Attending the SFU network gathering as students offered us a rare look into the world of teachers and the problems they face trying to engage students while cultivating a positive learning environment. A standout of the meeting was the talk regarding student involvement in a course’s curriculum. As bioCEED student representatives, we have deeper involvement in the biology curriculum at UNIS than other students. This talk advocated support for programs that encourage student input, and inspired some points of feedback in our midterm review sessions with our professors regarding how much freedom students have in deciding the direction of their own student projects.
The discussion was also led into how students can enhance their learning experience. Most notably, was the potential for more research integrated education. The theoretical prospect of this is that students could be part of projects led by the universities and gain experience alongside their studies. This would consequently lead to education that is more oriented towards the job market.
The gathering included workshops to encourage discussion and sharing experiences between different centres. We had a workshop with the primary focus bioCEED as an influential centre for education. Included in this session was our approach to getting noticed as an organization. This workshop was spent discussing different ways of organizing student activities, student workshops and getting students excited about their own learning experience through SFU`s related centres.
The workshop was useful as we got an insight into other centres methods and thought processes, when questioning how to get students more involved. The session gave us inspiration and indication of where to focus our attention, when it comes to positioning of our centre.
On the second day, we attended a workshop regarding the philosophy of sustainability in the context of education. Approaching this topic on a philosophical level rather than thinking about only waste, carbon footprints, and climate change was a unique and fulfilling experience. The takeaways from the lesson were less concrete and more so changes in mindset that we can apply in small ways in our approach to sustainability.