New Appointment to Centre for Teaching and Learning

Dr. Kathryn Ricketts, new coordinator of the Centre for Teaching and Learning Photo credit: Shuana Niessen

“I’ve always thought of the Centre as a hub of exchange for the enhancement and enrichment of our own capacities.”

Dr. Kathryn Ricketts has been appointed as Coordinator of the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) for a one-year term that began September 1, 2018. Kathryn brings a wealth of experience from her work with the CTL at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and from serving as a member of the University of Regina’s CTL’s Advisory group since 2014. Kathryn also designed and co-taught the Graduate Student Teaching Development Certificate offered by the CTL each year.

Though Kathryn is a practicing dancer, actor, and visual artist, she says, “I love, and have always loved, the field of education, so much so that I wanted to do my graduate work in education, so I could continue to work with my practicing art forms as a mobilizing force for education.” Kathryn holds a PhD in Arts Education from SFU, and is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Regina. From her teaching and research in the areas of literacy, embodiment and cultural studies, movement, and visual arts, Kathryn has come to believe “that people need to work artfully in education, whether they consider themselves artists or not; they need to embrace artful and embodied practices,” she says. Though Kathryn has an extensive background in curriculum design, delivery, and assessment, she hopes to draw on expertise throughout the university, through offering panel discussions and establishing partnerships with other units and centres at the U of R. Within this one-year term, Kathryn hopes to “build something that will have a future beyond the interim period, … to give the Centre traction.” Fresh from her UR Leadership course, Kathryn says, I’m feeling primed and happy to be a leader in a situation that I believe in. I have the opportunity to build something that will make a difference in this University.”

In terms of her vision, Kathryn says, “I’m working towards thinking of the CTL as an idea hub. There are a lot of stigmas in a teaching and learning centre being thought of as a remedial place for broken teaching. I’ve always thought of the Centre as a hub of exchange for the enhancement and enrichment of our own capacities.” Recalling her experiences in Apple stores as a model, Kathryn says, “There’s all these folks that don’t make me feel stupid about the fact I haven’t updated my iPad for a couple of years, or that I didn’t know about this or that. They actually hands off empower me to enhance my skills with technology, and they do it in a way that has a certain kind of grace. For me that’s a beautiful vision, to create a centre where we understand how busy faculty are, that they can’t register all the time, can’t commit for this or that sequence of events, but they need something fast, and they need something that doesn’t make them feel that they are running on a deficit.” All of this would take longer than a 1-year interim, so for now, Kathryn says, “I’m thinking of this year as a dance that I’m learning the steps to by listening to my partners; the whole university is now my sandbox.”

 

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