Book Club Reflection: Co-creating Learning and Teaching
Brenda Thomas, Book Club Facilitator
Traditional educational practice deemphasizes (if not discourages) relationship between students and faculty and gives teachers the power in the classroom. Catherine Bovill’s book, Co-creating Learning and Teaching: Towards Relational Pedagogy in Higher Education, challenged members of this book club to try a different approach. Inviting students to collaborate on what happens in the classroom breaks down power dynamics and gives students a voice in their educational experience, enhancing their inclusion and engagement. The group that came together to explore these concepts left with ideas to implement in future semesters and excitement about approaching their students as collaborators rather than buckets to be filled. I look forward to hearing about their successes!
Inviting students to collaborate on what happens in the classroom breaks down power dynamics and gives students a voice in their educational experience, enhancing their inclusion and engagement.
Georgia Strange, Book Club Participant
Three components reward an investment in a Lucas Center-sponsored faculty book club. The book, Co-creating Learning and Teaching, provided philosophical and practical frameworks for initiating changes to course objectives, content, and delivery. The book club provided a staging ground to explore ideas and strategies to rethink course design, independent of disciplinary requirements. The book club’s facilitator Brenda Thomas shared concrete examples of her investigations into more fluid scaffolding of a curriculum with students as valued collaborators.
Opportunities to discuss the book, share classroom successes and failures, and give voice to inchoate concepts will serve as catalysts for purposeful action. During our sessions, faculty participants expressed similar goals targeting increased student engagement to enrich and deepen learning. Many courses already include opportunities for students to choose topics and formats to investigate independently; however, this book, book club, and facilitator raised the bar, challenging each of us to risk the comfort of traditional hierarchy in the classroom.