tools to reflect on their own inclusive practices. A study that investigated the development of pre-service teachers’ beliefs about inclusive education practices will be described. Pre-service teacher candidates completed three questionnaires about their teaching beliefs at the beginning and end of a course on Inclusive Education. Results will describe how pre-service teachers’ sense of self-efficacy, their beliefs about inclusion and effective teaching practices have shifted.

Ensuring that everyone has a voice: Utilizing Voice Thread as a tool to foster inclusion (30 mins)

Elaine Fournier (Education)

This session will explore ways in which the use of Voice Thread, an asynchronous web-based tool, can address learner diversity and improve the inclusiveness of online classroom environments. Participants will learn how to effectively utilize the Voice Thread to address the various learning needs of students with disabilities. Voice Thread is an institutionally-supported tool that provides opportunities for students to share their knowledge and understanding, analytical skills and personal reflections related to a particular concept and ensures that everyone has a voice.

BREAK - 12:00 to 1:15pm

Concurrent Sessions B - 1:15pm to 1:45pm

B-1 Students as Partners: what happens when you invite students to help design their own course? (SSC 2050)

Lindi Wahl (Applied Mathematics), Tom Haffie (Biology), Friday Black, Sarah El Kababji, Charlotte Kruger, Parmveer Mundi

As one component of a larger "Students as Partners" Teaching Fellowship project, we have had the privilege of collaborating with the class to design a course entitled "University Science Education". In this session, we present our experience with this process of co-created course development, highlighting both the strengths and pitfalls of such partnerships in course design. The presentation will include reflections by student participants on the impact of the course and the design process.

B-2 Inclusivity and Intercultural Communication in Graduate Students’ Professional Development (SSC 2036)

Stephanie Brocklehurst, Wendy Gay Pearson & Sarah Redikopp (Women’s Studies and Feminist Research)

Can we learn about inclusivity and the importance of intercultural communication by creating classroom spaces where we put ourselves in the position of someone encountering strange or confrontational material for the first time? This panel will evaluate the experience of trying to do precisely this in a graduate classroom. We will present our very different experiences with this exercise and will raise questions about its usefulness as an exercise that encourages thoughtful and self-reflective approaches to inclusivity.

B-3 Using Critical Reflection and Democratic Education Strategies to Create an Inclusive Classroom (SSC 2032)

Lauren Barr (Sociology)

Through consciously designing courses built upon pedagogy inspired by democratic education, you can create a course in any discipline that is authentically and naturally inclusive. Through reviewing a selection of undergraduate sociology courses this session will explore how you can create a positive and engaging course for students of all backgrounds and abilities.

BREAK - 1:45pm to 2:00pm

Closing Plenary - 2:00pm to 3:15pm (SSC 2050)

Beyond Inclusion: Challenging Surface Approaches to Diversity

Trevor Holmes (University of Waterloo)

Trevor-web.jpgThe creative and intellectual benefits that flow from embracing diversity in all its forms are clear for many faculty and staff. And yet, university policies and protocols sometimes feel like checklists or formalities rather than real inclusion. Either way, there remains the problem of what is made central when "we" talk about "including." Inclusive teaching, at its best, is invitational, welcoming, and equitable. I will share some techniques that I've used for decades to attempt to create just such an environment in my classroom. Efforts to be inclusive, however, sometimes have negative implications. For example, to what extent do strategies for inclusive teaching truly make room for alternative, non-dominant ways of knowing or thinking? In what ways do marginalized groups, when invited to the table in the name of inclusivity, end up assimilated by me, my discipline, and my institution? In this session, participants will be invited to explore together a genuine invitation to transform, rather than an invitation to conform to, our disciplinary norms and curricula.

Dr. Trevor Holmes is the Senior Instructional Developer, Faculty Programs and Research, at Waterloo’s Centre for Teaching Excellence. Trevor runs programs for faculty development at Waterloo, supervising a staff of four who support variously our grants program and annual teaching conference on campus, new faculty programming, and program coordination. An award-winning teacher, he has published in the fields of gothic literary studies as well as higher education teaching development. His academic background is in cultural studies and English literature, with a focus on feminist, queer, and postmodern theories applied to gothic texts. At Waterloo, he also teaches Women’s Studies 101 regularly, and has co-presented with students from the course about ways the course fosters engagement and agency (most recently when STLHE was held at Western University in 2016).

Registration is free.

Refreshments will be available at 8:45 a.m. and during the morning (10:30 am) and afternoon (1:45 pm) breaks.

Please note that some of the sessions will be video-recorded and made available on the TSC website.

Graduate Students: if you are attending for Future Professor Series credit, please note that only the Keynote, Concurrent A, and Closing Plenary sessions are eligible.

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