Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts is an associate professor in the Department of Languages and Literatures and a champion of active learning classrooms at Laurier's Waterloo campus. In 2008, she won a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, Canada’s most prestigious university teaching award. Her fellowship project explored current practices of active learning at Laurier, focusing on developing awareness of the potential to extend the active learning approach across disciplines.
“My research was instrumental on bringing the active learning classrooms to Laurier,” says Rowinsky-Geurts. This initiative has sparked the passion and creativity to inspire others to embrace this methodology.”
At Laurier, we pride ourselves on ‘inspiring lives of leadership and purpose’. I believe there is no better legacy than being able to work on projects that not only benefit us personally, but most of all, create a sense of pride and inspiration for others to continue, on a path of discovery. The Laurier Teaching Fellowship has offered me the possibility to exchange ideas with like-minded colleagues passionate about teaching and learning, and together, we are actively impacting our community and beyond. Most of all, students are directly benefiting from our collaborative spirit.
As a teacher, I see the classroom as a laboratory where elements and ideas are carefully combined, mixed, exchanged and developed. The classroom becomes for students and for me, the place where everyone finds a place to be-in-the-world. In this way, the teaching and learning process is always open to flexibility in its outcome, even though careful planning is always present. The classroom is the laboratory of what the world should be: open, honest, respectful, warm, challenging, secure, caring, human, giving, but mostly – ever changing.
Students are my source of inspiration. No matter how complex or challenging a task may appear, students are always ready to attempt reaching a successful outcome. Students always surprise me with their adventurous spirit.
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