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Last call for innovative instructors

The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning’s annual deadline is coming up

May 6, 2014 — 

The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) is making a last call for submissions for Celebrating Teaching & Learning 2014, an exciting opportunity for all sessional, pre-tenured and tenured faculty to get recognized and share their teaching practices. With the deadline to submit coming up on Monday, May 12, we asked Eunice Friesen, associate director of CATL’s educational innovations to tell us more about the program.


close-up of a teacher pointing towards a whiteboardWhat is Celebrating Teaching & Learning and when did it get started?

This is the fourth year we have offered Celebrating Teaching & Learning. We provide a prompting question and encourage responses in a variety of formats – text, video or image. All submissions are published on CATL’s website and magazine (Path to Pedagogy). Additionally, all entries are placed into a draw for a chance to win a brand new IPad. This year’s question is: “Please describe how you have challenged yourself in your teaching recently…why you took the risk and the outcome.” For example: used a teaching strategy not typically used in your discipline, changed your teaching practice based on interim student feedback, collaborated on evaluation strategies with your students, encouraged technology in the classroom, flipped your classroom, etc.

What are some interesting submissions that have been received in the past?

The first year we asked teachers to “share one teaching/learning/evaluation strategy used in their teaching – what they use, why they used it, how it works and what, if any, limitations it poses.” The submissions covered a variety of topics including: engaging students, assessment and evaluation, incorporating games and instructional strategies. Examples can be found here.

The second year we asked participants to complete the following statement: “As a teacher I am a trailblazer, maverick, innovator, visionary, challenger, rebel, explorer, creator, or defender (choose one) when I…” For example, Juliana West revealed that, “I a defender when I open new paths of understanding, learning and awareness within the classroom and within students’ minds. As a social work instructor, I blaze trails of theory and understanding and competence, arriving at efficacious and ethical applications to the human and social condition.” See the rest of her response here.

Last year we asked, “in what way does your teaching foster student success?” One memorable submission was from Lisa Fainstein who shared that she starts her course in family law with music and words to Gold-digger by Kanye West. She goes “through the lyrics and separate[s] out each family law issue that is presented, […and has] the students vote on whether they think Kanye got the family law right.” Find out more about how Fainstein incorporates popular culture into her classes here.



To enter Celebrating Teaching & Learning 2014,  submit a 250-word narrative or a 1½ minute video by Monday, May 12. The online application is available here.




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