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Vol. 9 No. 1 (2023): The Need for Shifts In Mindsets And Leadership Roles In PK-20 Schools And Communities: Challenges And Opportunities

The Summer Of The Pivot: Prioritizing Equity In Remote Instruction Through A Multidisciplinary Community Of Practice Initiative At A Canadian University

February 4, 2023


This article is about the multidisciplinary Community of Practice (CoP) initiative that was implemented in the summer of 2020- summer of the pivot- at a Canadian post-secondary institution to prepare faculty, staff, and students for remote teaching and learning while navigating pandemic conditions created by COVID-19. The CoP as a case study using Critical Theory as a theoretical framework examines the experiences of a collective group of faculty and staff from different disciplines leading a multidisciplinary university-wide initiative and the implications of the approach for promoting effective pedagogies for teaching and learning remotely. Findings based on feedback from workshop attendees, reflections from the CoP facilitators, and comments forwarded to senior administrators about the impact and the effectiveness of the program indicate positive results. It is recommended that although the CoP initiative was originally conceived as a response to the summer of the pivot, it should become an integral approach to promoting dialogue and innovative strategies to advance equitable practices in higher education by cultivating community networks. The findings serve to continue constructive dialogues and discussions about how universities can transition, pivot, and mobilize innovatively and creatively to prioritize equitable teaching and learning conditions that challenge the status quo. This requires a long-term commitment by higher education institutions to break away from historically normalized practices and invest in innovative ways to identify and meet the needs of various stakeholders.