Celebration of Teaching Excellence at UBC – Jude Walker

Discover the techniques and practices of outstanding teachers at UBC

Dr. Jude Walker

Department of Educational Studies
EDST 520 (Transformative Learning)

Making Meaning

various objects

Why did you choose this slide?

These are a sample of assignments submitted by education graduate students that represent artistically and metaphorically their critiques, responses to, and lived experiences of transformative learning. Themes include (among others): play; connection; light and dark; past, present, and future; ruptures; hope and hopelessness. The slide as a whole centres student work and captures powerful meaning-making of theoretical constructs and reflects both processes and outcomes of learning.

What are you aiming to convey with it?

Creativity can be fostered within a university classroom in a way that allows students to deepen their understanding of ideas, tap into prior learning, and connect with and learn through the metaphorical (as Lakoff & Johnson, 1980 note). I have found that assignments and activities like these, that centre creativity and the affective dimensions of learning, encourage students to make sense of complex and connected theoretical concepts that complement the learning they undergo from reading, critical reflection, and dialogue. The sense-making that emerges through the creation and explanation of such materials, and the ensuing conversation among the class, facilitates learning of ideas and the creation of new ones.

How do you think it contributes to student learning?

Students learn by making sense of new ideas in connection to broader concepts and metaphors, past learning, and by dialogically and reflexively engaging with themselves and one another. Creation–whether in writing, talking, or making art–is how we process ideas, test our understanding, and make meaning. Assignments like these—the products of which are presented here—push students to take risks in an intellectually rigorous manner, and in collaboration and connection with others, resulting in deeper understanding for the individual students and the class as a whole.

View Dr. Jude Walker’s one-minute presentation on their teaching practice.