Walls to Bridges at UofT St. George: Breaking new ground in the co-learning classroom

  • Professor Kerry Taylor, Department of Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Dr. Simone Weil Davis, Trinity College, Faculty of Arts and Science

Abstract

This cross-unit collaboration in community-based, experiential learning seeks to establish Walls to Bridges (“W2B”) programming at both Trinity College (in Ethics, Society & Law) and the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, and to set the administrative and pedagogical groundwork for more W2B offerings across the three campuses.

W2B brings together incarcerated and university-based students as classmates in for-credit post-secondary courses built around dialogue, collaboration, and critical thinking. Convening at the correctional facility, “inside” and “outside” students together build an egalitarian classroom rooted in serious, shared inquiry. This holistic co-learning pedagogy brings together diverse learners who might otherwise never meet, entails active, student-owned learning, and addresses urgent educational equity issues. Building on and customizing University of Toronto Mississauga’s extant W2B programming, this project will pilot two Walls to Bridges courses over three summers at the Ontario Correctional Institution in Brampton (OCI). In Ethics, Society & Law, the course will be an iteration of TRN321: Special Topics in Ethics, Society & Law, subtitled “The Stories We Tell about Choice.” In Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, the course will be CRI364: Indigenous Peoples and Criminal Justice.