Category Archives: Uncategorized

a variety of learning environments…………….

a variety of learning  environments................

Every day I come across a new learning space here at UBC – this one was in the Forestry Faculty – students looked comfortable and were engaged in solitary study, others in collaborative dialogue and a few relaxing and reading as if in their lounge room! All are necessary as if we are to be truly respectful of learning styles we need to make provision for diverse ways and diverse places for students to study. This space on the day I was there was quiet. People intent on their own work and doing so in their own way! The weather has forced people in doors this week with snow outside….I look forward to seeing students use the outside learning spaces….and there has been thought put into the design of this campus….many wonderful spaces …but I have also seen large buildings with very ineffective use of spaces…some are rather bland and lack any form of intimacy! Most of the cafes are a wasted resource with little thought given to design, comfort and effective use of the space. Many tables are occupied by one student with one computer……a wasted opportunity for dialogue and a wasted opportunity to have increased numbers use the space. I think with very little intervention there are many areas of UBC which could be designed to better utilise the area with significant increases in both function and capacity!

Respect, Relationships, Responsibility & Reverence

Respect, Relationships, Responsiblity & Reverence

First Nations Longhouse – I was delighted to stumble across this magnificent structure…quite by accident! The First Nations Longhouse is a very large and rather splendid building of West Coast Red Cedar Logs – it serves as an intellectual, social, spiritual and cultural home for the Aboriginal students attending UBC. I felt honoured to be present over a luncheon where the UBC Elder spoke re the importance of respectfully sharing knowledge and our home with others. I was particularly interested as at La Trobe University at home in Melbourne where I am an Adjunct Professor, the Vice Chancellor has just recently proudly announced the appointment of a University Elder! A great move forward – maybe we could learn from the lessons and initiatives of UBC! The Long House was physically a stunning structure and as I left the building I reflected upon the great symbolism this piece of architecture must have for the community of UBC. In reading a book about the establishment of the Long House I learn it was the dream of Aboriginals who attended UBC to have a “place” which would house resources and people who could help First Nation Students feel recognised, supported and encouraged! This respectful acknowledgement of First Nation Students was a joy to witness!