Inspire and Engage
Experiences as a student, and professional development in teaching pedagogy and praxis, have strongly influenced Kelsey's teaching philosophy. In the classroom, and extended learning environment, she has three priorities: interdisciplinary content, interactive teaching, and experiential learning. In designing her courses, Kelsey draws on literature from anthropology, geography, leisure and recreation studies, sociology, philosophy, psychology and tourism studies. This is reflected in her adoption of diverse teaching materials, including interdisciplinary textbooks or assigned readings, complemented by policy and legislative documents that represent regional, national and international approaches to the governance and development of tourism and related leisure and recreation industries, and the protection of our tangible and intangible cultural and natural heritage. In exploring the practical implementation of course theory and legislative frameworks, Kelsey draws on international case studies with the aim of broadening students’ understanding of the role of tourism, recreation, and leisure in shaping the economies, cultures and communities of diverse countries around the world. These case studies shed light on the role of local forces in shaping tourism, recreation and leisure product development, while challenging students to critically explore both the positive and negative environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts of these sectors.
Kelsey creates an interactive teaching environment through the use of in-class activities, and a Socratic teaching method which provokes discussion, enabling students to examine how social and political forces shape the construction and use of knowledge and the development of their beliefs and values. Interactive teaching strategies include: think, pair, and share activities; exit slips; 5-minute essays; take it, break it, or remake it critical reflection on theory activities, mini presentations to the class; Socratic seminars; structured debates; mock trials; notetaking guides to accompany course viewings and facilitate both discussion and revision of materials; and, in-class group work, including Team-Based Learning and Active Blended Learning. She also routinely frame lectures with an opening question, which is returned to at the end of the class, and encourage students to pose and respond to questions, or engage in thought experiments, during class.
Where applicable, the use of Problem-Based Learning strategies and Community Service Learning (CSL) projects help students critically apply theory to practice while addressing real-world and industry problems, thus providing them with insight into future career paths while fostering skills in group project management, and critical thinking. Within online course delivery, Kelsey uses interactive Discussion Forums to facilitate dialogue on key topics, readings and case studies, and scaffold assignments to ensure students receive feedback in a timely and meaningful way leading to higher rates of success in online courses. These strategies and diverse participation mechanisms help ensure that students with a diverse array of learning strengths and academic and cultural backgrounds have the opportunity to participate in classroom activities aimed at cultivating critical thinking skills, and developing discipline and career-specific writing and presentation skills.
CSL projects are developed by leveraging Kelsey's community and professional service contacts and associated research agendas to develop short (semester-length) projects which provided meaningful professional skill development opportunities for students, while providing additional support and capacity for Tourism SMEs, Non-Profit Tourism Development organizations, and recreation and leisure service providers. Examples of past CSL projects included a series of five community partnered trail research projects undertaken with support from the Ontario Trails Council and three Ontario-based trail organizations (the Bruce Trails Conservancy, the Hydrocut Trial and Hastings Destination Trails), therapeutic recreation placements and accompanying research aimed at improving risk management for therapeutic camps, revised staff and volunteer training protocols, and implementation strategies for intentional strengths-based programming approaches for Camp Quality Canada, research on aboriginal tourism project development in Northern Ontario, for the Path of the Paddle, and the development of a comprehensive risk management plan for the Voyageur Trail Association. CSL projects help students to develop employment-ready skills, make industry contacts, and aim to inspire lifelong commitments to community and service.
Field trips and guest speaker presentations are used to extend the learning environment into the wider University community, enabling students to build relationships within the community and understand various local actors within the leisure, recreation and tourism industry (SMEs, large-scale tourism operators, government and industry policy makers, NGOs and non-profits, therapeutic and occupational therapy service providers and / or organizations, etc.). They also provide opportunities for local case study analysis, through the application of tourism product development and marketing theory, evidence-based practice in therapeutic recreation, and policy analysis related to inclusive and adaptive physical activity and leisure. Students build familiarity with regional leisure, recreation and tourism offerings, which have led to future entrepreneurship and employment opportunities, and inspired later degree related research projects at the directed studies or honours thesis levels.