Centre for Teaching and Learning

Centre for Teaching and Learning
Centre for Teaching and Learning

Past Winning Courses:


GPHY 3XX: Indigenous Perspectives on the Environment and Health
Dr. Heather Castleden, Associate Professor, Geography and Planning & Public Health Sciences

This course explores issues concerning Indigenous peoples’ interconnected relationships with the environment and health. In addition to those relationships, we will also explore relationships between Indigenous and Settler peoples as existing within broad socio-political contexts. Central to the development of an understanding of Indigenous knowledge of environment and health, Indigenous voices must be at the forefront of this learning process. The best approach to studying this topic then is to move beyond the Western-style learning in a classroom to a more experiential learning style. As such, this course is largely a traveling Field School (80%) with some portion being spent in class (20%). Throughout, we will review key Canadian legal cases affecting land use, resource access, management, planning, and environmental protection; we will also explore Indigenous worldviews on health and the interplay human health has with environmental stability. Key to our focus will be the interconnectedness of environment and health; that is, how the health of the land, water, and air is intimately tied to Indigenous health and well-being. In-class content will include readings, discussions, films, and/or guest speakers.


ENGL 218/003 Introduction to Indigenous Literature in Canada

Dr. Heather Macfarlane, Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of English

This course will demonstrate the capacity of literature to confront expectations about Indigenous cultures and experience. Using an inquiry-based approach, we will examine Indigenous novels, traditional stories, poetry, short stories and plays from various time periods, written by Métis, Inuit and First Nations authors. While a desire for answers can re-inscribe existing expectations, questions resist fixed perspectives and facilitate change; this course will thus be framed by inquiry. Classes will begin and end with a question, and students will master the art of inquiry by engaging in profound critical thinking about the literature they are studying. Class visits by renowned Indigenous authors and thinkers will open avenues for meaningful engagement, and demonstrate the importance of literature and aesthetics to educate and mobilize. We will study the themes, aesthetics, and politics of the texts, using a combination of culturally specific and pan-Indigenous approaches. In order to develop a broader understanding of the powerful anti-colonial sentiment at the core of Indigenous cultural production, we will also consider the texts in the light of Indigenous authored criticism. We will examine textual and theoretical approaches to topics such as colonialism and resistance, storytelling and orality, traditional and contemporary stories, land and language, residential schools and “reconciliation,” sexuality and gender, spirituality, community and nationhood. We will also consider the role that Indigenous literatures play in shaping both Indigenous and non-Indigenous perceptions of identity.


ASO ASTR 101 Astronomy I: The Solar System
Dr. David Hanes, Professor, Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy; and Keren Akiva, Instructional Designer, Arts and Science Online

A non‐mathematical introduction to the science of astronomy for non‐specialist students. Topics to be covered include the fundamentals of astronomy; the historical development of our understanding of the Earth, Moon, and Solar System, with particular attention to the interpretations associated with various indigenous cultures; an introduction to the tools and techniques of modern observational astronomy; the nature of the Sun; the origin of our Solar System; the sustainability and fragility of life on Earth; space exploration of Mars, Jupiter, and other planets; the discovery and nature of planets around other stars; and the search for extraterrestrial life.



ENGL 467: Words in Place: Settler and Indigenous Stories of Kingston/Cataraqui

Dr. Laura Murray

This English Language and Literature seminar course will engage with the Indigenous history of Kingston via archival materials, community conversations and a mix of memoir, poetry and artwork.

“To many of us in Kingston, history means Sir John A. Macdonald and limestone buildings,” says Dr. Murray. “This course will explore the Indigenous history of the land and ask students to examine their own relation to the colonial history of Kingston, and by extension, Canada.”


ENSC 203: Environment and Sustainability

Dr. Allison Goebel, Dr. Stephen Brown, Dr. Alice Hovorka

Taught within the School of Environmental Studies, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to complex environmental problems and examines how decisions related to environmental management, perception and conservation are made.

“Given the urgency and complexity of the issues we face, it is our view that all citizens need a foundation of sustainability knowledge if we are to move towards the large transformations that are required,” says Dr. Goebel. “Our course grapples with these problems head on, but also makes room for success stories and strategies for positive change at both the individual and community levels.”


MEDS 116: Population and Global Health

Dr. Lindsay Davidson and Dr. Melanie Walker

This first-year course in the School of Medicine introduces students to foundational concepts related to population and global health, advocacy and social accountability. Specific topics will include the social determinants of health, health policy and economics, and exposure to community-based organizations and special populations, including Indigenous peoples.

“Creation of strong foundational learning opportunities in Indigenous history, culture and health in the first year of physician training will allow for acceleration into more advanced topics in subsequent years,” says Dr. Walker. “We will better prepare our students for complex cases which may include the intersection between Indigenous healing practices and Western medicine, chronic disease prevention and treatment, accessibility and poverty, and mental health care delivery in remote and under-resourced communities.”