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Dreams come true

Three winners have been announced for the Principal’s Dream Courses, an initiative that offers Queen’s faculty members the resources to create and teach the courses they’ve always dreamt of. 

[Principal's Dream Course]
Three winning proposals have been selected through the Principal's Dream Course initiative. (University Communications)

Each course will be taught for at least two years, and winning the competition qualifies each of them for up to $13,000 in funding for teaching materials, field trips and guest speakers. The winners will also receive course development assistance from the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

“We asked our faculty members to think creatively about what they’ve always wanted to teach and they responded with an impressive array of proposals,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf. “Each of these courses will provide their students with an exceptional and memorable learning experience.”

Applicants were encouraged to focus their proposed courses on the topics of sustainability, Indigenous identities or Queen’s 175th anniversary using active and inquiry-based learning methods.

The winning courses are:
1) 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.”

2) 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.”

3) 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.”

The winning courses will first be taught in the 2016-17 academic year.

Learn more about the Principal’s Dream Courses on the Centre for Teaching and Learning’s website.