My Teaching Philosophy


My teaching philosophy initially was shaped by experiences among spiritually traditional, land-based Aboriginal people (First Nation, Metis and Inuit) in North America, during travels across Canada from the Yukon to Baffin Island. Aboriginal people bestowed upon me an appreciation of human interconnection with a spiritual dimension and also the imperative of human responsibility to learn about our interrelationships with all earthly life, on whom we depend for our life support system.

My many years of journalism, as well as documentary filmmaking and teaching, thus have been grounded in a commitment to instill cross-cultural understanding, by challenging cultural racism and consequent social injustice. My teaching perspective is informed, as a lifelong learner, not only by the principles of Indigenous culture, yet also by my investigation of the political, economic, religious, and social factors that shaped Euro-western culture, particularly in the past five centuries of colonialism. My Masters thesis focused on the latter, in which I also investigated the diverse points of view of scholars, including Arab scholar Edward W. Said. This interdisciplinary theme, in turn, formulated the basis of courses that I have created and taught, in secondary school and university.

Concepts and practices of media literacy have provided one significant pillar - challenging all forms of discrimination - in my teaching practice. Media literacy is a life skill, excellent in developing critical thinking, to analyze how and why all forms of media contruct reality from specific points of view, who benefits and whose voices are silenced.

I have facilitated many conference workshops around North America for teachers, conflict resolution practitioners and journalists. I also have been a guest speaker, presented at professional development seminars for many teachers, and created my own Native Studies course to teach at the School of Experiential Education (SEE), in the City of Etobicoke, Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Student-centred learning in my experiential course, unlike conventional school curricula, gave opportunities for students to study Aboriginal books and films, learn directly from Aboriginal guest speakers and participate in field trips to cultural events held by Aboriginal people.

The second significant pillar of my student-centred approach combines transformative learning with experiential learning, based upon the principles of psychosynthesis. For my Doctoral studies, I trained in psychosynthesis, whose concepts and practices are used internationally in education, conflict resolution and psychotherapy. Psychosynthesis processes enable learners to identify and transform obstacles in their own unconscious that hold them back from their human potential.

My holistic approach as a teacher and mentor, therefore, addresses the development of the whole person, including the intellectual mind, yet also connecting the emotions, the body and the soul, thus awakening ways of knowing that enable us to function more fully from our higher qualities. The skills that I can develop in students are life skills that can be applied in various areas of academic study as well as in the professional and personal spheres of their lives. These include: cross-cultural and environmental awareness, media literacy, problem solving, critical thinking, oral and written communication skills, teamwork, and appreciating the importance of the evolution of consciousness as a lifelong pursuit.

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