Dr. Mahbub Hasan

Educator & Project Management Specialist

My Teaching Philosophy: Learning through Engagement, Inclusion & Innovation

on June 2, 2016

As an educator and passionate social worker, my prime objective is to achieve students’ success by supporting and engaging them in critical and transformative learning process. In doing so, I follow three approaches:  firstly, recognise their own knowledge; secondly, engage them in dialogues and thirdly,  create an enabling and inspiring learning environment based on anti-oppressive and social justice principles. This whole cycle then creates the necessary synergy in transforming both the minds of the students as well as the pace of the sustainable community change. My teaching experience at Community Services Department of Centennial College started in 2013. I enjoy both teaching in-class room and online settings combining my passion for innovation and use of technology, which in turn, connect me better with my students through discussions, online resources and other techniques in the learning process.

I am a lifelong learner. My academic qualification includes degrees in Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Arts in Social History, Ph.D in Social Science-Anthropology from University of Dhaka. Recently I earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Ryerson University with distinction. At present, I am pursuing Master of Social Work at Ryerson University. Through my professional development career, I participated in over 50 training and certificate programs in Canada, UK, Italy, Thailand, Bangladesh and India on various issues and topics in the last 17 years. I have also bagged a number of certifications in Project Management, Business Communications (University of Toronto) and Shelter and Social Service Management (Toronto Hostel Training Centre). I have attended a number of courses at Ryerson University focused on advanced social work research, anti-oppressive social work practices, critical perspective and anti oppressive responses to marginalization.

Three major research studies with diverse communities and marginalized groups have deepened my understanding and knowledge on poverty, marginalization and social justice issues. A few articles of mine also focused on diversity, good governance and community development. My experience in community development consists of twelve years of work in the international arena and 5 years within Canada working with diverse communities and groups.

My teaching approach and philosophy had been profusely influenced by the practitioners that I have come across through my work. This include stalwarts like Paulo Friere[1], Napier[2] and dr-hasan-in-facilitating-roleHealy[3]. And hence, as educator, my relationship with students are founded in the following steps: respect for the existing knowledge among students/learners and encourage their participation in the collaborative learning process and my exclusive role in facilitating the entire learning process. By way of promoting and valuing these principles, my teaching style is essentially learner centric.

With regard to my teaching techniques, I follow Ferryman who suggests that students learn and communicate in diverse ways (2011)[4]. I am a fan of multiple learning styles called VARK[5].  In my class I use several instructional approaches in order to ensure that each student is engaged in the learning process: discussions are generated through visual presentation and discussion summaries are drawn using their words and phrases. I often use Flip-It exercises, providing students the opportunity to read, write, present and discuss with others which promotes understanding about the topic and enhance interpersonal communication and presentation skills.

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My interactions with students are based on the values of mutual respect, trust and collaboration. The Social Service Workers and Community Development Work programs include a number of group projects and assignments. I emphasise team work establishing effective communications, role clarity, scheduling of tasks etc. I encourage students/groups to apply critical thinking, innovation and effectiveness in their assignment and project work. I connect with various online resources, scholarships, participatory and Anti Oppressive Practice (AOP) approaches.  Positive classroom environments are created based on human rights and social justice principles that foster excellent working relationships between the students, and students and facilitator.

In summary, I am very passionate about teaching which I believe is a two way process based on a collaborative learning environment. Updating my own knowledge and skills in teaching methodologies and current social work and community development practices through participation in training, courses and seminars had been my regular practice- all of which have been very rewarding for me. I have been fortunate to receive very inspiring feedback from my students and colleagues who encourage me to continue my endeavors to work as an educator.

Footnote

[1] I discovered his approach to education through REFLECT- an adult literacy and empowerment program, implemented by ActionAid (Bangladesh) in 1998. Freire propagated a dialogue based, problem solving education. According to him, “The teacher is no longer merely the one who teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teaches” (Freire, 2005, p.80).

[2] Napier L who called for a critically reflective approach emphasising on mindful attention on the “whole self” of the practitioner: the thinking, feeling, believing and acting practitioner (Napier, 2010, p. 1).

[3] Healy K emphasized the importance of respecting the lived experience of the community members. He added that education needs to be holistic and transformative.

[4] Ferryman suggests that “These multi-sensory techniques activate and stimulate our brains on multiple channels. We are seeing, hearing and feeling simultaneously, enhancing the experience and making the information more impactful” (p. 93).

[5] VARK developed by Neil Fleming in 1987 stands for Visual (learning by seeing), Aural (auditory learner-learn by listening), Read/write and Kinaesthetic (tactile-learning by doing).

 

Some Quotes from my students:

His commitment and determination to see students succeed is truly admirable. Professor Hasan never tested his students on what we could memorize. Rather, he encourage us to apply our knowledge and what we learned to real life contexts.

I have enjoyed Professor Hasan’s various teaching styles, and his regular use of examples from local and global perspectives regarding social issues affecting individuals, families, and communities.

-Mede Obbiagele

Graduate, Social Services Worker Program, Centennial College. Toronto.

 

Dr. Hasan is a passionate individual for the community development and social service work field and has motivated me to strive for my goals within my professional and personal life.

Dr. Hasan has consistently made his students success a priority and this was evident through his support not only as a teacher, but a personal mentor as well. He made it clear that engagement with students and providing input and feedback on any project was important. He would often encourage students to do more such as, create videos for his future students and project ideas that would benefit us for our future.

-Jessica Ro

Graduate, Social Services Worker Program, Centennial College. Toronto.

 

Everything that was taught by Dr. Hasan became real life experience and I had a strong understanding and guideline on the necessities and resources to be effective at my placement agency. Putting into practice what he taught me in the Community Development course, I was able to successfully organize and implement a Civic Literacy Engagement Forum for members of the Malvern community, and a Youth Matters Forum for youth in Scarborough. I owe it to Dr. Hasan for inspiring me to go out into the community and stand by the members of society to fight for the betterment of their community.

-Ravindra Samson

Graduate, Social Services Worker Program, Centennial College. Toronto.

 

Dr. Hasan brought first-hand experiences that showed real life implications to the courses we were learning. His passion to not only want to teach but wanting to also bring the best out of each and every single one of us. Dr. Hasan drove me to do better in my assignments and projects through his innovative and creative teaching style.

Whether it was from Canada or Bangladesh he shared various aspects of global issues that created a better perspective on them which allowed for greater understanding. Dr. Hasan’s feedback inspired me outside the classroom to not only strive to improve in his classes but all my classes and field placement. This shows how much he cares for his student’s success as he wants his students to become the best they can. This not only created a teacher-student relationship but a mentor-mentee relationship.

-Raymond Tarn

Graduate, Social Services Worker Program

 

 

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