For Cherie Enns' 2018 Teaching Excellence Award video click here.
Cherie Enns is a registered urban planner and experienced educator with extensive experience engaging internationally. She has initiated and led international projects related to child rights, food systems, sustainable development goals(SDGs), urban planning policy, and youth engagement. She has experience managing programs, mobilizing resources, and working on projects in several countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia, and India. She has more recently led several humanitarian projects within the Eastern Africa Community. She holds an MA in Community and Regional Planning and is currently completing a Ph.D. in International Policy and Program Management at Ardhi Regional University in Tanzania.
Cherie also leads a Universities Canada Internship program, has worked on housing projects and assisted with the coordination of many international and community events. She has worked on local projects related to homelessness and affordable houses as well as child and youth policy.
She has taught courses at the University of the Fraser Valley since 1988, primarily in social geography, community development and planning, planning studio courses, internships and the various regional geography courses. Currently, I’m also expanding an innovative mobile learning project with UN Habitat youth in the global south related to social enterprise and sustainable development.
As education increasingly moves from the classroom into the “real” learning realm, teaching needs to change to reflect what this generation of students desire. I support this shift and believe that the best classroom is the world in which we live, our own experiences, our lives, and how we connect to places, space, and time. I value engaging students and finding innovative ways of providing tangible, applied outputs and real life experience within the community. I emphasize global and community participation as a way to supplement traditional pedagogical methods.
I bring the classroom into the “real” time and offer real learning experiences through field trips, internships, practicum, and travel study. I also incorporate guest speakers and seminars into class time.
My goal as an instructor is to not teach by rote or test for memory retention, rather it is to introduce students to community members who have similar goals and interests and give my students the fundamental skills that they require. I enjoy leading them on a journey of knowledge through grounded theory and hands-on experiential learning. I strive to encourage students in developing concepts and principles into working theories and practices that they can put to use in their own professional lives. This method of instructing, I believe, gives students the opportunity to lead independent lives and move in the direction that suits their desired employment objectives and life goals.
I integrate a range of sources beyond experiential learning/problem based learning into my classes including academic reading, novels, movies, documentaries, guest speakers, and conferences. Students are asked to write papers; give presentations; keep a generalized journal that pertains to specific readings, reflect on the connection to the world as they are learning; and create posters.
I also highlight the importance of discussion in the classroom and see it as an effective tool for learning. Each student has a different background, different knowledge and different abilities. Through open forum and discussion we are able to highlight each other’s strengths and achieve remarkable results, benefiting the entire group.
In addition to the lectures listed below, I coordinate and co-lead travel studies in Hawaii, India, Kenya (adjunct at TWU) and Tanzania. I have also placed students in multiple practicum positions. In Africa, I have placed students in over five countries. Over the last few years, I have had over fifty students complete coursework and internships in Tanzania. Many have gone onto graduate school and into planning and development related employment.
"This internship has broadened my outlook by giving me invaluable planning experiences in an international setting. Not only has it enhanced my understanding of East Africa, but it has opened by eyes to the world of development, opportunity, and reality that lies in this vast continent." Athena Von Hausen, Summer 2013
Innovative Teaching: I have worked to make my teaching practical and applied, often through Field Study and Studio courses. These are certainly my most popular and appreciated courses offered as they provide students with an opportunity to put theoretical ideas and concepts into practice.
Course Development: Involving global topics in course material has been a key focus of my teaching. Over the past five years, I have developed new courses and course curriculum that pertain to global learning. More recently, I have offered a number of opportunities for students to complete internships and coursework simultaneously in Canada or Africa. Those students that travel to Africa, study alongside African University partners. Such experiences help students to build their resumes and pinpoint their career interests.
My current research and project interest focus on child and youth friendly communities, HIV/AIDS Orphans, and Vulnerable Children care in Sub-Saharan Africa. I continue to work on projects related to child friendly community planning including initiating and participating in several sustainable community planning projects related to child friendly development in Kenya and, most currently, Tanzania. I also am involved in planning policy related to affordable housing, climate change and child rights.
Additionally, I have been exploring alternative methods to teaching beyond the typical classroom instruction and online forum. This research has led to the development of mobile classes for tablets and Smartphone technology. This has led to the creation of an entrepreneurial and sustainable development applied certification program that is interactive and dynamic (in essence a virtual global classroom), using state of the art digital media.
Community Engagement: https://ufveastafricainternships.com/events/
Geog / GD 464 Summer 2018 Planning Studio Class involved working with Fraser Valley Farm and Food Collective and Field House to create a preview Rail District Market