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Positionality: How History and Place Inform your Teaching Practice

May 8, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

This event is part of the 2023 Celebrate Learning Week, taking place from May 2–9, 2023.

How does who you are shape what you know about the world? In recent years the practice of describing one’s positionality has extended beyond qualitative and social science research, and into mainstream teaching and learning spaces. “Articulating your positionality means locating yourself in your familial history, discerning where your knowledge comes from, and addressing the lived experiences that guide your perspective in your life, research, and teaching roles” (Webb, n.d.). Describing one’s histories and relation to place, as well as one’s social identities, helps to situate yourself in the learning space. Stating your positionality in front of your students is a recognition of the limits of your knowledge and experience, a space of humility that is almost contradictory to the highly entrenched power dynamics of “teacher-as-expert”. In this panel session, several faculty members of settler-scholar backgrounds will share their own journeys of reflecting on their positionalities, and the ways they’ve chosen to bring it into their classroom practice and share with students. They will describe the impact this has made on their teaching practice, and the ways it has helped build stronger relationships with students as well as with colleagues.

By the end of this panel session, participants will:

  • Consider how sharing positionality is a relational practice
  • Recognize the importance of articulating your positionality to your students
  • Be inspired to reflect on and craft your own positionality statement



  • Judy Chan, Educational Consultant (Faculty), CTLT
  • Electra Eleftheriadou, Educational Consultant for Inclusion, CTL
  • Sue Hampton, Educational Consultant, Process Design & Facilitation, CTLT

Note to Non-UBC Participants:

In order to register for this program, non-UBC faculty, staff, and students will need to create a UBC Basic CWL. To do this, please go to the CWL page and scroll down to the accordion tab that reads “Basic”. Follow the instructions there for creating and activating a Basic CWL, then please return to this page to register for the program.

This event will be hosted on Zoom.