What does it mean to re-imagine your curriculum in the context of community engaged research and learning? How do you introduce students to real-world community-engaged learning? How do you set up partnerships with local communities? These are just a couple of questions that we address as a CIRCLET-community. Via our online module and our learning circles we want to support teachers to re-imagine their teaching.
Today we talk to Catherine Gorman, Senior Lecturer, School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, TU Dublin learning circle, and the International Learning Circle, in 2020-2021. She gives us insight into the course as well as into the experience of becoming part of a wider CERL-community. Catherine: “Engaging and getting feedback from colleagues from other disciplines is most beneficial.”
What was the impact of CIRCLET on you professionally? Can you give a specific example and tell us how this has influenced you?
CIRCLET provided me with the opportunity to engage with colleagues across TU Dublin. I have been involved in CERL for a number of years, and sometimes you feel as though you are in a rut. In order to get feedback, I had to summate (which was difficult) what I do, why I do it and consider it in the context of student learning and engagement. And also from the perspective of the community. Engaging and getting feedback from colleagues from other disciplines is most beneficial.
What tip would you give to anyone interested but hesitant in joining in on the learning circles/ online module?
Just go for it… our jobs are hectic, always throwing up ‘ something else to be dealt with’ Undertaking a project like CIRCLET puts you back in the driving seat again, being proactive about your work practises and providing you with an opportunity to reflect on how and why you do what you do!
The other reason to do it is because it is related to key criteria within the TU Dublin strategic plan. The Strategic Plan speaks about developing engaged, responsible graduates. Indeed it is now part of the Q5 quality assurance evaluation form. Addressing societal concerns underpins a value and an ethos that it is hoped the students will bring into the workplace and beyond.
“It does create a ‘realness’ around what we do as lecturers, to see theory and learning from the classroom (virtual and face to face) being taken out into the community and used in a beneficial manner.”
In relation to any critical points or inevitable workload issues: how did you find a solution for this? What helped you on the way?
I try to plan and manage my work time… though with a degree of flexibility. Arguably there are a number of times when it appears daunting. Though the end result through student and community feedback is worth it.
It does create a ‘realness’ around what we do as lecturers, to see theory and learning from the classroom (virtual and face to face) being taken out into the community and used in a beneficial manner. It provides students with a resilience (doing this is not easy) and an ability to deal with situations as they arise within the safe learning space of TU Dublin.
Want to find out more?
Follow the updates on our website: we will let you hear different voices from CIRCLET community. Stay tuned!