Dickinson Named 2021 Innovative Educator

Published: October 22, 2021

Congratulations to Charles Dickinson, Professor of Sociology at College of Western Idaho (CWI), who was presented a GEM award for Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing by the Idaho State Board of Education and CapEd Credit Union during the 2021 GEM Innovative Educator Awards ceremony Thursday, Oct. 21.

Professor Dickinson has taught Sociology at CWI for the past 13 years. His goal in teaching is to create courses that are transformative and help his students develop a better understanding of complex issues and their own assumptions and viewpoints. In class, his students work in teams, think critically as they evaluate information, form persuasive arguments, and learn to listen and communicate with one another. Dickinson encourages active dialog in a respectful and challenging way. He is fair and advocates for all students to receive the benefits of an education, regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status, religion, or political views.  

Students of Dickinson say his teaching is life changing.

“If we take what we learned in his class and make an attempt to teach it to others,” commented one of his students, “then perhaps our world will become less judgmental or kinder to one another.” 

Discussing his view of success in higher education, Dickinson asserted, “If a student only completes one general education course, from any discipline, it will have a positive impact on their lives, making them a better person, a better neighbor, a better citizen – empowering them to engage in a world locally and globally. In short, one completed GenEd course improves us all.”

The GEM awards for General Education classes in higher education were initiated in 2017 by Dr. John Bieter at Boise State University and are endorsed and supported by the General Education Committee.

2021 Innovative Educator Award Winners:

Amy Minervini, Written Communications
Lewis-Clark State College

Andy Orr, Oral Communications
College of Southern Idaho

Cindy Dickinson, Math
College of Southern Idaho 

Samantha Blatt, Science
Idaho State University 

Fatima Cornwall, Humanistic and Artistic
Boise State University

Charles Dickinson, Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing
College of Western Idaho

Watch: 2021 GEM Innovative Educator Awards

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