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The Power of Curriculum comes to Concordia

Teaching and Learning Festival's 2014 edition will explore the integration of sustainability into education
January 7, 2014
By Karen McCarthy


How can faculty members integrate sustainability content into their courses? That question lies at the heart of the second annual Teaching and Learning Festival, which is being held from February 5 to 7 this year.

The three-day conference, under the theme of The Power of Curriculum: Sustainability — Learning — Innovation, will also provide opportunities for faculty to enhance and reflect on their teaching practices, and to create connections and build partnerships across disciplines. The program includes interdisciplinary panels on sustainability and teaching, as well as hands-on workshops with Concordia experts.

“We are excited about this year’s conference,” says Janette Barrington, interim director of Concordia’s Centre for Teaching and Learning Services. The festival is being co-organized by the centre and the student-run Sustainability Action Fund.

The 2014 program includes events that are open to students, faculty and staff, and the general public. For example, there will be a world café conversation in the afternoon of February 5 from 1 to 4 p.m., followed by a public keynote address by award-winning author Thomas Homer-Dixon. On February 6, there will be a second, keynote for students and faculty by McGill University geography professor Peter Brown — a specialist in ethics, governance and the protection of the environment.

Mikayla Wujec, CEO of the Sustainability Action Fund, is encouraging students to participate in the world café, and to attend Homer-Dixon's keynote address.

“By partnering with the Centre for Teaching and Learning Services, we are working alongside faculty members to create a stronger culture of sustainability, one that should be reflected in the curricula,” Wujec says. “While the festival is geared to supporting faculty members in exploring how to integrate sustainability into their curricula, students have an opportunity to participate in the dialogue as well.”

Open to the public: Thomas Homer-Dixon’s keynote address

On February 5, from 5 to 7 p.m., Thomas Homer-Dixon will deliver a keynote address on how people can adapt and prosper in a world of ever-increasing complexity, speed and surprise.

He is chair of Global Systems at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario, as well as a professor at the University of Waterloo and director of the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, and the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation.

Homer-Dixon is the author of the bestselling and award-winning books The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization; The Ingenuity Gap; and Environment, Scarcity and Violence. He writes regularly for The Globe and Mail, and has been published often in The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, and Scientific American

Award-winning author Thomas Homer-Dixon
Award-winning author Thomas Homer-Dixon will deliver the festival’s keynote address on Feb. 5. It is open to faculty, staff, students and the general public. | Photo by Bryn Gladding

Concordia’s second annual Teaching and Learning Festival, The Power of Curriculum: Sustainability — Learning — Innovationtakes place from Wednesday, February 5 through Friday, February 7. Thomas Homer-Dixon will speak on February 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the D.B. Clarke Theatre in the Henry F. Hall (H) Building (1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.). The event is open to the public. Registration is not required.

Homer-Dixon’s keynote address will be followed by a reception and book signing across the street, in the atrium of the J.W. McConnell (LB) Building. On-site registration is required.

See the full schedule for Concordia’s Teaching and Learning Festival.


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