Brescia Faculty Institute
Spring 2018 Brescia Faculty Institute
Thursday, May 3, 2018
St James Auditorium 9:00am – 3:30pm
Our Faculty Institute Days offer professional development related to teaching and learning for all Brescia instructors, including contract faculty and instructional staff. This year’s Spring BFI, featuring Dr. Kyra Garson from Thompson Rivers University, will focus on the influence of culture on group work and writing in our classrooms. Brescia is pleased to welcome back Dr. Garson for another important day of learning. Lunch will be provided so RSVP with Marsha Lace today.
Morning Session: Enhancing Multicultural Group Work for Intercultural Learning
In our classrooms, we expect students from all around the world to form teams and complete discipline based projects. This often becomes an exercise in frustration for educators and students alike. Research shows that these experiences may actually entrench stereotypes or cause students to avoid working with other cultures due to their perception of risk factors (Garson, 2013; Osmond & Roed, 2010; Harrison & Peacock, 2010). In this session we will discuss the challenges of group work, consider how culturally influenced communication styles, assumptions, and preferences influence group dynamics, review research and scholarship that offers promising practices for preparing students to learn not only from the assigned product of their collaboration but to develop skills to more effectively collaborate across differences.
Afternoon Session: Writing across Borders – Exploring the Influence of Culture on Writing
In this session, participants are invited to examine how culture influences writing and may inter-play with student success in writing intensive programs. Through activities and discussion, we will consider pedagogies and supports for culturally and linguistically diverse students by examining expectations and assumptions about academic writing conventions. Participants will consider how the changing demographics of our student population may require additional instruction, student supports, and intercultural awareness as we create assignments and assessments with the aim of equitable approaches that support the success of all students.
About the Facilitator:
Kyra Garson is a faculty member at Thompson Rivers University who currently works as the coordinator for interculturalization of the campus. She has coordinated TRU’s Interculturalizing the Curriculum faculty professional development program since 2008 which supports faculty to consider how intercultural approaches support inclusive pedagogies. Her research interests include the impacts of internationalization on teaching and learning environments and the need to revisit pedagogy and curriculum for 21st century learning outcomes. Kyra’s doctoral study entitled “Are We Graduating Global Citizens?” received the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education’s dissertation of the year award in 2014. In 2011, she received the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s Internationalization Award for her work supporting faculty in Interculturalizing curricula. In 2017, she received the Distinguished Leadership award from the British Columbia Council for International Education.