Behavioural instructor focuses on involvement
“I really hope that (teachers are) doing something meaningful in (their) current classes, in the same way my professors did something for me.”— Genevieve Farrell, Ryerson Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour Instructor
If you forget what you learned in school, Genevieve Farrell wasn’t your teacher.
As instructor at Ryerson University’s School of Business Management, she teaches courses in Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour.
Farrell’s teaching style draws from the Chinese proverb: “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand.”
This philosophy vitalizes her unique, engaging teaching style. Farrell received a Ryerson Teaching Excellence Award for her efforts but insists, “I learned it from my colleagues.”
In her Equity and Diversity class, Farrell once used the True Colours personality test, which classifies a person’s motivation, behaviour and values by associating it with one of four colours: Blue, green, orange or gold. Blues are creative, compassionate and helpful, greens are analytical, individual and intellectual, oranges are active, entertaining and competitive, while golds are loyal, responsible and organizational. She wanted to facilitate working in dissimilar groups. “The idea in diversity is you’re not working with people like yourself, (so) we came up with a session in which you were put in a different group (to see) how that felt and what that was that like.”
Currently, her Interpersonal Skills course utilizes Ryerson’s Interpersonal Skills Teaching Centre, (a program that uses actors to simulate real-life scenarios) to teach conflict management. “It’s interesting for the students to experience an unknown person who engages them in a conflict scenario,” Farrell explains, “they learn about their conflict style and how do you communicate to someone to resolve this conflict.”
Inspired by her teachers, Farrell loves teaching because she loves to learn. This drives her to create new ways of making courses meaningful for students.
“I realize how important (all) teachers are,” she says.
“I really hope that (teachers are) doing something meaningful for the people in (their) current classes, in the same way my professors did something for me.”