Michael Moore (1993)

moore1Affiliation at the time of the award: Wilfrid Laurier University, English.

Citation: Michael Moore is regarded at Laurier, and across Canada, as a leading Canadian educator, in the classroom among students, in meeting-rooms with professional policy makers, in informal and stimulating conversations with colleagues, and in faculty development workshops with teachers from varied disciplines. For Michael, the classroom is a place where intellectual challenges and risks, traditions and innovations, are all brought into play. In spite of the broad range of courses and students he teaches, he maintains an excellent teaching record. He is widely known for the outstanding quality and success of his Handbook of Current English where, in a field chock full of books on the teaching of language and writing, his is one of the most highly regarded. For his excellence in teaching, he was awarded W.L.U.’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1991.

Prior to his appointment as Associate Director, Research and Instructional Development in 1992, he was a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee, appointed by the Vice- President, Academic, to develop an innovative, university-wide, multi- disciplinary teaching development office. He writes and presents scholarly papers on pedagogy and works on the development of policies to support excellence in pedagogy and curriculum development. He actively supports programs to improve teaching and research on university teaching, and has organized several workshops for colleagues. Some typical presentations, workshops, writings:

  • What is Your Default Mode?: Thinking Past Our Favourite Teaching Habits” (co-presented with Russell Hunt), STLHE Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 2003.
  • “Good Habits Die Hard: Debating the Why of How We “Deliver” University Teaching and Learning” (co-presented with Russell Hunt), STLHE Conference, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John’s, 2001.
  • Annual WLU orientation workshops, e.g., GTA practicum training, IDO new faculty sessions, presentations to new undergraduates on academic integrity.
  • Review of Re-Thinking the Future of the University (eds. D. Jeffrey and Domenic Manganiello), English Studies in Canada 26.3 (September 2000).
  • “Ethos and Professing: the Limits of Technique” (co-presented with Allan Gedalof), STLHE Conference, Mount Allison University, Sackville, 1998.
  • “Multi-Disciplinary Issues in Pedagogy and Curriculum Development.” “Splitting a Hair?: `Practice’ versus `Technique’ in University Teaching.”
  • “Me and My Shadow: Teachers at the Secondary – Postsecondary Interface.”
  • “Teaching on Television: Opportunities and Compromises”.
  • Keynote address on transition to university, at WLU summer weekend conference of incoming students and their families.
  • “Subjectivity and Academic Discourse”.
  • My Brilliant TV Career: New Misadventures in Teaching”.
  • Fish and Fowl in the English Department”.
  • Beyond Apple-Polishing” (on class ombudspersons).
  • “The Value of the Textbook: An Author’s Perspective”.

Television Series: I recently co-developed and co-presented, with fellow Fellow (and fine fellow) Allan Gedalof of Western, a series “Introduction to Literature” for public broadcasting (TVOntario). The credit course package for distance education includes, besides the video segments, extensive audio and print material. I remain interested in various techno-educational ironies crystallized by this experience.

Other Awards:

  • WLU Outstanding Teacher Award, 1991.
  • Ontario Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, 1993.

Interests and Awards:

My impossible ideal of academic life is an almost exact balancing and blending of our responsibilities to scholarship, to teaching, and to university, professional, or community service. Of course most of us find, over time, an extra commitment or urgency in one or another of these areas; for me it has been in teaching and pedagogy and, for a while, secondment to directing instructional development services.

Classroom practice aside, that emphasis has reflected itself in appointment to government education committees (e.g., provincial high school English curriculum revision), in frequent presentations to secondary and post-secondary teachers’ groups, and in service on such university committees as academic planning, teaching workload, teaching awards adjudication, Teaching and Learning Centre, and teaching dossier policy. I am actively involved with the website facultydevelopment.ca, and the on-line journal Positive Pedagogy.

My main ongoing interests in this respect are probably educational philosophy, motivation/mentoring, faculty development, and (as regards to my own discipline) current curricular controversies and the ever-widening gulf between students’ high-school and university experiences of this thing called “English”.