The University of Saskatchewan’s Learning Charter calls us to be both a place and a community conducive to learning. The University Learning Centre and the Gwenna Moss Centre, and the Centre for Discovery in Learning rise to this call; we dedicate ourselves to the principles of both service and leadership in inspiring students, instructors, and the University to meet their respective Learning Charter commitments. The learning to which we aspire is deep, joyful, and transformative for faculty and students alike. We advocate for learning that allows students to better understand the wholeness and unity of knowledge, the fullness of reality, and the possibilities of human community. We seek for both faculty and students to realize their potential within the context of their past failures as well as their successes, adopting a position of humility that characterizes successful, open-ended learning. We see teaching as foundational in discovering, building, and sharing knowledge, but just as vital is its role to inspire students in the belief that deep and effortful learning is not only worthwhile, but fundamental to life.
Our Centres seek to foster a culture of learning that begins within individual courses and programs, but which we assert can be more fully consolidated through the hospitable environment of a welcoming place in the heart of the U of S campus. We encourage students to learn actively, think broadly, act ethically, and engage respectfully. In acknowledging that deep learning encompasses both focused, solitary study and collaborative, experiential engagement with ideas, we nurture a respect not only for learning itself, but also for different ways of communicating and engaging knowledge. We view faculty, instructors, and students from an integrated perspective, one which engages and recognizes the whole person. We value reflection about the connections among discovery, service, and learning as a means of deepening the discourse of teaching and learning.
Recognizing and contributing to the burgeoning area of scholarship devoted to teaching and learning, we advocate for exemplary, effective, evidence-informed practices. We value innovations which meet the standards of research and which take into account the natural gifts of faculty; the nature of knowledge in particular disciplines; and the targeted needs of students in particular settings. Our sensitivity to these factors is firmly rooted in the value we place upon diversity – of people, their points of view, and the places from which they come. In keeping with our respect for the standards of scholarship, we encourage assessment of all educational practices, and are devoted to regular evaluation of our own programs, practices, and perspectives. Our staff value and work within a highly collaborative environment built upon individual areas of expertise and independent scholarship. In acknowledging the important role that others play in our own mission, our Centres aspire to consolidate and grow our many valued collaborative, synergistic partnerships with faculty, teaching and learning specialists, colleges, departments, and other academic support units. Building and nurturing reciprocal relationships with others in the larger university community and beyond will make it possible for us to be appropriately nimble as we coordinate or conduct programs and initiatives that meet the needs of students and faculty.
Our mission is “to place learning at the centre” by
- Promoting Mentorship as a Foundation for Learning and Teaching,
- Connecting Theory and Practice in Learning and Teaching,
- Building An Environment that Fosters a Culture of Learning and Teaching,
- Nurturing Proficient and Effective Learning and Teaching.