In 1986, to recognize the importance of university teaching, the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and 3M Canada created the 3M National Teaching Fellowships. Ten university faculty members are recognized each year for their educational leadership and exceptional contributions to teaching. These winning professors have a single purpose—helping students to learn. Since 2006, Maclean’s has proudly been the program’s media sponsor. Here, we announce this year’s 10 winners. Over the next several weeks we will be profiling each winner, but to kick things off we ask all the winners why undergraduate teaching matters to them.
Diana Austin, Department of English, University of New Brunswick
“Undergraduate-teaching approaches, like in-class Designated Speaking and out-of-class Rants&Raves emails, solicit every student’s voice to encourage the skills–and the passion–that will help students shape their lives and their society.”
Lisa Dickson, Department of English, University of Northern British Columbia
“Reaching diverse learners is crucial. Flexible, outcomes-based assignments and in-class reflection on learning open many pathways to student success.”
Arne Kislenko, Department of History, Ryerson University
“You have to keep them awake, engaged, and as connected to the material as possible: for me that means convincing classes that they are part of history, not just students of it.”
Maureen Mancuso, Department of Political Science, University of Guelph
“Teaching is a matter of understanding the process of learning. I try to use methods that permit students to confront and engage with the assigned material, including group discussions—small and large—and co-operative class presentations.”
Scott North, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta
“Teaching medical students Oncology using Standardized Patients has dramatically improved the realism of the learning environment, and this hopefully will translate into more motivated students who will be eager to continue to learn in the future.”
Fred Phillips, Department of Accounting, University of Saskatchewan
“I challenge my students to solve realistic business problems, and engage them by presenting these problems in a variety of media: written cases, news videos, and role play animations. I believe a classroom can be a fun place to learn.”
Leslie Reid, Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary
“That students have opportunities to transform their thinking, challenging them to expand their knowledge and skills beyond their expectations. Flexibility in a teaching practice is key – I use a variety of strategies including team projects, student peer reviews and alternative forms of testing.”
Adam Sarty, Department of Astronomy and Physics, Saint Mary’s University
“Undergraduate teaching should transcend a process of ‘content delivery’, and instead provide opportunity for students to truly learn and understand new concepts – in a way that can potentially transform their overall understanding of the world/universe, and their own role within it.”
Billy Strean, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta
“Making connections with students by learning their names at the beginning of the first class, adapting course content based on students’ interests, giving students progressively more leadership during the term, and designing experiential learning and practical assignments.
“Students participate in activities where they experience a balance of challenges and skills and what it feels like to be “beyond boredom and anxiety.”
Nick Mount, Department of English, University of Toronto
We begin our profiles of the 2011 3M Teaching Fellows with Nick Mount. Please read our profile of professor Mount here.