In June 2018, head of TSMU Department of Pediatric Diseases and Pediatric Surgery Professor Oksana Boyarchuk trained at MacEwan University (Edmonton, Canada). Participating in the training program were also faculty from other Ukrainian partners of MacEwan University: Natalia Starynska from the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” and Oleksandr Avramchuk from Ukrainian Catholic University.
The participants started their training with a visit to the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFÉ). Academic year at MacEwan University runs from September to April. From April to the end of June, the Teacher Training Center offers a daily program of workshops for university professors. The topics of the workshops cover the latest in the teaching technologies, ways to improve quality of teaching, interactive teaching methods, curriculum developement, and approaches to increase motivation of students and teachers. Participating in the seminars are professors of different specialties and different ages. Although participation in the seminars is voluntary, there is always significant interest from people wishing to improve their pedagogical skills.
Teacher Training Center (CAFÉ).
A Study Room at MacEwan University.
MacEwan University Library.
Professors from Ukraine had an opportunity to take part in several such seminars. It should be mentioned that MacEwan University instructors had twice came to Ukraine to present similar seminars at Ukrainian Catholic University (October 2017) and the National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (April 2018); TSMU professors participated in these events.
During this visit, representatives of Ukrainian universities had the opportunity to introduce Ukraine and their universities to the CAFE and MacEwan University faculty and staff. Canadian colleagues in particular wanted to learn about the political situation in Ukraine, its education and public health systems.
During the second part of their visit, Ukrainian professors took part in the 2018 National Great Teachers Seminar, held in the picturesque town of Banff.
Participating in the seminar were 33 teachers and 7 facilitators. The teachers came from various universities in Canada, the United States, Czech Republic and Ukraine. The facilitators represented MacEwan University and United States universities.
Ukrainian professors Natalia Starynska (KMA), Olexander Avramchuk (UCU), and Oksana Boyarchuk (TSMU).
The guiding philosophy of the seminar is that one of the most powerful forms of professional development is learning form one another. Participants of the seminar shared their innovations, problems, and sought ways to solve them. The seminar format did not have a rigid structure, predetermined plan and program, and was based on the needs of teachers wanting to improve their skills and become Great Teachers.
Discussing program for the day.
All seminar participants actively helped solving important issues for each other. Work took place in small groups. Facilitators helped only in organizing a problem-solving process, but did not take part in the discussion. The main issues raised at the seminar were the same for Canadian as well as Ukrainian peers: rising student motivation, using active forms of learning, encouraging students to study, experimental forms of training, group work, game teaching methods, involvement of all students , “a lot of material, little time”, and creating favorable conditions for teaching and teachers.
Work in small groups.
The atmosphere and spirit of the seminar, which brought together people passionate about improving their teaching methods, left a lasting impression.
Results of group work.
Nataiya Starynska (KMA, Ukraine) presents the results of group work.
Individual task results
Everyone had the opportunity to choose the session that was of the most interest to them.
Especially poignant was a session dedicated to talking about teachers who had the largest impact or left a significant mark on one’s life.
Candles in memory of Great Teachers.
Results of the last group project What Makes a Great Teacher?.
In November 2018, MacEwan University will organize a Ukraine Great Teachers Seminar at Ukrainian Catholic University, presented by faculty and facilitators from Canada. Teachers from all partner Ukrainian universities will be able to take part in this seminar.
Dr. Boyarchuk wishes to express her gratitude to TSMU administration for the opportunity to take part in the seminar. She also thanks director of MacEwan University Center for Ukrainian Resources and Development Yurii Konkin for organizing the trip, and CAFÉ faculty Paul Martin (director of the Great Teachers Seminar), and Carolyn Ives (CAFÉ director). The trip has been made possible through funding from the government of Alberta.
Seminar participants from Ukraine together with facilitator Kevin Hood (MacEwan University).