The ISSOTL22 Program Committee is very excited to announce the three keynotes for our upcoming ISSOTL22 conference, which will be held in Kelowna, BC, Canada from November 2 to 5, 2022. Each of these keynotes will speak to elements of our theme for this year’s ISSOTL Conference – “At the Intersections of SoTL: Transfer and Transformation, Diversity and Inclusivity”.
Our opening keynote speaker will be Dr. Bryan Dewbsury, speaking about approaches to researching equity in higher education and the transformation of teaching and learning environments. Originally from Trinidad, Bryan is an Associate Professor of Biology and Associate Director of STEM Transformation Institute at the Florida International University. His research focuses on questions relating to identity constructs, bias, relationships, and the effects of those variables on learning in students. He is ultimately interested in helping to re-frame the education discussion to better address questions of equity and community-building. His work addresses pressing issues such as student retention in STEM fields (especially in higher education), the under-representation of minority groups in certain STEM fields, and the role of affect (instructor and student) in promoting student learning gains. He uses the results of those efforts to help faculty develop inclusive curricula and a sense of community in the classroom. He is also a Fellow with the Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.
Beyond Inclusion: Education for Participating in and Shaping Democratic Futures
We commonly position inclusion with goals of bringing more of the marginalized into an experience. But to what end? What visions do we have to shape and reshape society once more voices are at the table. In this talk I will discuss the notion how, even in STEM classrooms education as a formative experience for life itself. Models for technical and social development will be discussed with evidence for their transformative impacts.
Our second keynote speaker is Dr. Margaret Kovach, speaking to diversifying the ways we ask questions about teaching and learning, particularly through Indigenous Methodologies. Of Plains Cree and Saulteaux ancestry, Margaret is a Professor and Associate Dean, Indigenous Education and Director of NITEP with the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. Her teaching interests include Indigenous research methodologies, Indigenous adult and higher education, and anti-oppressive teacher education. Her research in the area of Indigenous higher education explores ways in which Canadian universities can cultivate environments that enhance the experience for Indigenous scholars and graduate students. Her teaching, research, and writing are compelled by a particular interest in how members of university communities might work, learn, and live at the intersectionality of diversity in the service of compassionate, socially just relations.
How We Hear Story Depends Upon Who We Are in Our Listening: Creating Spaces of Transformational Testimony in Indigenous Research, Teaching, and Learning
Indigenous methodologies, teaching, and learning depends upon the presence of story. Story is a testimonial relationship between those who share and those who hear. For a testimonial relationship to be transformative, a relationship of trust is indispensable. In the absence of trust and the presence of implicit or explicit racial stereotyping, the experience of story is burdened by a testimonial injustice. This presentation explores philosopher Miranda Fricker’s concept of epistemic injustice. Specifically, I offer thoughts on her notion of testimonial injustice as it is shaped by identity prejudice and perceived credibility deficit arising from the stereotyping of the other. Anchored in the Indigenous post-secondary landscape and from an Indigenous point of view, I then apply Verna Kirkness and Ray Barnhardt’s 4R’s, in a particularly ordered sequence, (first Responsibility, followed by Reciprocity and Relevance, and resulting in Respect) to Fricker’s conceptualization of testimonial injustice. In proposing the Four R’s as a steadfast framework for Indigenous theorizing and practice, I highlight the principle of honoring the other and the practice of circle common in Indigenous societies for creating an ethos hospitable to transformative testimonial experiences in research, teaching, and learning.
Our third keynote speaker is Dr. Ekatarina (Katya) Pechinkina, addressing how SoTL can have an impact on transforming teaching and learning in higher education, particularly in advancing equitable and inclusive teaching and learning environments, and how we might think differently about having an impact in SoTL. Katya is a cultural anthropologist, education researcher, and award-winning lecturer at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to Indigenous education and critical race theory, her current research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, educational technology, and creative writing. She is an author, having published two genre-blending fiction books with Macmillan US (under a pen name), and has contributed short stories and poetry to literary journals and themed anthologies.
Navigating SoTL at the Intersections: Impact and Transformation in the Context of Institutional Change and Uncertainty
From educational technology changes, requiring radical retraining of students and faculty, to rapid pivots aiming for completely online learning and teaching environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, Higher Education is in a constant state of flux. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) often occupies a position of uncertainty within this complex landscape. Academics are expected to be excellent teachers, while also achieving mandated outputs across research, leadership, and service portfolios. SoTL tends to occur in the verges, in between the disciplines, its various levels of impact occurring in the context of constant institutional change and discipline-specific expectations. For SoTL academics based in teaching and learning units, tasked with upskilling faculty across the disciplines in the ways of SoTL, working in a background of constant changes is the norm. Drawing on almost ten years of work in Higher Education, specializing in SoTL impact as well as decolonizing pedagogies, educational technologies, and evidence-based teaching and learning practices, my keynote will present a personal journey of navigating SoTL at the intersections of institutional change, uncertainty and constantly changing agendas.