Notes from a Teaching Developer Conference 2: Universities and New Urbanism – Trevor Holmes

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At the Educational Developers Caucus conference I first wrote about a few weeks ago, one highlight for me was a workshop delivered by Erika Kustra and Bev Hamilton from the University of Windsor. While some workshops focus on tips and techniques, and others on current issues, these two critical thinkers facilitated a highly conceptual process that got participants moving around to stations on walls to play with New Urbanism as a metaphor for mapping our institutions (where we are and where we ought to be). Rather than thinking strictly about physical space planning, we thought about the intellectual and conceptual traffic flow, borders, open

spaces, resources, and structures of our universities. Do we have a central public square? Is it library or a student centre, or somewhere else entirely? Do we have disciplinary suburbs or gentrified former urban centres? Who can enter the university study space with ease and who with difficulty? What are our untapped resources and which are sustainable? Are there gas-guzzling commuters in an intellectual gridlock, and where are the free-to-borrow bikes to get around all our curricular options, or where are the perambulatory paths of the mind? These are the kinds of questions that led to fascinating new mappings of our real and ideal campuses. I hope that some time we can invite Kustra and Hamilton here to take us through a similar exercise, as it was one of the most freeing, challenging, and stimulating workshops I’ve ever experienced.

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As Senior Instructional Developer, Curriculum and Programming, Trevor Holmes plans and delivers workshops and events in support of faculty across the career span. Prior to joining the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Trevor worked at a variety of universities teaching courses, supporting faculty and teaching assistants through educational development offices, and advising undergraduates. Trevor’s PhD is from York University in English Literature, with a focus on gothic literature, queer theory, and goth identities. A popular workshop facilitator at the national and international levels, Trevor is also interested in questions of identity in teaching and teaching development.

One thought on “Notes from a Teaching Developer Conference 2: Universities and New Urbanism – Trevor Holmes”

  1. Aw shucks, Trevor. Brought a tear to my eye to see our beloved BevHam and ErKu feted so. They are indeed a dynamically creative duo and, frankly, I don’t wish to share them with others.

    Oh wait. they don’t care what I wish.


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