Reflections on the DISCs Project
MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY | 5 October 2020
I joined the DISCs project as I wanted to learn more about teaching through a social justice lens. I thought that I would acquire some new tools and approaches that would help me to deliver my teaching through a social justice lens but also help me to develop new ways of engaging and assessing the students in my class.
THERE IS MUCH TO LEARN FROM OTHERS
In addition to acquiring new knowledge and new skills, I have also acquired a new and diverse network of interesting colleagues across a range of disciplines and universities. Scientists in particular (well this Scientist anyway), are not good at finding time to engage with colleagues from other disciplines/faculties. Each time I venture out of my (discipline) comfort zone, I find there is much to learn from others. I have found the DISCs meetings/discussions very rich and always come away with a new perspective or new ideas for my teaching. My horizons have certainly been broadened via participation in the DISCs project.
As an educator I know that reflection is very important in terms of how we teach and assess our students. However, this initiative has reminded me that reflection is also a powerful tool for student learning. Going forward, student reflection on what they perceive as social inequalities in Biology (and how they perceive the view of others) at the start and at the end of my class will be a core element of my teaching. In the words of the Chinese Philosopher Confucius ‘Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous.’