Teaching for Transformation (TforT): Summer Education Institute (SEI)

Summer Education Institute

Teaching for Transformation (TforT): Summer Education Institue (SEI)

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Program Summary

Teaching for Transformation (TforT): Summer Education Institute (SEI) is an annual faculty development program, taking place every June. TforT: SEI brings together educators, clinicians, administrators, leaders, and scholars interested in the theory and practice of transformative education and associated pedagogies and practices. The transformative paradigm of education is grounded in a vision of education as an emancipatory practice in pursuit of equity. TforT: SEI participants strive to prepare health professions learners for the humanistic, social-relational aspects of health care practice.

TforT: SEI explores the following pedagogies, principles, and practices (varies depending on year) toward achieving the following types of educational goals and outcomes:

Pedagogies, principles and practices
  • Dialogic education
  • Narrative pedagogies
  • Arts-based pedagogy
  • Fat pedagogy
  • Feminist pedagogy
  • “Provocations and responses”
  • Reflective writing
  • Service learning
  • Theatre pedagogy
  • Pedagogies of discomfort
  • Aesthetic education
  • Indigenous ways of knowing
  • Active learning
  • Experiential learning
  • Portfolio courses
Education goals and outcomes
  • Compassionate care
  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Interprofessional education and collaboration
  • Critically reflective practice
  • Advocacy and change agency
  • Systemic approaches to fostering wellness
  • Systems-based care
  • Professionalism
  • Ethics of research and clinical practice
  • Person-centered care
  • Patient engagement in education
  • Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning

History of the program

Heading into its fourth year, TforT: SEI was inspired by a growing need in health professions education and practice to prepare clinicians for a multitude of complex roles. For example, the health advocate, the collaborator, and the professional. These roles must be performed within a complex health care system that aims to support compassionate, equitable, and person-centered care orientations, while also managing limited resources, quality, safety, and accountability. Aligned with these needs, TforT: SEI brings together educators interested in the theory and practice of transformative education and critical pedagogies.

To date, 51 people have attended from 16 health organizations and 4 countries, representing professions such as: nursing, medicine, psychotherapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, research, dietetics, midwifery, dentistry, patient education, program management, and community engagement.

Target Audience

We invite health professions teachers/educators to join us. TforT: SEI participants are interested in preparing health professions learners for the humanistic, social and relational aspects of health care practice with a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusivity. TforT: SEI participants may have found that more common or dominant paradigms of education – such as behaviourist and cognitivist approaches – fail to fully fulfil goals such as these. Transformative education can help develop critically reflective practitioners who effectively navigate complex practice challenges and changing systems.

Online Supplement

TforT: SEI also has an accompanying supplement (TforT: OS):



“I am a critical disability studies scholar and I teach courses to occupational therapy students in this topic area as well as in professional ethics. I attended the first SEI in June 2017. At the time I was preparing my first probationary package for the tenure stream and realized that I did not have the language and knowledge to clearly articulate my teaching philosophy. I was seeking a professional development opportunity to improve my teaching and ensure my teaching approaches were grounded in theory and philosophy. Not being in the (health professions) education field, the only education I received about teaching and learning was what I had access to as a graduate student/teaching assistant. What I learned from SEI helped me construct a sound teaching philosophy and articulate the education paradigm(s) that shape my teaching practices. What I learned became increasingly important as my department went through curriculum review and accreditation. When I was asked to justify my approach to teaching and assessment I had tools to do so. Since June 2017, I have been able to contribute as a program developer, and have had colleagues and students attend SEI. It continues to advance and evolve each year, responding to feedback and also to the specific group that enrolls. At a time in the world where we all need to be better teachers and learners, SEI will continue to offer participants tools, evidence, and language to bolster the education development and teaching that they do."
- Shanon Phelan, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health, Dalhousie University (formerly University of Alberta)
“Lots of discomfort in a good way. I have made more peace with discomfort – this was transforming.”
“It was a powerful program with a very effective balance of theory, examples from practices, engaging activities and building of a supportive community of individuals striving for change.”

Program Developers

  • Lindsay Baker BEd, MEd

    Lead Educator-Researcher, Centre for Faculty Development
    Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

  • Stella Ng PhD, Reg. CASLPO

    Arrell Family Chair in Health Professions Teaching
    Director of Research, Centre for Faculty Development
    Associate Professor, Dept of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto

  • Shanon Phelan PhD

    Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta
    Assistant Adjunct Professor, John Dosse tor Health Ethics Centre

  • Beck McNeil MBA, MCATD

    Senior Consultant, Corporate Learning and Leadership Development - Equity, Diversity and Human Rights, City of Toronto


Registration is currently closed

More Questions? Contact:

Emilia Kangasjarvi
Program Coordinator
(416) 864-6060 x77414