Teaching and Learning Commitments and Invitations

Published August 20, 2021

I am delighted and feel immensely privileged to have started my appointment as Associate Vice-Principal, Teaching and Learning. In a way, I am coming full circle and see this role as much as it is about listening well and taking informed action, to also be about believing in the amazing things we can accomplish together. Of course, with the privilege of this role comes commitment and responsibility, and in this first blog post, I reflect on some of those commitments. At this critical juncture in the 21st century, it is imperative that we chart a path forward for Teaching and Learning. This will require catalyzing institutional teaching and learning research, practicing social consciousness and collective agency, and advancing equity in the teaching and learning ecosystem.

Catalyzing institutional teaching and learning research.

To catalyze innovations and foster intellectual nourishment and creativity, we need to advance institutional research that focuses on the development and adoption of high impact practices and multiple forms of knowledge. Ultimately, these highly effective practices will cultivate a climate of learning and discovery and strengthen our teaching and learning communities. I am committed to building on the talent that we already have here at Queen’s to further drive the scholarship of teaching and learning. This will require facilitating interdisciplinary and integrative ways of teaching, thinking, being, and practicing, and working with our local and global communities on large-scale enhancements.

Practicing social consciousness and collective agency.

We learn best when we are immersed in learning experiences that trigger curiosity and promote encounters with challenges that are critically important for humanity and out planet. Our obligation as leaders is to create and advance experiences that not only educate holistically and flexibly but that also contribute to a sustainable and healthy future. As highlighted in our strategic plan, “The Queen’s community—our people—will solve the world’s most significant and urgent challenges with their intellectual curiosity, passion to achieve, and commitment to collaborate.” By incorporating social consciousness and collective agency into pedagogy and into the fabric of the teaching and learning environment, we can lead the way in fostering intellectual pursuit, meaningful learning, and a sustainable future.

Advancing equity in the teaching and learning ecosystem.

My deepest commitment is to create a teaching and learning ecosystem that reflects accessibility, equity, and reconciliation. This commitment requires engaging in uncomfortable conversations and critically examining our biases, existing practices, infrastructures, policies, processes, and systems. By championing anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and decolonized pedagogies, we can disrupt patterns of inequities, and shape a more just and fair culture with our learners, colleagues, and communities.

Let’s harness the brilliance of our Queen’s educators to create a teaching and learning climate that brings critical hope and makes us excited about the future. I look forward to working with you and invite you all to reach out anytime and share your insights.

 

-Klodiana Kolomitro