Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 28, No.3

October 9, 2003


Great teachers show how it's done

Inspiring speeches and a free lunch

by Angie Gaddy

Organizers of an inspirational teaching series want Concordia faculty to know that the nation’s top teaching honour is housed in their own back yard.

This month and next, three 3M Canada Teaching Award winners will discuss their teaching habits, their passions and traits for the benefit of teachers at Concordia.

For the past three years, the 3M Canada Teaching Fellowship has resided here. And while there are 168 winners from across Canada for the past 17 years, only four are from Concordia.

“I think we need to raise the awareness,” said Dr. Arshad Ahmad, a 1992 award recipient and program co-ordinator. “There are lots of potential 3M fellows walking around this campus.”

It’s with that in mind that Ahmad and the staff at the Centre for Teaching and Learning Services have organized the first speaker series at Concordia this month and next.

The series also marks the 30th anniversary of the Centre for Teaching and Learning Services.

The series, which will be held in Room AD-308 on the Loyola Campus, brings together three recent 3M award winners. Each luncheon event is free to university faculty and staff.

The winners, judged the best by their peers, will speak about teaching habits, traits and passions. “You can’t help but get inspired. You can’t help but take some things with you,” Ahmad said.

On Oct. 28, Michael Moore, a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, will lead a workshop called “Sizing up Our Favourite Teaching Habits.” The following week, on Nov. 7, Clarissa Green, a University of British Columbia professor, and Alex Fancy, a professor at Mount Alison, will speak.

Green’s seminar, “Still Passionate about Teaching after All These Years,” discusses how to keep that sense of commitment and enthusiasm over a long career. Fancy’s workshop is called “The Search for Rhythm(s): A Basis for Teacher Self-Assessment.”

The 3M program, which awards not just classroom teaching but leadership in teaching, breaks with the tradition of focusing only on research or publishing as ways to measure success in higher education, Ahmad said.

“Often the message that we give the young faulty members is ‘Don’t spend time on developing new courses. Publish.’ It’s a publish or perish mentality.” Olivia Rovinsescu, director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning Services, agreed. “This is a way of encouraging dialogue about teaching and communicating to the Concordia community that teaching is important,” she said. “It’s a way of promoting good teaching.”

Ahmad and the CTLS staff are already planning another speakers series for the spring. The series will allow professors from all disciplines to mingle and discuss their philosophies of teaching. It will be about the one thing that brought many into university life: the students.

“Without students, we might as well go home,” Ahmad said.

For more information about the 3M speakers series, call CTLS at 848-2424 ext. 2495 or log on to The event is free, but space is limited.