Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Activity: Engagement and professional developmentContent creation/deliveryAcademic


Taken from reflection
I am pursuing my Graduate Certificate of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education because I identify as an emerging and learning educator who desires a deeper understanding of pedagogy theory. I have worked in many teaching and learning spaces and feel I have a natural disposition for engaging active learning, reflective practice, and critical thinking. However, I would find it difficult to rationalise and explain the theories behind/within some of my teaching practices.

Whilst undertaking the subject EEP423 Constructing effective learning environments for adults in 2021, I reflected upon and identified issues for development within my current learning and teaching practice. Through this study and critical reflection of my own teaching practice I also discovered and articulated a personal commitment to supporting individual students in the crafting of self as an adult learner. Through my investigations of both my practice and theory, I have found that by encouraging personal growth of the individual learner, collaborative group learning also benefits. This being particularly relevant for the collaborative learning spaces found within the Bachelor of Communication.

Through this subject of study, I recognised a personal commitment to enhancing the sense of an inclusive university community. I completed the Ally Training with the CSU Student Equity Office, and I am now a registered member within the Ally Network. This training strengthened my capacity to develop authentic relationships with my learners and has provided me with the self-assurance to engage in genuine dialogue. During this last session of teaching (202160), I was acknowledged by learners both verbally and in written emails in my genuine attempts (and successes) in creating culturally safe learning spaces. Feeling comfortable to discuss issues around equity, diversity and my own actions within teaching spaces not only helps cultivate respectful teacher-learner relationships but enables a shared vision to enact cultural action (Freire, 1996) and university transformation. I am confident that this experience has better equipped me to design strategies to improve my teaching and learning approaches to individual and group learning.

I have one remaining subject left within this Graduate Certificate of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education which I will be completing in 2022. I have been able to apply theorical learnings into the design of my 2022 teaching, the new Bachelor of Communication degree as well as being able to share insights and values with direct colleagues. I regard my role of teacher as facilitating the process of learning (Knowles et al., 2015. p. 122). I recognise that the learners I work with require a sense of safety both physically and psychologically to enable engaged learning, and that Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy of needs articulates further human elements required by my learners to experience true learning motivation, enjoyment, and success. I will approach future learning and teaching design with these five scaffolded human needs in mind.

Freire, P. (1996). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Penguin.
Knowles, M., Holton, E., & Swanson, R. (2015). The Adult Learner. Routledge.
Maslow, A. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50 (4), 370-396.
Period01 Jul 202125 Oct 2021
Held atSocial Work and Arts
Degree of RecognitionLocal