When it comes to teaching, kindness can’t be an afterthought – it should be built into course designs from the start.
That’s according to Fiona Rawle, associate dean, undergraduate at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Writing in Times Higher Education, Rawle outlined her “pedagogy of kindness” by breaking it down into 12 steps that ranged from forming deliberate connections with students to ensuring that teaching practices are “trauma-informed and empathetic.”
She stressed that a teaching philosophy emphasizing kindness, empathy and flexibility is compatible with holding students to rigorous academic standards.
“Studies have shown that increased feelings of connection and inclusion improve both student learning and student wellness,” said Rawle, a professor, teaching stream, in U of T Mississauga’s department of biology.