Special Topics in Teaching (CTE0219)Export this event to calendar

Monday, May 6, 2019 — 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT
Location: MC 2036


Join us for four research talks by doctoral students taking part in the advanced Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) program, and find out more about the educational research interests of your fellow graduate students across campus. This will be a 2.0 hour-long session that will count toward your Fundamentals workshop credit.

Teaching Approaches for Sustainability Learning (30 min. research presentation)
Sondra Eger, PhD Candidate, School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability

In order to achieve a sustainable change, teaching and learning must be re-oriented towards sustainability. This talk provides an overview of teaching strategies being used to facilitate interdisciplinary and foster student learning on the topic of environmental sustainability. By drawing on experiential examples from interdisciplinary courses in various disciplines within post-secondary education, this talk highlights tools  being used to guide and evaluate the teaching of sustainability within post-secondary education, both in and out of the classroom.

The Emotions of Sustainability: Can Contemplative Pedagogical Practices Play a Role in Sustainability Education? (30 min. research presentation)
Allison Elgie, PhD Candidate, School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability 

Statistical, fact-based environmental education is a downer. But educators are realizing that it is not enough to present the facts related to sustainability – we also need to cultivate and nurture hope. What tools do educators have to alleviate feelings of anxiety, helplessness and depression in a sustainability education classroom? Contemplative pedagogical approaches may be one way to make way for hope in addressing topics like climate change, poverty and sustainable development. Through a scoping review, we investigate the effectiveness of contemplative pedagogical techniques in alleviating dark emotions inevitable in environmental education. Overall, the literature suggests that contemplative pedagogical approaches will play an important role in environmental education as a means of cultivating hope in an increasingly uncertain and trying world.

Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning (30 min. research presentation)
Andrea Rishworth, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography and Environmental Management  

Higher education is currently turning out graduates who neither have good general knowledge nor know how to engage in the kind of complex thinking and reasoning that society needs. To address this, educational scholar Dee Fink developed the Taxonomy of Significant Learning. This presentation summarizes Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning, examines the differences between Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning and Bloom’s Taxonomy of Leaning, and explores how Fink’s taxonomy has been applied in higher education.

Incorporating Experiential Learning in Geography Classrooms at the University of Waterloo (30 min. research presentation)
Faiza Omar, PhD Candidate, Geography and Environmental Management

The field of geography is increasingly shifting from traditional teaching methods to experiential learning approaches. This talk draws on rich literature on experiential learning and examines how Kolb’s experiential learning models can be applied to geography courses in post-secondary education. The talk addresses the benefits and challenges of using experiential learning, and analyzes course outlines of four Geography courses at the University of Waterloo that integrate fieldwork and course projects into their coursework. Generally, from course evaluations and reflections, students perceive that fieldwork and project-based courses increase their understanding of the subject area and influence their performance.


  • CTE has a new registration system called GoSignMeUp. Before you can register for a workshop, you need to create an account (one time only). Once you’ve created an account, you can register for this workshop.
  • Participants will receive an attendance credit toward the Fundamentals program if they arrive on time and stay until the end of the event.
  • A maximum of one special topic workshops can be counted toward your Fundamentals certificate.


Many of our workshops have waiting lists, so if you've registered but can't attend, please cancel your registration well in advance through the registration system, so that someone else can fill your spot.


The University of Waterloo is committed to achieving barrier-free accessibility for persons with disabilities who are studying, working, or visiting at Waterloo. If you have questions concerning access, such as parking, building layouts, or obtaining information in alternative formats, or wish to request accommodations for a CTE workshop or event, please contact CTE via email (cte@uwaterloo.ca) or phone (ext. 33857) and include the session’s title and date. Our workshops typically involve a mix of presentation and discussion-based activities, and we encourage a scent-free environment. We also welcome accompanying assistants, interpreters, or note-takers; notify us if accommodations are needed in this regard. Please note that some accommodations may require time to arrange.

Mathematics & Computer - MC
Room 2036
200 University Ave West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1