November 28, 2011

Cultivating Critical Thinking –
From Montaigne to the Present

This text was initially published by Profweb under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence, before Eductive was launched.

The Call for Papers for the 31st AQPC Symposium is already online in both French and English on the AQPC website at The deadline for the submission of proposals is January 20, 2012.

For the 32nd annual conference, the three colleges in the Outaouais – the Cegep de l’Outaouais, Heritage College and the Collège préuniversitaire Nouvelles Frontières – have joined forces to host Quebec’s entire college system and all other interested colleagues in higher education. Heritage College’s participation marks the first time that an Anglophone college has performed this role in the history of the AQPC Symposium and as a result Anglophone college participation will be especially meaningful.

The Symposium’s Theme

The conference will be held in Gatineau from June 6 to 8, 2012, with the theme CULTIVATING JUDGMENT. Again, the AQPC intends to offer more than 120 workshops, including several major conferences to be presented in French and English with simultaneous translation. In addition, the organizing committee intends to include at least two workshops in English at each time slot in the program.

Although the title of the conference reflects the works the Sixteenth Century writer Montaigne, we can see its timelessness and pertinence. In his motto “Education is the training of judgment,” Montaigne emphasizes that education is not merely the accumulation of knowledge but rather the development of wisdom. The AQPC is extending this discussion by recalling that in addition to leading students to appropriate the knowledge and skills that make up our cultural and scientific heritage, higher education seeks to instil within them a rigorous and critical approach to this material. It also seeks to integrate the attitudes and values associated with intellectual activity into the exercise of a profession and public life. In brief, the decision to sharpen critical thinking is to help students take ownership of the culture that they live in.

IT at the Symposium

This theme should resonate with those who explore the educational potential of IT. We all have observed the changing relationship between students and colleges, partly because of the ever-increasing accessibility of technology. Students have access to sources of information that go far beyond the limits of our libraries and over which our colleges can exercise little control. In terms of critical judgment, what skills do students have to master in order to manage this wealth of information? How can we best use these new resources to help our students become autonomous critical thinkers?

Once again, the AQPC is looking to include at least thirty papers showing how our colleagues have been exploring these questions combining technology, teaching and learning in its program. The ball is in your court!

The 2012 conference theme extends to other spheres, including that of the exercise of judgment in the profession of education. You’re invited to consider the tools we have to sharpen our professional judgment, to examine the ethical issues associated with our decisions and to explore the advances in research in these areas in order to integrate them into our practices.

Call for Presentations

The steering committee of the conference invites presentation proposals from all colleges as well as from Quebec’s universities and schools. Also invited to share their experiences and thoughts on these issues as well as on other items of general interest to higher education are network partners related to education in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada and in other countries. As usual, the presentations will last 75 minutes.

A networking session will also be included in the conference program. Presenters will be able to participate in short 30-minute sessions describing projects with the goal of finding potential collaborators.

To read the Call for Papers and to access the forms to submit a workshop or networking proposal visit the AQPC website. If you want to know more about the AQPC and how this association serves the Anglophone colleges, please contact Jo Anne Werner at You’ll be surprised how much the AQPC has evolved in the last few years!

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Marthe Giguère
Marthe Giguère
29 November 2011 15h32

As you probably know, the Association de pédagogie collégiale (AQPC) offers in addition to its annual Symposium many other activities to promote, stimulate, and support the development and evolution of college pedagogy. Among them is the publication, four times a year, of the magazine Pédagogie collégiale. If you would like to help make this journal even better, we want to hear from you! Last year, we set up an editorial committee to assess the English articles we receive. This committee, whose members are either native English speakers or people with a very good command of the language, meet twice a year in Montréal or Québec. To enrich this committee, we are looking for dynamic and curious individuals with a sound knowledge of English and good critical-thinking skills, people who are quite familiar with the college community and pedagogy, and who have a bit of time to devote to reading interesting articles and then discussing them in English. Whether you are a professional, administrator or teacher at a college, if learning, team work and committment appeal to you, get in touch with us by January 19, 2012. Just send us a short text to introduce yourself professionally and tell us what you would like to bring to Pédagogie collégiale.

If you have any questions or would like to submit your candidacy,please contact me (418 906-2746 or