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“Suspend judgment, suspend blame, suspend shame, allow learning to happen.”

Silvia Caicedo spoke these words during a Strengths Based Trauma Awareness session at the 2024 GBC Mental Health Conference. We were audience members discussing approaches to trauma-based pedagogy. I still have chills. One of Silvia’s guiding principles in the classroom is putting students at the centre of learning to create human connection.

Silvia has an inspirational approach to pedagogy and believes that content is not the key purpose of education, learning is the purpose. “If you can connect with people to find out how they learn, then the content can be connected.” She strongly believes in the importance of the process that students take to attain knowledge.  

Silvia teaches intercultural and interpersonal communication and co-coordinates the Pre-Health Program (A109) in the School of Work and College Preparation. Learning is a lifelong fascination of hers, which started at a very young age and continued during her time working at the International Development Research Centre.

I’ve known Silvia for over seven years, our paths intersect here and there at the college, and each time I walk away feeling inspired, having learned something meaningful about life, pedagogy, students, or dance. Its such an honour to work at GBC with people like Silvia offering guidance.

Jason Inniss