Centre for Teaching and Learning

Centre for Teaching and Learning
Centre for Teaching and Learning

Principal's Dream Courses

Principal's Dream Courses LogoThe Principal's Dream Course Grant is no longer available.

The selection committee welcomes creative and imaginative proposals to be considered for the Principal’s Dream Courses initiative – those courses you would develop if only you had the resources and support needed to make it happen.

The purpose of this exciting course redesign program is to enhance already-existing undergraduate courses in a way that encourages undergraduate research and inquiry as key approaches to learning. Funds will be awarded for the development of sustainable, semester-long courses that directly support both the overall academic mission of Queen’s University and the strategic goals related to enhancement of the learning experience of its students. 

Awards provide up to $15,000 in one-time funding to develop the course of your dreams. Funds must be used to support at least two iterations of the courses selected for funding, though sustainable approaches that extend beyond the one-time funding are preferred. Monies may be earmarked for additional TA support, experiential/field learning events, invited experts, course materials, technology or other supports for active and inquiry-based learning. 

In this call, up to three courses will be selected to receive funding for delivery in the 2018/19 academic year.

Successful applicants will be provided with educational development support from the Centre for Teaching and Learning and will be asked to participate in a showcase event celebrating the Principal's Dream Courses.

Proposals are invited for courses that address at least one of the identified themes:

  1. Sustainability: understood in a broad context that includes ecological, social, cultural, financial, professional and personal sustainability
  2. Indigenous identities: exploring themes of indigeneity, nationally or globally
  3. Diversity of Perspectives. Investigating themes that enhance access to a diversity of perspectives related to racism, diversity and inclusion.


Proposals are encouraged from all departments and units at Queen’s which offer semester-long undergraduate courses that count toward an undergraduate degree.

Proposal Content

Proposals must address points 1-6 on the form provided up to a maximum of five (5) pages.  Submission Form (Word, 64KB)

  1. Applicant's name, appointment, and Department affiliation. Proposals from a team of applicants should identify one person as the primary contact.
  2. Proposed course name, course code, description and intended learning outcomes
  3. Statement of the ways in which the proposed course relates to one (or more) of the themes identified (see above)
  4. Statement of the ways in which the course will support the academic mission of the University and enhance students’ engagement in research and inquiry and students’ overall learning experience.
  5. Preliminary plans for evidencing the success of the course in supporting student engagement and inquiry
  6. A detailed budget that outlines expenditures for at least two iterations of the course.


  1. A letter of support from the applicant/primary contact's Dean. Where possible, the letter should include a statement of commitment to the proposed course and an indication of expected enrolment. (This letter is in addition to the 5 page maximum).

Selection Criteria

  1. Do the proposed course description and learning outcomes align with the intentions of Principal’s Dream Course program of supporting research and inquiry as key features of undergraduate learning?     
  2. Is the proposed course clearly reflective of one of the three themes?
  3. Does the course support the University’s mission and enhance the student learning experience through research and inquiry?
  4. Is there strong departmental support for the course? How accessible will the course be to the general student population in the program in which the course is offered?
  5. Is the proposed budget directly related to enhancing active inquiry learning and the overall quality of the student learning experience? Do budget allocations support the sustainability of the course for at least two iterations?  

Selection Process

The Principal’s Dream Course program is sponsored through the Office of the Principal and administered through the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Two faculty members, and one representative each from the Office of the Principal, Office of the Vice-Principal (Research), and the Alma Mater Society will form the selection committee. A representative from the Centre for Teaching and Learning will serve as chair without voting privileges.

The Principal's Dream Course Grant is no longer available.

Proposals must be submitted electronically as a PDF to the Centre for Teaching and Learning to ctl@queensu.ca.

The 2018 Principal’s Dream Course recipients are:

DEVS 221: Topics in Indigenous Human Ecology
T'hohahoken Michael Doxtater (Global and Development Studies, Languages, Literatures, and Culture), Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Studies: Land- and Language-Based Pedagogies and Practices

A redesign of the popular DEVS 221 course, Topics in Indigenous Human Ecology (TIHE) reevaluates conventional knowledge based on Indigenous knowledge, worldview, and culture. The course will introduce an Indigenous perspective on contemporary issues. Content and activities will provide detailed examinations of specific topics such as contemporary issues in Indigenous healing and wellness, art, teaching, and learning, socio-political life. Course activities include deep, collaborative inquiry-based learning, use of multimedia tools, and access to Indigenous subject matter expert coaches. Students will participate in four high-quality ‘TED Talk’ style presentations on topics related to course content and will summarize the talks using animation software.

PHIL 276: Critical Perspectives on Social Diversity
Lisa Guenther (Philosophy, Cultural Studies), Queen's National Scholar in Political Philosophy and Critical Prison Studies

The starting point of this course is Indigenous scholar Eve Tuck’s call to suspend “damage-centered research” that relies on pain and injury for its theory of change, and to cultivate a “desire-based research” that affirms the “complexity, contradiction, and the self-determination of lived lives.”  The course will develop a critical toolkit of concepts and methods for desire-based research on race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability, in conversation with primary texts and theoretical reflections on recent social movements such as Occupy, Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, #MeToo, and movements for queer and trans liberation, disability rights, prison abolition, and radical ecology. Students will work in active-learning groups to create a collective project on a specific social movement, and will also be guided through an inquiry-based process to develop their own individual research paper. Scholar-activists Eve Tuck, José Medina, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor will be invited to campus to share their perspectives with students.

MUTH 329: Listening Otherwise
Dylan Robinson (Dan School of Drama and Music, Gender Studies, Global Development Studies, Cultural Studies, Languages, Literatures & Cultures, Art History) Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts

We listen every day, every moment, yet often do not consider the ways in which this form of perception is guided by factors including gender, sexuality, race, class, and ability (i.e. our individual positionality). MUTH 329 – Listening Otherwise considers the particular ways in which listening takes place in different settings (the concert hall, gallery, and urban and domestic spaces), and is influenced not only by cultural and gendered norms, but also by values of the institutions we are part of and the nation states we live within. The course is envisioned as a kind of “listening lab” in which we will experiment with different practices of listening. Students will have the opportunity to explore new ways of listening to music (recorded and live performance), of listening to place (as a ‘visitor/guest’ or when ‘at home’), and reconsider the political stakes of listening. The course will benefit from learning from a wide range of visiting artists, musicians, and scholars who will share their work with the class. We will listen to multiple genres of music, sound art and places themselves as we ask how the body listens “beyond the ear.”