Learning to Teach/Teaching to Learn in Contexts of Uncertainty
Group Presentation: Latika Raisinghani, Francisco Gomez, Colin Dring, Carrie James, Will Valley
Session E | 11:50 – 12:30 | Location: Room 1005
Teaching and learning are reflective encounters. How such reflections might inform and (re)shape the teaching practices, modes of student and community engagement, and research stance among members of a teaching team is an area yet to be explored fully with(in) the Undergraduate programs at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. In this interactive session, the teaching team members of the Land, Food and Community II (LFS 350) course will share the impact of LFS 350 teaching engagements on their pedagogy, student and community interactions, as well as on their research approaches as they explore and investigate their own practices in an ongoing action research study. LFS 350 is one of the core courses in the Land, Food and Community series, which serves nearly 300 undergraduate students each year in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. Focusing on food system sustainability, household and community food security, food sovereignty and food justice, the course curriculum is designed to actively engage students as citizens, professionals and leaders who understand the obstacles and affordances of creating healthy, sustainable and just food systems. Recognizing the critical need to translate theoretical foundations into practical understandings, and facilitate contextualized, meaningful learning, LFS 350 weaves classroom-based teaching with various community based experiential learning (CBEL) projects. The teaching team engages collaboratively with many diverse community organizations which provide opportunities for students to learn about and contribute to key issues of food justice through relevant experiences with(in) contexts of their CBEL projects. A unique feature of this course is the uncertainties inherent in such sustained yet dynamic university-community partnerships, and the influence these have on Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) who are directly involved in course implementation, development and students’ learning. We will share and invite audiences to discuss how teaching in contexts of uncertainties plays a critical role in developing agency, reflexivity and pedagogical praxis among GTAs, and thereby, inform their teaching, community engagement and research approaches.