Learning at Western University

February 20, 2020

On November 14-15, 2019, Western University (London, Ontario) hosted representatives from the Globalsl Network and Amizade to facilitate workshops on Fair Trade Learning. Professor Sandra Smeltzer, Faculty of Information and Media Studies & Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Teaching and Learning, drew support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant and collaborated with Careers & Experience and their Experiential Learning team to bring the workshops to fruition. 

The two workshops drew over 85 participants representing Western University faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, and community organization partners. 

The workshop on day one,  Introducing Fair Trade Learning: A Healthy Conversation and Some Practical Tools, was hosted at Innovation Works, a co-working space that houses over 200 nonprofit organizations and private sector companies with a public good orientation, and even had a graphic artist, Emma Richard, who captured ideas of Fair Trade Learning and themes and questions that emerged in the workshop discussions.

Many of the local nonprofits working out of Innovation Works are also organizations that run internship opportunities for students with Western University. The focus for the workshop was to introduce the Fair Trade Learning principles as a tool to strengthen community-university relationships as they relate to positive community and student internship outcomes.

On day two, the workshop, Principles & Promises of Fair Trade Learning, was held on Western’s campus at the Student Union building. While there were a number of familiar faces from the day before, the second workshop drew a new group of staff, faculty, and students. The three hour workshop introduced the principles of Fair Trade Learning, looked at ways to ensure community engaged learning adheres to those principles, and presented tools that can be used to measure the impact of community engaged learning on students and community partners through the lens of Fair Trade Learning.

The Globalsl Network regularly facilitates in-person gatherings, webinars, and resource-sharing. Look out for upcoming webinar collaborations with Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, Imagining America, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities, among others.  Globalsl will host a Community-based Global Learning 101 on October 1, 2020, in Philadelphia, immediately preceding the October 2 – 3  Conference of the Pennsylvania Council for International Education (PACIE). Save the Dates or make a proposal for the PACIE Conference.

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