Dr. Kim Misfeldt is Professor of German at the Augustana Campus, University of Alberta. She completed her BA (Double Hons) and MA at the University of Saskatchewan, Zertifikat des Ergänzungsstudiengangs Deutsch als Fremdsprache at the Universität Kassel, and her PhD at Queen's University. Kim teaches courses in language, literature, translation, and Gender Studies. She has presented and published on second language pedagogy, drama pedagogy, Heinrich von Kleist, and Mariella Mehr. Kim has been recognized with several teaching awards: in 2013, The 3M National Teaching Fellowship; in 2011, The Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; and in 2000, The Augustana University College Distinguished Teaching Award. Other significant awards include the University of Alberta Vargo Teaching Chair (2019-22), University of Alberta McCalla Professorship (2016-17) and the First Annual Charles Dunn COPLAC (Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges) Award (2015).
Kim was Volunteer Director of the Canadian Summer School in Germany program from 2003-2016. This national program of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German (CAUTG) has been in existence since 1973. CSSG offers language and culture courses at three levels as well as one course in Community Service Learning and a new course on Teaching and Learning German. CSSG takes students from universities across Canada to Kassel, Germany for 6.5 weeks each May and June for an immersive language experience.
Kim served as Department Chair of Fine Arts and Humanities 2013-2016, as Department Chair of Humanities 2006-2013, and as Divisional Chair of Modern Languages 1994-2004.
Second language study abroad programming
Integration of pedagogies from various disciplines into language learning
Issues surrounding women’s studies and violence against women
Vargo Teaching Chair (2019-2023) awarded for "Enhancing the learning experience of internationally mobile students."
Universities have long promoted study abroad (SA) as a transformative, even life-changing, learning experience which can foster intercultural understanding and global citizenship (goabroad.ualberta.ca). In fact, in our own Strategic Plan For the Public Good, the University of Alberta highlights the need to “Develop global competency in our graduates through access to short- and long-term outbound international experiences” (Objective 7: Strategy 2).1 As the Director of the Canadian Summer School in Germany (CSSG)2 program (2003-2016) and as a SA researcher, I have worked to improve students’ international learning experience through pedagogical and curricular innovations. However, I have also come to recognize that the value of a SA experience is often taken for granted as assumptions are made that the international experience alone will achieve the desired outcomes listed above. Throughout my career, my priority has been asking the question: how can I enhance the learning experience of students? I have been recognized for this commitment through a number of teaching awards, including the 3M National Teaching Fellowship. During my previous McCalla Professorship, I explored post-sojourn SA experiences of CSSG alumni from 19792016. My findings highlighted the deeper learning that can occur in SA, as evidenced by a participant who observed “It convinced me that what I suspected was true: it's not necessarily that you can't find the answers at home, just that you don't always ask yourself the right questions when comfortably at home”. My priority for my Vargo Teaching Chair project is to build on my previous research to focus more specifically on how I can enhance the learning experience for SA students not just for in-class assignments but also out-of-class program elements. This project will enable a greater understanding of student engagement with place and culture and its role in pedagogy and program design. I consider the question: how do we move students beyond visiting a place as an academic tourist to a deeper physical, cultural, emotional and intellectual engagement with place?
McCalla Professorship 2016, awarded for “After Coming Home: Study Abroad Returnees”
The “After Coming Home” project investigates the experience of former study abroad students and will incorporate their responses and advice into the future programming, teaching and assessment of the Canadian Summer School in Germany and its articulation with domestic programs. More broadly, it will generate original knowledge about the sustained, positive linguistic and intercultural effects of study abroad in post-sojourn domestic settings as well as identify barriers to this integration.
Links about Kim's research:
Editors: Plews, John, Misfeldt, Kim (Eds.)
“This book makes a timely and significant contribution to the field of Study Abroad (SA) research and practice. Interweaving theoretical argumentation and commentary with empirical accounts from 17 different countries, this volume is a highly compelling and multi-voiced exploration of study abroad programming, pedagogy and student engagement. The book is a must-read for scholars, practitioners and participants involved in cultural and geographic exchange.” (Daniela Elsner, Professor, Goethe-University Frankfurt/ Main)“This timely volume demonstrates how scholars in different parts of the world can impact the language learning of study abroad students through theory-inspired, research-informed practice. A welcome addition to the field, this edited collection will be of interest to both experienced and novice study abroad professionals who seek to enhance the international educational experience of second language speakers.” (Jane Jackson, Professor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
“This volume gets down to the nitty-gritty of second language study abroad. The editors have been resolute in ensuring that all contributions focus on programming, pedagogy and participant engagement at the micro level of experience. At the same time, big issues are not ignored, mainly through reference to other research and practice in the field and connecting with current conceptualizations of study abroad more broadly. The chapters are immensely readable, covering a wide range of regional contexts, student and teacher participants, and programme designs. They are also instructive, providing plenty of ideas for further research and programme development, all summarised very nicely by the editors in their introductory chapter. This book is a very timely contribution.” (Gary Barkhuizen, Professor and Head of School, University of Auckland)
The unifying theme of so much of what I do is found in the words “Teaching Language, Giving Voice.” Teaching language is so much more than vocabulary and grammar. It opens doors for students to new ideas, cultures, literatures, and ways of thinking. I empower my students to become autonomous learners and to develop their voices throughout the learning process. Students find their voice in my classroom because they quickly learn that I truly value what they have to say both about their learning and about themselves as people.
The atmosphere in my classroom is one of respect, where there is no such thing as a “stupid” question. I strive to help students feel free to express their opinions and questions in a safe and relaxed environment, by being present to my students and receiving their questions and responses in a supporting, non-judgemental manner. I involve everyone from the first class to the last; no one can sit in a back corner hoping to watch. Participation is vital to learning, whether in language or literature courses, and I constantly encourage (and insist on) it.
The Augustana University College Distinguished Teaching Award, 2000
Links about Kim's teaching:
The CAUTG (Canadian Association of University Teachers of German have created a new award: The Kim Misfeldt Prize for Intercultural Awareness and Competence in Study Abroad
By awarding the annual Kim Misfeldt Prize, the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German (CAUTG), in partnership with the Canadian Summer School in Germany (CSSG), recognizes an undergraduate student participant of the CSSG for superior achievement in developing intercultural awareness and intercultural communicative competence.
Purpose: The CAUTG is a professional association focused on fostering and promoting German Studies in Canada. The Kim Misfeldt Prize contributes to fulfilling the CAUTG’s intentions to recognize undergraduate achievements and to provide a transcultural bridge through intellectual engagement and participation in the international community. The Prize honours and celebrates the outstanding contributions made by Dr. Kim Misfeldt as Director of the CSSG for 14 years and an instructor there for 15 years, and in this regard her unparalleled service to the CAUTG and especially to over 700 students from universities across Canada who studied with her in Germany. In particular, the Prize rewards the outstanding performance of an undergraduate student in developing intercultural awareness and competence through engagement in CSSG coursework and educational and cultural activities during the sojourn abroad.
Eligibility: All program participants enrolled as undergraduate students in CSSG courses in a given year (May-June) are eligible and will be considered for the Prize. These courses include German language and culture immersion at all levels, teaching and learning German, and German immersion international community service learning.
The Prize: The Prize will be awarded to an undergraduate student at the CSSG who has demonstrated superior academic achievement and the development of personal intercultural competence through graded coursework, active and engaged participation in the cultural program, and interpersonal interaction in German with all CSSG community members (peers, instructors, and host family).
The Prize will consist of an award of $500. This sum will be paid in cash to the recipient.
The Prize was awarded for the first time during CSSG 2019.
2002 to 2016
The Canadian Summer School in Germany (CSSG) offers university-level language and culture studies in Kassel, Germany through a unique and intensive immersion program. For a period of approximately 6 ½ weeks, students participate in a full course (approximately 85 hours of classroom instruction) and in numerous additional activities: lectures at various museums, visits to theatres and operas, excursions to cities with cultural and historical significance, and a four-day trip to Berlin.The main feature of the program, though, is the students' rapid progress in linguistic skills enhanced mainly by the fact that they are immersed in German life, culture, and civilization.Find out more about CSSG