Student Speaker Panel

Breaking down barriers: Strategies and practices

Last year at the Jean-Paul Dionne Symposium we introduced a bilingual panel called “Les chercheur.e.s à l’avant-plan | Behind the Researcher”. This panel featured graduate students who spoke about barriers they have faced while completing their graduate studies. These barriers included personal, family, and academic barriers, with the topics ranging from addiction to racism. Last year we brought these topics to the forefront in the hopes of breaking down the stigma associated with them. This year we plan to continue the discussion by introducing strategies and practices that can result in impactful change in various levels of education.

Over the last year, the pandemic has continued to compound the academic, personal, and family barriers that students face as they pursue their educational goals. It is no surprise that students of all ages and levels are increasingly troubled by the uncertainty of the road that lies ahead. Many are currently struggling to succeed while trying to adapt to drastically changing variables in the world around them.   

This year our panel will approach the topic of barriers in various educational levels and settings. Our panelists will be invited to share their best strategies and practices for working with their learners. 

We are looking for four to five graduate students who have experience teaching diverse learners. Are you a forward thinker when it comes to strategies and practices in education? Can other graduate students benefit from your expertise? If so, we would encourage you to act as a panelist at the upcoming, appropriately titled bilingual panel: “Briser les barrières : Stratégies et pratiques | Breaking down barriers: Strategies and practices”, at the 2022 Jean-Paul Dionne Symposium being held on March 3 and 4, 2022. 

Here are a few possible topic ideas that may spark interest: EDI strategies, how to develop 21st century knowledge and skills, accessibility, intersectionality, how to foster creativity in learners, tips and tricks for delivering online courses to diverse learners, tips on surviving graduate school during the pandemic, etc.

Meet the panelists!

Béatrice de Montigny

Biography: Béatrice de Montigny (elle) est étudiante au doctorat en éducation à l’Université d’Ottawa. Son domaine de recherche est l’éducation sexuelle au Canada, avec une attention spéciale à l’enseignement du consentement au primaire. Elle est également enseignante à temps plein dans un conseil scolaire francophone en Ontario. Elle croit d’ailleurs que d’avoir un pied dans le milieu académique et l’autre dans le milieu professionnel est un atout pour faire le pont entre les deux. À l’aide de ses recherches, Béatrice espère mieux outiller les scolaires et ouvrir la voie vers une culture du consentement.

Twitter handle: @Mme_Beatrice

Description of presentation: En tant qu’enseignante au primaire depuis maintenant 5 ans, j’ai eu l’occasion d’enseigner à différents niveaux, dans différentes écoles, en ligne et en présentiel. Cela m’a demandé beaucoup d’adaptation, que ce soit pour me familiariser avec les curriculums ou encore les groupes d’âge. Depuis 2 ans, je suis enseignante de maternelle/jardin, ce qui veut donc dire qu’avec la pandémie j’ai enseigné en ligne et en présentiel, souvent devant faire la transition avec 24h de préavis. Le curriculum de maternelle/jardin mettant l’accent sur l’apprentissage par le jeu, il fallut faire preuve d’imagination pour transposer cette façon de faire en ligne. Parmi mes stratégies gagnantes, notons l’ouverture de rencontres Meet supervisées pour que les élèves gardent contact; la relation avec les parents et la reconnaissance des circonstances exceptionnelles, pour eux comme pour moi; la continuation de la routine de la classe; les activités permettant aux enfants de bouger et nécessitant le moins d’aide possible des parents, gardant en tête que plusieurs travaillent et/ou ont d’autres enfants; et l’utilisation de la technologie pour faire des activités autrement impossible (faire des recettes, dire bonjour à mon chien, montrer les bourgeons et les fleurs qui poussent, etc.). Ce sont des stratégies que j’ai développées en partie suite à des conversations avec des collègues, en partie de par mon expérience en enseignement et avec le groupe d’âge. Dans cette présentation, j’expliquerai plus en détails ces stratégies en faisant des liens concrets avec leur application telle que je l’ai vécue. 

Ilham Hoque

Biography: Ilham Hoque (She/Her/Elle) is presenting today from Toronto, Canada. Prior to pursuing her MEd in uOttawa, Ilham worked with young people with disability providing career and life skills education within non-profit organizations land post-secondary institutions like the University of Toronto. She did her undergraduate studies at University of Toronto in International Relations and English, to feed her twin loves of international affairs and English lit. Ilham also did a post-graduate diploma in Social Service Work from Seneca College, where she was nominated as Valedictorian of her graduating class due to her advocacy for implementing new educational strategies in the program courses. Her interest in effective teaching strategies, lifelong cognitive development and learning in general grew when it came to coming up with fun activities to keep her kids learning and busy, during her maternity leaves. And Lego is amongst the greatest of teaching strategies and learning development! 

Instagram handle: StoryMummy86

Description of presentation: If you think play-based learning is simply for kids, think again! This educational strategy using building blocks can help adults learn life-skills that can be used for both personal and professional success. Ilham has used this building blocks team activity when working with post-secondary students in career skills workshops and has used this hands-on and interactive teaching strategy to demonstrate the real-life use of transferable skills such as creative problem-solving, teamwork and negotiation skills.  The learning process of this building blocks activity adheres with the 6 principles of andragogy and social constructionist learning theory. 

Heba Khalil

Biography: Heba Khalil (she/her) is a third-year PhD of Philosophy student at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education. Her concentration is Cultures, Languages, on Societies. Aside from her from being a PhD student, Heba is a certified ESL/EFL adult instructor and a research assistant at the University of Ottawa. Heba has extensive experience teaching English as a Second Language in University, College, and newcomer programs in Canada. She will be sharing some classroom strategies that she has picked up while teaching adults and while being an adult learner at the University of Ottawa. Heba will be joining us to share her insights from Canada’s capital city, Ottawa.

Description of presentation: As an adult English as a Second Language Instructor, I have had extensive experience teaching adult students of diverse backgrounds English as a Second Language. While teaching, I have come across the Portfolio Based Language Instruction Assessment (PBLA) model associated with the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program which emphasizes conducting needs based assessments at the start of the semester and throughout the learning period to best judge the needs of the learners and continuously adjust teaching goals and practices accordingly. As a panelist, I would be interested in using this model as inspiration to extend this practice to other classes within the faculty of education by sharing with colleagues some practices that I believe can help tailor their class content to the needs of students. These practices derive from classes that I have been exposed to as a graduate student, teaching assistant, and instructor and include strategies on:

  • Allowing space for students to design their own course curriculum.
  • Representing students’ needs and lived realities within the curriculum set out for them.
  • Allowing students a chance to teach others about a relevant topic as a necessary component of the group learning process.