Teaching

Courses Taught

EDEL 435 - Inquiry into Social Studies Teaching and Learningbook2

EDEL 650 - Curriculum Foundations and Inquiry

EDEL 525 - Trends and Issues in Classroom Practice

EDEL 561 - Process of Curriculum Development

Academic Background 

I received my Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies from the University of British Columbia in 1995. My dissertation was entitled “Emerging Teacher Identity: A study in learning to teach through the experiences of a secondary social studies methods course.”

I completed a Master of Arts in Curriculum from the University of Calgary in 1983. My thesis was entitled “Preparing Materials for Teaching Native Children.” I also have a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education form the University of Western Ontario.

Teaching Philosophy

I was first involved with undergraduate teaching as a sessional instructor at the University of Calgary in 1986, where I taught until 1993. I attended the University of British Columbia full time from 1993 - 1995 to complete my doctoral studies. Prior to my post secondary teaching, I had 10 years of teaching experience at both the elementary and junior levels in schools in Alberta and Ontario. 

Over my many years of teaching I have developed a philosophy of teaching and learning that has become central to all of my work as an educator. This philosophy is grounded in a social constructivist view of my students as learners and meaning makers. There are four cornerstones to my philosophy which I have come to believe are essential to facilitating the transition from student to teacher.

The first cornerstone is a belief that direct, school and classroom based experience is a critical element of learning to teach. I began teaching my methods courses through school based partnerships in 1987 and have tried to continue that trend whenever feasible. 

The second cornerstone of my philosophy is a belief that thoughtful and meaningful learning can only occur through personal reflection. During the school-based partnership experiences I have required some form of reflective exercise in which my students are required to think about and articulate what they are learning about teaching social studies based on those experiences and to relate that learning to what is being discussed in class on campus. These reflections have proven over and over to be very powerful and insightful experiences for  both myself and my students.

A third cornerstone of my philosophy is that learning is collaborative and therefore is best done with others. Over the years I have seen immense growth in my students as they come to understand the value of working as a team. I encourage group work and co-operative learning as much as possible.

The final cornerstone of my philosophy of teaching and learning is that active involvement is essential to learning. My students are encouraged to take an active role in their search for understanding about what it means to teach social studies including participation in large group discussions, small group inquiry, and peer instruction and critique.

Dr. Susan E. Gibson © 2007
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