Malcolm Matthews helps students to negotiate their way through “that variable space between the simple and the impossible” that defines the challenges of a learning journey.
Malcolm has been a TA since 2012 when he began his PhD studies in Interdisciplinary Humanities. He received his doctorate in October 2017. A sample of his long list of teaching assistant activity includes courses such as Literature of Trauma and Recovery, Writing for New Media, Social Justice, Cultural Production, and Being Human in a Digital World. In addition, he has years of experience in professional communications field. Malcolm has participated in CPI professional development programming and also completed a Teaching Apprenticeship as part of his PhD requirements.
He bases his teaching philosophy on two guiding principles — discipline is not the enemy of enthusiasm; and organization is the engine of intelligence. As a TA, his consistently lives up to those principles. “My first principle (borrowed from the 1989 film Lean on Me) is meant to remind students that easy does not always mean better and that focus, effort, and follow through do not preclude enjoyment of a given task.
“Whether teaching poetry, creative writing, literature, memoir, or critical analysis, my approach to student performance begins and ends with organization…. Organization permeates all aspects of my classes and covers everything from the medium that students use for note-taking to how they arrange their ideas in each writing assignment to the strategies they use for adhering to assignment deadlines.”
“Working with Malcolm is like working with a colleague — moreover, it is like working with an exceptional colleague, and one who pushes you to up your own pedagogical skills and repertoire.”
“Dr. Matthews clearly inspires his students to push themselves to the limit, and strives to ensure that their contact time is used to optimal effect. He is also an excellent marker, developing charts from rubrics outlined in the syllabus, providing incisive and generative feedback on every paper…”
“… Malcolm is highly regarded as a TA in the English department at Brock, in part, because he brings together impeccable organization skills with an approach to student learning that is rigorous toward the work while generous and sensitive to the person.”
“Dr. Matthews created a safe and respectful space for our class to comfortably discuss sensitive issues with depth…. His seminars navigated significantly sensitive discussions to reach new levels of critical thinking and understanding that without his compassionate leadership, would not have been possible.”