FLO Friday: What’s So “Safe” About Safe Spaces in Higher Education?

About the Session:  

Educators have described their classes and institutions as “safe spaces” with increasing frequency and certainty since the 1990s. This certainty, implying that a safe space is somehow better for learning outcomes, has been widely adopted with little critical consideration of what it truly means and what is expected when an educational space is labeled “safe”.  

Join this free one-hour Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) discussion, exploring safe space as an educational metaphor unconsciously communicating both explicit and implicit expectations about the nature of teaching and learning relationships. 

Learning Outcomes:  

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:  

  • Recognize “safe space” as an educational metaphor 
  • Explain their obligations to others when they welcome them to a safe space 
  • Identify the implicit promises others make when a place or situation is labeled a safe space 

Register Now!

This session will be recorded, archived, and made available publicly on BCcampus.ca. By participating in this session, you acknowledge you are aware your participation will be recorded and the recording will be openly available.

About the Facilitator:  

Your FLO Friday Facilitator for this session will be Bhuvinder Vaid. 

Bhuvinder Singh Vaid (he/him/his) is a philosopher of education and an educational developer at the Centre for Teaching Excellence at Capilano University. Bhuvinder’s nearly two decades of work in higher education and consultancy with subject-matter experts are informed by his recognition that teaching and learning exist as uniquely relational practices that are not easily standardized. This understanding has informed his work studying the positionality of seemingly straightforward educational concepts such as safe spaces, efficiency, free speech, and most recently, how to pedagogically engage with Coast Salish canoe stories. You can reach him at bhuvindervaid@capilanou.ca.