What our teachers are implementing in class from Ped Days
We asked a cross-section of teachers what they liked best about Ped Days and which insights they will be applying to their practice this semester.
Here are the responses we received:
“While Usha James explicitly taught us about encouraging students to think critically in our courses, her teaching style inspired us to adopt similar strategies that can increase learning in our classrooms.
“One of the instructional strategies was called “decoding the puzzle.” This strategy involves students analyzing information in order to solve a problem. Students must use evidence to support the arguments for why they hold a certain position. This amazing instructional strategy engages students and shows them how to think critically. I will definitely be using this strategy in my classroom.”
̶ Vanessa Gangai
Clinical Coordinator, Physiotherapy Technology Program
“Scheduling Ped Day right before the beginning of the semester allows us to reflect on how to implement new strategies for that semester.
“The ‘will this be a goal?’ exercise during the keynote talk stuck with me afterwards. The challenge will be creating class exercises in the similar spirit, where the objective is critical discussion rather than reaching the one correct answer.”
̶ Bassel Atallah
Faculty member, English
“I really enjoyed the keynote this year. Usha James’ talk (as well as her workshop afterward) provided concrete steps that any teacher can take to foster critical thinking in the classroom.
“I will use her suggestions and adjust my assignments and discussion questions to create a higher level of engagement for my students.”
̶ Eliza Wood
Faculty member, Humanities
“I liked the way in which the presenter involved us, and actually gave practical knowledge through participation, and the way she broke down ideas around engagement and critical thinking to get at the core of our efforts. Her approach allowed me to find entry points easily and connect with the concepts she was bringing up.
“I will be implementing a class by class exploration of an inquiry question that will apply to the overarching problem we are delving into. I will also implement some critical thinking assessment tools.”
̶ Kim Simard
Coordinator of Women’s and Gender Studies
Faculty member, Cinema-Communications
265 teachers get equipped for the new semester at Ped Days
Attending Ped Days was a good investment of time according to over 90 per cent of teachers and staff who responded to a survey about Dawson College Ped Days, which took place Jan. 13-14.
“What makes me especially proud is that out of 18 workshops offered over two days, 16 were led by Dawson College teachers or professionals,” said Azra Khan, Coordinator of Professional Development for Human Resources, the lead organizer.
Pascahl Scott, Director of Human Resources, which sponsored the talk under the banner of the new Faculty Hub, spoke to Ped Days participants just prior to the keynote on Jan. 14.
The goal of Ped Days, said Pascahl, is to “support teachers in their professional development. This year’s keynote and workshops were directly related to teaching strategies and methodologies.”
Ped Day is usually held in October but was moved this year because classes were cancelled for climate change action on Sept. 27, 2019.
This new Ped Days format of two days in mid-January was a pilot project. The attendance was very good with 265 people registering for workshops and the keynote. The keynote address by the Critical Thinking Consortium’s Usha James drew 130 teachers, professionals and support staff.
Resources from Ped Days workshops will be posted in the coming weeks on The Faculty Hub: https://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/faculty-hub/