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Wednesday, June 22 • 08:30 - 10:40
Plenary I: QUESTions Instead of Answers: A Process-based Curriculum for the Twenty-first Century (Sponsored by University Affairs)

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The design of Quest University Canada began with a blank sheet of paper and a question: How do we create the most effective and engaging education for students who will graduate into a rapidly changing, globalized world? Our answer was to center education around the formulation of good questions and the processes by which one attempts to address them, rather than focusing instruction on the delivery of information. This leads naturally to having tutors who teach, rather than professors who profess, and to seminar rooms rather than lecture halls. It leads to dissolving disciplinary boundaries so good questions can easily cross them in a student-centered, project-based curriculum of exploration, rather than a fact-based transfer of information and its subsequent regurgitation. It leads to a collaborative rather than a competitive learning environment. And it produces students with highly developed skills in written and oral communication who are instinctively collaborative, inherently trans-disciplinary in their approach to problems, and engaged in their local and global communities.*

*adapted from my article in Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 2016, Vol. 36. N. 2, pp28-34.


David Helfand

Dr. Helfand is a scholar of Astronomy, the Past President of the American Astronomical Society and has promoted a model of progressive education at Columbia University and Quest University.

Wednesday June 22, 2016 08:30 - 10:40 EDT
North Campus Building (NCB 101) Western University