UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 7 | May
Teaching the Teachers
Educators hone their skills.
By Hilary Thomson
A week before 5,000 UBC students step on stage to receive their
degrees, a small and unique group of grads will be recognized for
their commitment to learning.
They are the 22 participants -- the largest class ever -- in the
UBC Faculty Certificate Program on Teaching and Learning in Higher
Education who will receive their certificates from UBC President
Martha Piper at a ceremony to be held May 15.
The program, sponsored by the Centre for Teaching and Academic
Growth (TAG), is designed to help faculty members and graduate students
develop a scholarly approach to university teaching.
"The best thing about this program is that it has depth,"
says Gary Poole, director of TAG. "It reminds us that good
teaching requires a considerable commitment."
Preparing faculty members to function effectively in a learner-centred
environment is one of the strategies of Trek 2000, the university's
Now in its fourth year, the UBC program is one of the most comprehensive
programs in Canada and the list of those interested in participating
stands at more than 100.
Participants have a range of teaching experience -- first-time
lecturers to award-winning teachers -- and come from every faculty.
"One of the strongest elements of the program is the opportunity
for participants to engage in in-depth conversations with colleagues
about teaching and to learn from each other," says Poole.
Integrating theory and practice with 150 hours of interactive modular
workshops, the program includes discussion and analysis and independent
professional development activities. Participants conduct what Poole
calls 'teaching anthropology' or visiting colleagues' classes to
investigate other teaching cultures.
"The program allows you to sit back and re-think your approach
to teaching, from the philosophy behind teaching to practical techniques
in the class," says participant Stephen Ward, associate professor
in the School of Journalism. "The peer feedback is exciting,
supportive and challenging. You leave the program with this huge
motivation to continue along the path to being the best educator
that you can be."
To graduate, participants must demonstrate a scholarly approach
to teaching through a teaching portfolio, self-reports, classroom
research, teaching presentations and peer feedback. Participation
in all aspects of the program is also required.
Program co-ordinator and Education Asst. Prof. Harry Hubball follows
up with graduates annually to determine where the learning has aided
their development as a teacher and affected their students' academic
For more information on the program, contact Hubball at (604) 822-9218.