2017-18 Welcome Event and PED Day: August 16, 2017

Engaging ALL Students:
Pedagogy for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


In its 2015-2020 strategic plan, Vanier College identifies promoting global and diversity education in the curriculum, as well as developing and implementing effective, innovative and inclusive pedagogical practice, as priority actions.

This upcoming PED Day, we will focus on addressing these objectives by tapping into our local expertise and providing an opportunity for sharing knowledge and exploring future development.

As well, the event will feature a presentation by Vanier’s Director General John McMahon who will provide a status report regarding the Strategic Plan and outline priorities for the upcoming Academic year. Finally, Vanier’s new Academic Dean Annie-Claude Banville will have an opportunity to introduce herself and discuss some of her priorities for the upcoming semester and beyond.

Our main objectives will be to

  1. explore how Vanier students are diverse in a number of ways: learning needs, ethnicity, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, gender and sexual orientation, etc.;
  2. discuss how we can each contribute to create a learning environment that is welcoming, accessible, and inspiring for all;
  3. discover tools and practical pedagogical approaches that contribute to creating a more inclusive classroom.

Schedule Overview

All are welcome! Please register below.

8:15-8:30: Welcome Coffee
8:30-9:30: 2017-18 Welcome Presentation by DG John McMahon and Academic Dean Annie-Claude Banville
9:30-9:50: Introduction to PED Day: Engaging ALL Students: Pedagogy for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
9:50-10:10: Break
10:10-11:00: PED Day Workshop Session 1
11:05-11:55: PED Day Workshop Session 2
12:00-2:00: Picnic lunch in and around the Vanier Gardens (to be confirmed)

Workshop Descriptions

Workshop Session 1

1.1. Universal Design for Learning and Mentorship for New Teachers
Elana Cooperberg, Tamara Brown, Meghna Banerjee, and Mike Besner
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach that seeks to make learning more accessible to a wider range of students; the UDL task force is a group of eight Vanier teachers who have been working on how best to incorporate UDL principles in the college. This workshop is geared towards participants who are new to teaching or who have been teaching for fewer than five years. Participants will learn the basics of UDL principles in the context of developing new courses and adapting to teaching in a college environment. They will also be introduced to the new mentorship approach being developed by the UDL task force, where new teachers have the opportunity to be mentored by task force members as they develop their courses and address questions of accessibility in their pedagogy.

1.2. Universal Design for Learning in Your Classroom
Lissiene Neiva, Caroline Chwojka, Shelley McColl, and Helen Filippou
This workshop, presented by Vanier’s Universal Design for Learning (UDL) task force, will introduce participants to the basic principles of Universal Design for Learning: how to use multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement in the classroom to reach a wider range of students. The workshop will look at tips that can be incorporated into course design, resources, presentation of material, and assessment. The workshop will also serve as an opportunity for teachers to share the UDL strategies that they are already using in their classrooms and to talk about the barriers they face and the tools they need in order to make their classrooms more accessible.

1.3. Beyond Binaries: Sexual and Gender Diversity in the Classroom
Cheryl Donison, Vanessa Vandergrift, and Colleen Ayoup
This workshop will provide attendees with a basic overview of sexual and gender diversity, including definitions of terminology; potential challenges faced by students, as well as staff and faculty, who identify outside of heterosexual/gender norms; inclusive course content; strategies in the classroom; and resources available both at Vanier and in the Greater Montreal Area.

1.4. Improving Students’ Intercultural Competence: Sharing Pedagogical Design and Practices
Kim Matthews
Students at Vanier College have the potential to benefit from a diverse educational environment. For this to occur, students need to feel welcome and to effectively engage with different people, perspectives and ways of being. The session will present the results of a pilot study examining the pedagogical effectiveness of class activities, materials, course design and the Intercultural Development Inventory on the enhancement of intercultural competence. The workshop will address the following questions: What is intercultural competence? Why is intercultural competence important for equity, diversity and inclusion? What are specific strategies and tools educators may use to help students develop their intercultural competence?

1.5. Indigenous Inclusion in our Curricula: Responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Jacky Vallée
Recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, released in 2015, include calls to action for “Education for Reconciliation” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. As an educational institution that reaches a large portion of the young adult population in Quebec, the college system is in a unique position to address these calls. In this workshop, we will go over some basic ideas related to Indigenous worldviews and pedagogies across programs and give participants a chance to brainstorm initial ideas for inclusion of these ideas in their own courses.

1.6. Mental Health Crisis within the Classroom: Teacher-Counsellor/Therapist Collaboration
Kiraz Johannsen and Lisa Fiorentino
This presentation will have three parts. First, Lisa Fiorentino, a psychology teacher, will discuss her experiences with students with mental health issues and her approach of referring them to Student Services. Second, Kiraz Johannsen will talk about her work with these students as a counsellor in Student Services, touching on interventions, referral systems, and what Student Services are able to provide to the students in crisis. Finally, the two presenters will explore how they communicate and debrief with each other while maintaining confidentiality.

Workshop Session 2

2.1. Discomfort Zones and Pedagogy: Fostering Inclusion and Understanding
Alan Wong, Katri Suhonen, Kim Matthews, Leila Bdeir and Robyn Diner
This workshop will be based on the (Dis)Comfort Zones conference, which was held at Vanier in May 2017, and covered a range of issues that might cause discomfort in the classroom. The focus of the workshop will be to explore means to identify discomfort zones in teaching and learning and to create pedagogical approaches that will utilise discomfort zones in an effective and inclusive manner. Participants in the workshop will examine and discuss case studies created by a team of Vanier students on the themes of language, ‘race’ and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and religion and culture.

2.2. Enseigner en favorisant l’inclusion (présentation en français)
Julie Gagné
Après avoir réfléchi aux défis et aux besoins des apprenants aux prises avec des « troubles invisibles » (trouble du spectre de l’autisme, trouble d’apprentissage, trouble du déficit de l’attention et trouble de santé mentale), nous verrons comment l’enseignant peut mobiliser ses compétences disciplinaires et ses intuitions pédagogiques afin de déployer des stratégies et des outils qui facilitent l’assimilation d’une langue seconde (dans le cas de l’animatrice de cet atelier) ou l’apprentissage plus globalement. Tout en survolant des ressources, des méthodes et des activités concrètes, qui ont été utilisées dans le cadre de rencontres individuelles visant à accompagner les étudiants aux besoins particuliers dans leur apprentissage, nous traiterons de l’importance d’aider les étudiants à développer leur sentiment de compétence et de la nécessité de privilégier un enseignement plurisensoriel et actif, qui est orienté vers les stratégies d’apprentissage.

2.3. Lessons from Peer Mentorship: Engagement Tools for Programs and Classrooms
Toby Moneit and Jessica Andrews
Formal peer mentorship programs, by their very nature, aim to “level the playing field” for the people being mentored. The Business Administration Peer Mentorship program has focused on enhancing engagement and, thereby, inclusion for mentors and mentees alike. In this workshop, we will impart some of the main lessons we have garnered from our 4 years of coordinating this program and how they can cross-over into classroom pedagogy.

2.4. Open Conversation with the ACCESS Team
Have you ever wondered: What to do if you suspect a student has a disability; if it is okay to ask a student about their disability; what to do if a student asks for an accommodation; how to accommodate a student in class or during stage, or what to do with challenging behaviour in the classroom?
If so, or if you have other questions for the ACCESS Team, please join us for an open conversation, a review of case examples and a question period.

2.5. Storytelling Communities
Matt Goldberg and Stephen Dinsmore
Everyone has a story to tell; and teachers who integrate the process into course material can invite all students to participate in a potentially broad community of storytellers. Narrative – personal and specific – can challenge alienating, abstract assumptions. In this workshop we will discuss ways to develop more active and inclusive pedagogical approaches, including “ethical best practices” when our students, of diverse identities, take the important challenges of clearly articulating and then sharing their self-reflection. We will present lively examples of personal-story forms in different media; distribute lesson plans adaptable to a wide variety of courses, interests, and levels; and lead interactive exercises designed to engage even reticent or at-risk students. We will provide examples of how teachers in a variety of disciplines can use storytelling skills to present “dry facts” in a more engaging way for all types of learners. And we will discuss resources for students and teachers who want to share stories through public readings, contests, and websites – on campus and beyond. We are working to facilitate collaboration across disciplines – and want to hear your ideas!

2.6. Teaching Active Reading: A Collaboration
Judy Ingerman and Kim Muncey
This presentation will look at the collaborative work being done between professionals and teachers to improve students’ development of soft skills inside the classroom. It will focus on a partnership with the Humanities department and its evolution into other classrooms where teacher/professional collaborations work to improve students’ active reading skills. It will also include an opportunity to discuss what further collaboration can be done at Vanier to improve student success in the classroom.


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