3:30 – 4:30 – Session 5

What does anti-racism work look like in the academy? 

Presenters: D.A. Dirks, Gabrielle Lindstrom, Leah Hamilton (moderator), Scott Murray, and Victoria Bouvier.

Location: Champion Room (second floor)

Combatting racism should be fundamental to the work of universities – but doing so means much more than just teaching our students what racism is. It also requires that we hold ourselves and the academy accountable for participating in and perpetuating intersectional forms of oppression, such as discrimination based on “race”, gender identity or expression, and religion. We’re living in a time when both university administrators and faculty associations often refuse to challenge the racist, homophobic, transphobic views of faculty and the repressive conduct of governments. Thus, anti-racism, as a transformative activity, demands that we not only take up those challenges, but also call our institutions to account.  We’ll make the case for this work by sharing insights from our own teaching practices, research and scholarship, drawing on our commitments to academic freedom.

21st Century Competencies: What are they, Why do we need them and How do we build them?

Presenters: David Finch, Erik Christiansen, Evelyn Field, Kerry Harmer, Luciano da Rosa dos Santos, and Pat Kostouros

Location: Stewart Room (main floor by convention lobby)

21st Century Competencies, soft skills or employability skills are terms that are often evoked to describe a similar set of abilities that are increasingly becoming required of students before and after graduation. These abilities most often include; communication skills, teamwork skills, problem solving, creativity and innovation, resilience, critical thinking, information and digital literacy, interpersonal and self management skills. This panel brings together Mount Royal faculty and staff researching and practicing teaching and learning in these areas. In this panel we will attempt to define 21st century competencies, soft skills, and employability skills, identify what industry is looking for in our graduates and why they are seeking these skills now more than ever and demonstrate how we can incorporate this kind of skill and competency building into curricula and the program and course levels. We invite discussion around how we might move forward as a community to better prepare our students for their academic, working and personal lives.

Cannabis: Youth, Young Adults and the Developing Brain

Presenter: Christina Tortorelli

Location: Palliser Room (main floor by convention lobby)

Cannabis in its’ various forms is an evolving story with varied impacts on different sectors of the population. This presentation will focus on the evolving nature of use post legalization. Will take a look at jurisdictions that have gone legal ahead of Canada and what their experience tells us. We will take deeper look at the impact on vulnerable populations supported by literature and research results available to date. Participants will be asked to consider the following during the presentation to set the stage for a discussion following the presentation. What does this mean for university students and faculty as we navigate new territory? Where does the research, experience and risk information belong in curriculum? As students move through university experiencing practicums, clinical practice, work experience what knowledge do they need?

The Cases For/Against Re-Submission

Presenter: Katrin Becker

Location: Dawson Room (main floor by convention lobby)

There has long been a practice – sometimes unofficial, but sometimes codified in an institution’s plagiarism policies – that all work submitted for grading by a student must be, in some sense, wholly new work. We typically do not allow students to submit anything for grading that has previously been submitted in another course. Some years ago, I began to re-examine all of my teaching practices and philosophies. Doing so has opened up new possibilities as well as helping to re-focus my efforts on the core principles that have guided me throughout my teaching career. I have always seen my role as more of a coach than a gate-keeper. Given that, two questions deserve to be asked, and answered when it comes to what we are asking our students to do: How does this practice help my students learn what I need them to learn? What are the reasons for the exercise being done in the way it is? When it comes to the thorny issue of re-submission, both on a single assignment, and across courses, we should really be asking ourselves what we are really measuring when we impose restrictions such as hard deadlines, no re-submission, and that all work must be original? When we submit papers to journals, for example, we often go through multiple rounds of review and editing before the submission is deemed acceptable. This process is an important way to learn how to write. Why then don’t we do allow this for our students?

Conceptualizing a Holistic Approach to Educational Leadership at MRU

Presenters: Gaye Warthe, Luciano da Rosa dos Santos, Israel Dunmade, Miriam Carey, and Nancy Ogden

Location: Walker Room (second floor)

Educational Leadership is an important aspect of a faculty member’s career, represented by its emphasis on tenure and promotion criteria. However, it is often equated solely to the acquisition of formal positions from which operational processes are managed (i.e., chairs, academic directors, Deans, senior administration…). This traditional model relies on a step-up framework, where faculty gradually progress during their careers by occupying formal positions associated with different responsibilities and influence. Instead of this step-up model, a working group of the Teaching and Learning Standing Committee is developing a more holistic view of both the opportunities for and the contributions of Educational Leadership. We suggest that Educational Leadership is demonstrable in any of the domains of faculty workload: teaching, service, and scholarship. In each of these domains, leadership could take place in four spheres of influence: micro (individual), meso (departmental), macro (institutional), and mega (broader communities). We further distinguish leadership and management as two distinct realms which often overlap in individuals or positions.
In this session, we will introduce this holistic approach and invite discussion into how this perspective could be used to better understand and support faculty practices at MRU.