Workshops & seminars

Teaching in Community: How can we encourage reciprocity in learning?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Fiona Crossling, Cynthia Hammond, Ted Little, Kathleen Vaughan


This event is free


Susan Edey
514-848-2424 ext.4803


Share the Warmth
625 rue Fortune

Since 2014, a group of Concordia professors have been taking students off campus to learn in, about, and with the south-west neighbourhood of Pointe-Saint-Charles. Under the banner, The Right to the City, this project is a multi-disciplinary, pedagogical exploration of post-industrial transformation and the ways in which place-based learning “can enrich education while giving back to the community at large.”[1]

Taking The Right to the City project and the experiences gained through its partnership with Share the Warmth as our starting point, this Living Knowledge event will explore the practice of delivering a course off-campus and how this affects both teaching and learning. Besides the physical space, what changes when students leave the familiarity of the campus environment? How does this relocation impact our community partners? As professors, how can we ensure that, not only are our students learning, but that our presence is valuable to the places in which we’ve chosen to ground ourselves? Understanding that it is not possible to resolve multi-generational challenges in a semester-long course, how can we still push the learning experience to go beyond self-reflexivity into active citizenship? Finally, recognizing that this type of course design requires both students and professors to go above and beyond, we will collectively reflect on the challenges of this work, the value it adds and the support required to make it possible.


Eric Craven
is Project Coordinator of the Digital Literacy Project at Atwater Library and Computer Centre. He creates programming that directly responds to community needs and helps participants learn to express themselves, to find new ways to talk about things important to them, and to build their own communities with digital tools. Eric’s work focuses specifically on using digital media to disrupt normative expectations and perceptions in the community. He has worked with a wide range of academic and community stakeholders to bring diverse groups of people together to express themselves through digital art and media.

Fiona Crossling is the executive director of Share the Warmth a non-profit organization in Pointe-Saint-Charles that strives to awaken hopes and dreams in the community through programming that fosters the overall development and success of youth, increases access to food security and health for all and offers work training programs. Fiona and Share the Warmth have been a key partner in The Right to the City project over the past three years.

Cynthia Hammond teaches courses on interdisciplinary practice and method in the context of the built environment. Her research has been dedicated to thinking critically and creatively about the role of women, animals, and biological life in designed landscapes and urban settings. Between 2014-16 Cynthia received three Curriculum Innovation awards for cross-disciplinary teaching initiatives in the postindustrial neighbourhood of Pointe-Saint-Charles. Working with colleagues in Oral History, Theatre, and Art Education, Cynthia is developing place-based, community engaged learning that combines the study of urban morphology, residents’ life stories, and creative, site-responsive research.

Edward (Ted) Little is an educator, essayist, writer, and theatre maker. He holds a BFA in Theatre (acting and directing) from the University of Victoria, an MA in Canadian Drama from the University of Guelph, and a Ph.D. in community engaged theatre and dramatic theory from the University of Toronto. He has directed and served as consultant on numerous large and small-scale theatre projects across Canada, and since 2000, he has been Associate Artistic Director at Teesri Duniya Theatre--an innovative, Montreal-based company dedicated to the creation and production of socially and politically relevant theatre based on the cultural experiences of diverse communities.

Kathleen Vaughan is an artist, scholar and educator. Her interdisciplinary practice integrates research-creation, methodological theorizing, and collaborative and community-based practices. Her research-creation has both an individual studio component and an orientation to collaborative, participatory projects, taking up questions of home, belonging and spirit of place. She is particularly compelled by the traces of histories that endure in places and the ways that human stories are built in place. Kathleen also locates her teaching within Montreal's fertile community settings, with Graduate Studio classes being linked to place. Kathleen joined her colleagues in "The Right to the City" starting in 2015.

This is the second of four meetings of the Living Knowledge community of practice during the 2016-2017 academic year. The Living Knowledge community of practice brings together faculty and staff who share a passion for community engaged scholarship, with the goal of creating connections, sharing ideas and strengthening our collective practice. Students, community organizers and representatives from other universities are also welcome. For more information, or to RSVP, please email

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