Courses

From 1993 to the present, I have taught a range of courses in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto. For the first decade, I taught Critical Education for Social Change and Women & Development at the graduate level, and an Environmental Research and Action Workshop at the undergraduate level (with Anders Sandberg).  Here I include only sample course syllabi from the past decade that focus on popular education and community arts:

  ENVS/FACS 2122 Community Arts for Social Change

⇓  ENVS/FACS 3122 Community Arts Preparatory Workshop

  ENVS 4122 Community Arts Practicum Seminar

  ENVS 6150 Popular Education for Social Change (with Chris Cavanagh)

  ENVS 6349 Cultural Production Workshop: Image-Based

I share these not only for potential exchange of resources with other educators in these fields, but also because I take very seriously the pedagogical design of the courses. I have enjoyed the challenge of trying to subvert conventional academic pedagogies by applying popular education principles and practices into my courses. Thus, I hope that other educators attempting to transform academic classrooms will share their own efforts with me.

Since my official retirement, I have been able to design and co-teach my dream course, ENVS 4810B Environmental Art and Food Sovereignty, at our eco-campus in Costa Rica. Along with the course outline, I am including a video introduction to the course as well as a synthesis of the 2018 course which I wrote in the form of a litany of thanks to all the collaborators, and in particular my two co-teachers, Costa Rican artists Raquel Bolaños and Guadalupe Urbina. This course is open not only to York University students but to interested artists and food activists working with NGOs and social movements anywhere in the world.

In 2013, I was the first social justice chair at the Coady International Institute on the campus of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Through this engagement, I was able to propose, test and ultimately co-teach two courses:

Integrating Food Justice into Community Programs (with Selam Teclu)

Art and Social Change (with Liliona Quarmyne)

These courses were very special because the participants were primarily practitioners from NGOs and social movements in Africa and Asia. Thus, the activities were constantly related to the diverse contexts of the participants. Again we applied a popular education methodology to the hands-on courses. Unfortunately, neither course has been continued.