Dream Courses selected for fall semester

Principal's Dream Courses Initiative identifies three winners


In early April, six professors were granted permission and funding to proceed with their carefully crafted “Dream Courses”.           

After a four month process, and out of 10 applicants, three courses were chosen as the winners for the Principal’s Dream Courses initiative.

The Principal's Dream Courses initiative was announced in November, and is an opportunity for professors from any faculty to submit a proposal demonstrating how one of their existing courses would be redeveloped if given funding for new components.

In their proposals, each faculty member or team was required to include a letter of support from the applying professor’s faculty dean.

The initiative aims to encourage undergraduate research and inquiry as approaches to learning.  The chosen courses will be provided with up to $13,000 in funding, to be supported for a minimum of two years.

Some of the possible uses of that funding include additional TA support, experiential/field learning events, invited experts, course materials, technology or other supports for active and inquiry-based learning.

The winning courses were chosen based on the identification of the theme of sustainability, Indigenous identities and Queen’s 175th anniversary.

Principal Daniel Woolf said that the quality of applications submitted were admirable.

“The dream courses received an impressive array of proposals. Each course will provide their students with an exceptional and memorable learning experience,” he said.

The first of the winning courses is ENGL 467, titled “Words in Place: Settler and Indigenous Stories of Kingston/Cataraqui”. This course was designed and will be taught by Laura Murray.

The class uses archival materials, community conversations and a mix of memory, poetry and artwork in order to engage students with the Indigenous history of Kingston.

“This is an unusual course for the English department. It’s an opportunity for students, regardless of their background, to reflect on their relationship to this land,” Murray said.

The second, ENSC 203, focuses on “Environment and Sustainability”. It was designed and will be taught by Allison Goebel, Stephen Brown, and Alice Hovorka.

The course looks at the construction of decisions related to environment management, perception and conservation.

“Students are engaged and worried about environmental issues, but often become overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems which can lead to inaction and despair,” said Goebel.

“Our course grapples with these problems head on, but also makes room for success stories and strategies for positive change at both the individual and community levels.”

The final course, MEDS 116, is titled “Population and Global Health”. Dr. Lindsay Davidson and Dr. Melanie Walker of the School of Medicine designed and will teach the course, focusing on population and global health, advocacy and social accountability in the medical field.

Davidson said that the Dream Course model has allowed an expansion on Indigenous health teaching for first year medical students.

“[It’s] laying the foundation for an intentional curricular thread for all graduates from the MD program, preparing them to optimally serve patients of Indigenous origin in their future careers.”

The dream courses are scheduled to start in the fall of 2016.


All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.