Brock hosts educators committed to teaching and learning

Engaged teaching was the focus of a recent gathering at Brock University.

On Friday, March, 6, more than 30 facilitators from across Ontario attended a gathering at Brock to exchange ideas on teaching and learning within the context of the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW).

Having been offered at Brock since 2002, the ISW is a 24-hour professional development opportunity designed to support and advance the teaching of both new and experienced educators through the preparation of lessons that receive verbal, written and video feedback.

The facilitators, who deliver the ISW at post-secondary institutions and independently across Ontario, were hosted by Brock’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI) at the 2020 Ontario ISW Community of Practice, where they gathered to discuss news, share resources and participate in a variety of breakout sessions.

Lianne Fisher, CPI’s Manager of Educational Development, said the gathering allowed for facilitators to meet in an environment that encouraged dialogue and discussion.

“It is so lovely to welcome colleagues to Brock University and chat about teaching and learning,” she said. “The Community of Practice allows us to connect with individuals from other teaching and learning centres. There are many instances when we have worked together, so it’s nice to reconnect and reflect on the work that has and is being done.”

One of the facilitators in attendance was Child and Youth Studies PhD candidate Anne Readhead, who said the ISW’s development of necessary instructional skills impacted her teaching as both a participant and a facilitator.

“My success and self-confidence is due to the ISW,” she said. “The criticality of student-centred, supportive learning is modelled in the ISW with a genuine dedication towards the instructor’s growth and success.”

After welcoming participants and completing a walk along the Bruce Trail with the group, CPI’s Associate Director Giulia Forsythe said the gathering further developed and promoted the important part the ISW plays within teaching and learning at Brock.

“It’s an honour to welcome our colleagues to engage in discussions about teaching and learning in different contexts as part of our commitment to decolonization and recognizing how lucky we are to have access to this beautiful campus,” she said. “We hope instructors and teaching assistants from across the University will also join us at an upcoming ISW session to further enhance the student-centred teaching Brock is known for.”

To learn more about the ISW, visit the CPI website.

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