My concept of learning and teaching
As an educator and passionate social worker, my goal is to work together with students for transformation and social change. To achieve this goal, my prime objective is to achieve students’ success by supporting and engaging them in critical thinking and transformative learning process. In doing so, I follow three approaches: firstly, recognize 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. I have been teaching at the Community Services Department of Centennial College since 2013.
Teacher and students roles
My social work education and practice have a great influence on my teaching style. I critically reflect on my role and actions as an instructor and/or facilitator. I make it clear to the students that although I have certain roles and responsibilities to deliver the course, I am also a member of the learner community. I respect the lived knowledge of the students and encourage them to participate in dialogue to share their knowledge and experience. I strongly believe that “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). Regarding education, Healy (2010) emphasizes the importance of respecting the lived experience of community members. He emphasizes that education should be holistic and transformative so that students can use their knowledge for their life and act for social change. As an educator, I value and promote these principles.
I always pursue my efforts to develop relationships with students based on the values of mutual respect, trust, and collaboration. Before the start of a course, I connect with students by posting welcoming notes on the online portal. During the inaugural class, along with students, I introduce myself and my interest and commitment to a collaborative learning environment. The Social Service Workers program includes a number of group projects and assignments. In this regard, I emphasize teamwork through establishing effective communications, role clarity, scheduling of tasks and creating a platform for sharing. I encourage students/groups to have an effective discussion and apply critical thinking on the issue or project by engaging their fellow group members. I encourage students to bring innovation and effectiveness in their assignment and project work.
The methods I employ when teaching
My teaching style is learner-centric. When preparing to deliver a module, I consider the diverse audiences and facilitate accordingly. Ferryman suggests that students learn and communicate in diverse ways (2011). Like Ferryman (2011), I am a fan of multiple learning styles called VARK which was developed by Neil Fleming in 1987. VARK stands for Visual (learning by seeing), Aural (auditory learner-learn by listening), Read/write and Kinaesthetic (tactile-learning by doing).
In my class, I use several instructional approaches in order to ensure that each student is engaged in the learning process. Discussion is generated through visual presentation and I use their words and phrases to summarize the discussion. I encourage them to think, analyze and work on the topic/assignment. In this regard, I often employ Flip-It exercises that provide students the opportunity to read, write, present and discuss with fellow students. This process of learning help learners to gain understanding about the topic and enhance their communication and presentation skills.
The role of technology in my classes
I enjoy both teaching in-classroom and online settings combining my passion for innovation and use of technology. The use of technology connects me better with my students through online discussions and Webinar; and creating and sharing online resources such as videos, blogs, news etc. I also engage my students with national and international subject matter experts on various live discussions through Skype.
Global citizenship and equity in my classes
Global citizenship and equity are cross-cutting themes for my teaching. I encourage the diversity of our students to share their stories. As an educator, I share my international experience and facilitate discussion on local and global social issues and movements. I facilitated a Faculty-Led International Program (FLIP) to connect students with international community and issues. I engage and support students to participate in class activities who are experiencing barriers/challenges due to their disability, sexual orientation, social and economic status. I emphasize human rights and social justice principles which create positive classroom environments and establish excellent working relationships between the students and facilitator.
Dr. Hasan Mahbub, MSW, RSW, Ph.D.
Professor, Social Service Worker Program.
Ferryman, C. (2011). The Communication Chameleon: How to Lead, Persuade and Influence in Any Conversation. Toronto: Rainmaker Books.
Friere, P. (2005). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.
Healy, K. (2010). Community education. In A.O’Hara, Z.Weber, and K. Levine (Eds.) Skills for human service practice: Working with individuals, groups and communities, Toronto: Oxford University Press.
Napier, L. (2010). Practicing critical reflection. In A.O’Hara, Z.Weber, and K. Levine (Eds.) Skills for human service practice: Working with individuals, groups and communities, pp.1-11. Toronto: Oxford University Press.
Some testimonials from my students
Mede Obviagele, Graduate, Social Services Worker Program
His commitment and determination to see students succeed is truly admirable…Professor Hasan never tested his students on what we could memorize. Rather, he encourages 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.
Kazzrie Cormick, Graduate, Social Services Worker Program
I found Hasan to have a very creative yet strong approach in his teaching style and he was able to keep the class’s attention at all times. Some of the approaches I found to be most beneficial in my learning were: 1. He always involved and engaged the class, 2. He would give real-life examples to break the text down to make it more understandable and this provided his students with a full understanding of what we were learning, 3. He would bring in guest speakers that worked in the field of study and they would provide us with further knowledge of our course, outside of the required material.
Tawhida H Ali, Graduate, Community Development Work Program
Hasan supported and instructed group work and projects by ensuring each member was on task. He often used a project management approach, which I believe and feel is a wonderful way to teach task organization, time-management, and accountability skills. Dr. Hasan had a wonderful rapport with all the students in the class, creating an environment in which we felt empowered and creative. His support continues as he has always made himself available to his students. His eagerness to ensure the success of his students and his pleasant demeanor made it a comfortable and thriving class.
Ravindra Samson, Graduate, Social Services Worker Program
Everything that was taught by Dr. Hasan became a 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.
Farzana Mahida, Graduate, Social Services Worker Program
Students of the second semester of the SSW program attended Community Development, instructed by Professor Hasan. By far, this particular course was the most practical and relatable course in preparation for field placement as well as working in the field of Social Service Work. Being a recent graduate from the Social Service Worker program at Centennial College, I would like professors who have made a generous contribution and dedication towards my learning to inspire future students as well. Future students will benefit from having an educator like Professor Hasan.
Raymond Tarn, Graduate, Social Services Worker Program
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 want 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.
Simona Rafaelova, Graduate, Social Services Worker Program
The professor’s passion for the curriculum and creative –approach, shaped the dynamics of the classroom. Mr. Hasan was able to provide his personal experience as an example to further elaborate on the lesson which was a useful addition because to learn through text can be limiting but to have someone share their experience and discuss that gives another level of understanding. His attention never fell short to notice if students were not engaged, he is known for having the whole class clap their hands if they were getting tired which was simple yet effective and fun.
Jessica Ro, Graduate, Social Services Worker Program
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.