Talking Circle VIII: Experiential Learning

July 14, 2022 from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

Room Number: TRS 1-077

Facilitator: Laura Moss (U British Columbia)

Questions to Consider:

Work-integrated learning, experiential learning, Co op programs, and/ or community-engaged learning variously focus on the development of practical skills and productive community engagement for students. This session will be a space to share ideas, concerns, and best practices about experiential learning.

  1. How do they work in your institution?  What skills critically emerge from co-curricular experiences?
  2. Are you concerned about turning the classroom into a utilitarian training zone in the neoliberal institution?  Or, do you think it is vital for universities to think creatively about career preparation for students?
  3. What is the relationship between postcolonial studies and professional development?

What is a Talking Circle?

Talking circles are inspired by Indigenous practice. These discussion circles will take the gathering outside the colonial frame by ceding the claim to knowing and authority presumed by the lecturer at the front of the room or by the panel of speakers who read papers and answer questions. Conversation or talking circles provide time for each participant to share. This slowed down pace of discussion creates an atmosphere of respect which also allows for emotional and spiritual ideas to enter into the discussion. 

In the circle, everyone is equal and interconnected. You have a right to pass in the circle, but are encouraged to share, because your voice, thoughts, ideas and opinions matter – this is how we learn to walk together in a good way. When sharing, use “I” statements. We honour lived experience. Focus your positive attention on the person sharing. Consider the possibility that there may be more for you to learn and benefit from, than what you’re currently aware of, or have experienced.

Based on the teachings of Dr. Willie Ermine – Cree Elder, Ethicist & Assistant Professor at First Nations University

Additional material provided by Jerri-Lynn Orr, Indigenous Curriculum Specialist, Lakehead University