Come train with us!

New School at Dawson recruits and collaborates with volunteer facilitators for our English and Humanities courses.

Founded in 1973, New School is the CEGEP system’s longest running alternative school, and we follow a critical humanistic education approach.

What is Critical Humanistic Education?

Simply, it’s an ongoing effort to bridge critical pedagogy and humanistic education in the ways we build learning communities.

Humanistic and values education at their best bring people in touch with their own and others’ feelings and values. We spend time getting to know students and what motivates them: Who are they, and what matters in their lives? This is hard to do in a regular 40-student classroom. While give a lot of importance to students sharing and exploring their lives with each other, a critical pedagogy approach also encourages learners to continuously situate themselves socially, economically, and politically in broader contexts, as a member of various communities where power is more or less shaped by forces beyond their individual control. Critical humanism holds these objectives together: a constant dialectic between the individual and society, powerlessness and power, the inner and outer life of the person, the interplay of the private and the public, the personal and the political, and person to person. This approach is cultivated best in an environment where students can discuss more with each other in smaller groups.

Learn more about our philosophy

In practice, our students grow to expect:

  • More interaction and collaboration between learners
  • A focus on learning as community building
  • Critical thinking about our relationships to ourselves, each other and our worlds around us.
  • A greater opportunity for self-directed learning
  • A larger role in determining class content and they have greater responsibility for learning activities.

Our pedagogy is based on the premise that students are most motivated when they have a say in what and how they will learn.  On a contractual basis, facilitators and students construct courses together. They are taught with attention to developing the students’ skills in critical thinking, reading and writing, and with the objective of connecting the course content to the students’ lives. Our trainees have the opportunity and autonomy to facilitate their own learning groups on subjects of interest to them. Through this experience, they have improved their skills and comfort levels as teachers, and they develop a competitive edge in applying for future teaching positions. Numerous past trainees are now working in CEGEPs in Montreal as well as post-secondary institutions elsewhere. It is a good opportunity for people who want to see if they would like to pursue careers in teaching.

Our learning groups are more interactive, collaborative, informal, self-directed with a focus on learning as community-building.

Who are we looking for?

New School is always looking for people who have completed the minimum of a Master’s Degree in English literature or Creative Writing, or any Humanities related disciplines to volunteer as trainees in our alternative school. We offer required general education English and Humanities courses open to all Dawson students with a pedagogy developed from theories of humanistic education and critical pedagogy.

We offer our trainees:

  • Ongoing mentoring and group training sessions with experienced Dawson teachers;
  • The chance to form and facilitate their own 15 week learning groups under the supervision of a Dawson teacher/mentor;
  • Recommendations for jobs;
  • Use of the Dawson facilities and access to other pedagogical resources;
  • A very modest honorarium at the end of term.

How to pitch a course?

If you are interested, take a look at the course objectives and broad competencies for our various courses, and consider pitching an idea to us that you might want to share with students.

Check out our different General Education Humanities and English Competencies.

Contact us

Those who are interested, or have further questions, should contact us at Please include a CV.

Last Modified: October 6, 2016