Humanities Pedagogy Seminar :: Michael Ullyot (who?)

Seminars in 2009-10

The Slow Reading Movement: Concentration in an Age of Impatience
20 January 2010

Wednesday, 27 January from 12-1 in SS1339

Subjects: Teaching the merits of patient concentration to readers accustomed to impatient distraction, and empowering them to reap the intellectual benefits of focusing on difficult texts.

Speakers: Michael Ullyot and Pamela Banting (English).

The Thrill of the Chase: Cultivating Research Curiosity and Competencies
20 Nov 2009

Wednesday, 25 November from 12-1 in SS1339

Subjects: key research competencies students can benefit from, and ways to build them into courses, and ideas of how to assign work that develops these competencies, and engenders interest and curiosity in research.

Speakers: Harry Vandervlist (English) and Melanie Boyd (Liaison Librarian, English, French, Italian, and Spanish Languages and Literatures).

Working in Concert: Peer Evaluation and Collaboration in the Classroom
21 October 2009

Wednesday, 23 September from 12-1 in SS1339

Subjects: increasing student motivation and engagement, ensuring equitable distributions of work, running constructive writing workshops, and assessing writing and other work done in concert.

Speakers: Profs. Faye Halpern (English) and Leslie Reid (Tamaratt Teaching Professor in Geoscience).

Our Mandate
21 October 2009

The Humanities Pedagogy Seminar encourages the exchange of knowledge and techniques between junior and senior teaching colleagues, and fosters a community of teachers to complement the university's research priorities.

Panelists in the seminar have included undergraduates and University Professors, but the most active and regular participants are junior faculty and graduate students. In many departments, this seminar is the only forum for formal discussions of pedagogical techniques. It also serves an important function for graduate students' professional development in these techniques.

A Brief History: 2007-09
21 October 2009

The Humanities Pedagogy Seminar began in Fall 2007 as the English Department's Brown-Bag Pedagogy Seminar, a venue for faculty and graduate students to discuss pedagogical strategies and issues. We discussed topics like engaging students in large lecture sections; delivering lectures by podcast; fostering debate and dissent in the classroom; and designing assignments for creative and innovative thinking. This seminar was initiated and convened by Michael Ullyot.

In Fall 2008, the seminar expanded its focus to all departments in the Faculty of Humanities, and began inviting speakers to present on subjects relevant to all areas of critical reading, writing, and thinking in English and other languages. It was co-organized by Dan Maher and Michael Ullyot, until Prof. Maher became interim Dean of Humanities in Fall 2008.

The Humanities Pedagogy Seminar held five (5) meetings in the 2008-09 academic year.

[8 Oct 08] The initial meeting was an introduction, with accounts from colleagues, to the Teaching and Learning Centre’s Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) and Faculty Teaching Certificate (FTC). Speakers included Anne White (Religious Studies); Murray McGillivray, Michael T. Clarke, and Jenna Stook (English); and Rosalie Petersen (TLC).

[19 Nov 08] The second meeting was titled "I'll never be convicted by a jury of my peers: Strategies for Peer Evaluation." The speakers were Lorne MacDonald (English), and Michael Dabrowski (French, Italian, & Spanish).

[21 Jan 09] The third meeting was titled "'Are you the real prof?' GATs and GTFs in the undergraduate classroom." The speakers were Anne McWhir, Owen Percy, and Robyn Read from the English Department. This seminar addressed many of the queries that often come up for first-time Humanities instructors. From due dates and regulations to copyright policies, this session addressed a number of both administrative and pedagogical issues pertinent for any instructors new to the faculty. The speakers offered advice for attendants preparing to teach their first courses at the university.

[11 Feb 09] The fourth meeting was titled "Beyond Q & A: Fostering constructive classroom discussions." This was our first inter-faculty collaboration: Michael Ullyot planned the seminar with Leslie Reid (Tamaratt Teaching Professor in Geoscience), who invited Jerry Osborn (Geology & Geophysics) and two of his undergraduate students to speak; Michael Ullyot invited Harry Vandervlist (English) and two of Michael's own undergraduates. This diverse panel led to very interesting exchanges on the different perspectives of students and professors, and the false dichotomy between teachers of 'content' (science) and 'skills' (humanities).

[18 Mar 09] The fifth and final meeting, titled "Ergonomic Assigning: Building Process into Writing Without Damaging Your Health," hosted a presentation by visiting scholar Gordon Harvey, Director of the Graduate Program in Writing and Pedagogy at Harvard and Former Director of the Harvard Expository Writing Program.


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