Teaching @ Sydney

November 2012

Fostering students' skills of enquiry through CELT

This engaging Colloquium session showcased in a round table format, Community-engaged learning and teaching (CELT) initiatives from Business; Education & Social Work; Nursing & Midwifery; Medicine; Architecture, Design & Planning and Law. The session provided participants with opportunities to hear about a variety of projects and to share information and ask questions.

Participants learnt how CELT fosters students’ skills of enquiry through activities outside the classroom and they explored the community benefits of CELT projects.

The projects that were showcased each addressed one of the six key issues for CELT:

  • Principles and approaches  used to create strategic partnerships (Service Learning through partnership with local indigenous agencies);
  • Logistics and matching of student/student groups to community partners (Pre-service Teachers' Community Development Projects);
  • Authentic assessment (Nursing clinical home project);
  • Identifying the educational outcomes in community initiated projects (CELT through service learning in Broken Hill);
  • Scholarship of learning and teaching from CELT projects (Engaged practice collaborations); and
  • CELT as part of the formal or informal curriculum.

One of the organisers of the session reported being moved to tears by the report on CELT through service learning in Rural Health at Broken Hill where students have been helping children who needed speech pathologists but could not access them in a remote community. They were making a real difference in the lives of children and their parents: children who previously could not be understood by classmates and teachers were now able to be understood.

Student presentations, in person or on video, highlighted the depth and breadth of their learning experiences and the impact in the community.

Participants were inspired to engage in CELT projects with presenters reporting that academic staff from other schools and faculties had approached them for support in setting up projects.

Resources from this session of the Colloquium are available here.