A Message form the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

A Message form the Society for Teaching and
Learning in Higher Education

Julia Christensen Hughes
President, STLHE/SAPES

his book celebrates many things. It celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the 3M Teaching Fellowships Program and the faculty from across the country who have been honoured for their exceptional commitment to university teaching and learning, including demonstrated teaching excellence, contributions to scholarship, and advocacy for the improvement of teaching within their academic communities. The voices contained within this volume demonstrate how passionately many faculty feel about their vocation.

Canadian society benefits tremendously from this commitment and passion. Noted educational philosopher John Dewy argued in the early 1900s that an effective education system is an essential underpinning of any democratic society, as it nurtures the ability for critical reflection, appreciation of the arts, and the opportunity to develop skills for understanding and resolving diverse points of view. Today, in addition to these societal benefits, we also recognize that higher education is associated with intellectual capital and a higher standard of living. In other words, effective teaching and learning are directly linked with many positive societal outcomes, and so we celebrate those who contribute to Canadian society in this very important way.

This book also celebrates the long-standing and productive relationship between the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and 3M Canada that has resulted in this unique program’s success. The Society is exceptionally grateful to John Myser from 3M Canada who helped found the program and Greg Snow and Sue Romyn who have continued to advocate on its behalf Special thanks to Dale Roy who coordinated the program on behalf of the Society, from its inception in 1987 to 2000, and to Arshad Ahmad who coordinates the program today, along with Alex Fancy, Clarissa Green, Guy Allen, Michael Moore, Anna Lathrop, Claude Lamontagne and Sylvia Riselay, key players in the newly created Council of 3M Teaching Fellows. The Council is a highly active group of award winners that continuously seek opportunities for fostering teaching excellence. In this way, in addition to supporting the national teaching awards, the 3M Teaching Fellowships Program represents a community that is committed to advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning and advocating for teaching excellence across the country.

Finally, this book celebrates university students. Their contributions clearly demonstrate how committed students can be to their own learning and how deeply appreciative they are of faculty who bring curiosity, creativity, and compassion, along with high expectations for themselves and their students, to the learning environment. Their voices should serve as heartfelt thanks to our current 3M Teaching Fellows and inspiration for those to come.