Michelle Rodrigue and Shona Russell
The third event of the CSEAR Education Community of Practice (ECoP) was held on April 27, 2023. Rather than engaging around a sustainability issue like our prior event on Teaching Human Rights, this time around we focused on practices and innovations in the classroom, through the theme of Pedagogies for SEA Communities.. We had the pleasure to welcome Diane-Laure Arjaliès (University of Western Ontario), Ericka Costa (University of Trento), Xinwu He (Queen’s University Belfast) and Joan Ballantine (Ulster University)
Through the interventions of the panellists, a common thread emerged around the value of co-learning and creativity to foster a greater engagement among the students, which contribute to deepen their learning and facilitate their knowledge transfer. Traditional monologic lectures and assessments are cast aside by our panellists in favor of dialogical approaches and innovations.
Diane-Laure started off the event by introducing her Impact Assessment course, wherein students work with “partners” from different backgrounds (for example, Indigenous communities, conservation organizations or audit firms) to explore in small teams ways to measure the social, environmental, and economic aspects of organizational performance. Her pedagogy is grounded in community learning, where students start with just enough technical background to feel comfortable starting their project, and then learn inductively through their teamwork and partnership with their case organization.
Ericka continued by presenting how research on pedagogy and psychology informs her approach to teaching and her views on the role of the accounting educator. Through examples from her course, she explained how she puts the students at the centre of their learning and adapts her own role to the need of the students. Depending on the nature of the tasks the students accomplish, she may need to facilitate, advise or a co-learn with her students, for example.
Xinwu presented her approach to include digital learning tools and resources into her sustainability accounting course, with the aim to infuse her students with a sustainability mindset and prepare ‘future-ready’ accounting professionals. Podcasts, Kahoot! and Miro, among others, are part of her digital toolset. She offered suggestions on the multiple ways to mobilize podcasts for teaching. Her take on the matter is broad and accessible. Both the technologically advanced and the technologically challenged may find inspiration for their own teaching.
Joan completed with the individual reflections that motivated the rethinking of a traditional approach to financial accounting assessment (two exams with a strong technical focus) into a dialogical approach (multiple, small reflexive assessments through the semester). She also provided a behind the scenes look at the institutional work that was required to secure acceptance for the proposed change, which was initially “quietly ignored”. It is interesting to note how Freire’s dialogic education approach informed not only the development of the assessment, but also the institutional work undertaken to secure its approval.
Fascinating discussions followed, around (among other things) the meaning of student engagement and the challenges of preserving pedagogical autonomy in amidst shifting institutional priorities and contexts.
Of course, this is only a glimpse of the insights we gathered from our panelists and discussions! To learn more, you will find a video recording of the panellists’ contributions along with further resources in the CSEAR Members’ Area. Some resources are also available below.
Huge thanks to our panellists once again, for their time, generosity, and contagious energy.
Our next event will be held in-person, in St-Andrews on August 21, 2023, under the theme of Radical pedagogies and co-learning. As a fringe event to the CSEAR conference in St Andrews (22-24 August), ECoP 4 will take the form of a workshop offering two plenaries as well as small discussion sessions. For more information, visit the event page. Inspired by the latest ECoP events and wishing to pursue your engagement on sustainability education? Complete the Expression of Interest Form for ECoP 4 here.
If you would like to sign up to the CSEAR ECoP mailing list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some selected resources gathered from the event (more in the the CSEAR Members’ Area!)
Arjaliès, D-L., Chen S. and Sathasivam S. and Newton A. (2020). Verge Capital: Investing for Social Impact, Ivey Publishing 9B20M135.