With spring weather, your mind might turn to what you’ll do this summer. That could lead to interesting initiatives and collaborations. In fact, the Anglophone college network provides ways to find people with whom you can set intentions for the future. One of these is a space on the Linkr platform.
What would you like to do next year? As a community, how might we help you in this endeavour?
As you’re hard at work on your regular activities, it might be difficult to think about what’s coming up next. This blog post is an encouragement to take a step back and consider some options for future collaborations such as getting in touch with colleagues across the network who aren’t your direct colleagues.
Meaningful Intercollegiate Action
Perhaps because of its size, the Anglophone network tends to favour intercollegiate collaboration. For example, take a look at the sustainability project that we’ve discussed before. More than once. The reason we keep going back to it is that it’s quite unique and inspiring. Some of us may even hope that it will influence colleagues elsewhere, including those on the Francophone side. (Indeed, I hear positive comments from francophones every time I mention this type of collaboration.)
As you probably realize, some pedagogical counselors from Anglophone CEGEPs have been organizing events bringing together people from multiple colleges: Intercollegiate Ped Days (IPDs). Beyond those days, the organizing committee and the community building effort uses the label “IPD”.
Back in January 2022, I welcomed the opportunity to participate in several activities during such IPDs. The event revolved around a theme near and dear to my Eductive heart: inclusive pedagogy. The title, Systemic Transformation: Developing Our Inclusive Practices, denotes decisive action. In my observation through those January 2022 IPDs, participants were able (and willing) to develop important skills which can and probably will lead to meaningful learning experiences, in the classroom and online.
According to the organizing committee, this theme came from thorough consultation over 2 months to align strategic planning priorities across Quebec’s 8 Anglophone CEGEPs. Doing so, they paid particular attention to student success criteria laid out in Quebec’s Plan d’action pour la réussite en enseignement supérieur 2021-2026 [in French] (aka PARES; not available in English). Many local faculty initiatives had to do with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). This is unsurprising given the fact that, according to the 2020 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report ™ Teaching and Learning Edition, “Equity and diversity goals and agendas are increasingly prevalent in higher education” (p. 8). Together, those 3 factors (local faculty initiatives, strategic plans, and student success criteria) have contributed to the thematic organization of that event.
As someone who’s worked for the federal government where truth and (re)conciliation are frequently front of mind, I must admit that I was impressed by the quality and thoroughness of the insights shared about indigenous learners and knowledge through several sessions during IPDs. Unsurprisingly, accessibility (#a11y) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) were also hot topics through the proceedings. Issues of cultural diversity were also discussed in such a thoughtful way that I wish more people were present to benefit from those exchanges.
That experience during IPDs was so impactful, it’s still at the back of my mind at most times since then. And it occasionally comes back to the forefront.
A large part of the impact of that event had to do with collaboration. The naysayers might say that the network Itself isn’t ready to move forward in terms of inclusive practices, it’s obvious to me that there is critical mass throughout our context.