The Caring Classroom: Promoting Community-Centered Learning on Campus

We are thrilled to share the first of a series of articles co-written by Kim Samuel and graduating students from her Fall 2016 International Development seminar at McGill University, Lessons of Community and Compassion: Overcoming Social Isolation and Building Social Connectedness Through Policy and Program Development. This collaboration reflects a primary goal for Kim as a professor: to foster community-centered teaching and learning in the university classroom and beyond.

In this first article, “The Caring Classroom: Promoting Community-Centered Learning on Campus,” Kim and co-author Jeremy Monk reflect on the deep struggles and challenges facing many university students, and express support for strategies that deliberately build community within the classroom and foster relationships key to the growth and success of students beyond the classroom too.

The article is also closely linked to the final event of the academic year in the Jeanne Sauvé Forum Series on Social Connectedness — Teaching with Compassion: Holistic Approaches to Building Community in the University Classroom — which occurred on April 12th. This event explored the value in building a community in the university classroom as well as the importance of creating opportunities outside the classroom for students. The panel convened McGill University professors from across disciplines who are dedicated to pursuing a holistic learning approach in their classrooms. The speakers discussed innovative strategies and tools to building community and enhancing connectedness in the university classroom setting, as well as structural challenges they face to building community, given the institutional requirements of a university professor. Stay tuned for a full recap of the event and video on our YouTube channel!

About the Co-Author

Jeremy Monk is completing his undergraduate degree at McGill University, majoring in International Development Studies and History, and minoring in Education. Jeremy will be a Research Fellow with McGill’s Institute for the Study of International Development this summer before beginning graduate studies in International Education Development at Columbia University. His primary research interests are access to primary and secondary education for marginalized children and sociology of education.