Michael Kaler

MichaelAssistant Professor, Teaching Stream
Writing Specialist, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre

Michael Kaler received his first doctorate (in religious studies) from Laval University in 2006 and his second (in ethnomusicology, from York University) in February 2014. His previous scholarly work focused on ancient gnosticism, modern psychedelia, and spiritual or religious aspects of improvised and experimental music; currently, his work revolves around issues of assessment with regard to student writing or writing programs.

At the RGASC, he contributes to both the teaching of writing skills and teaching through writing skills in many ways. He interacts directly with students through face-to-face and online writing appointments and classroom and tutorial presentations and workshops; with TAs, he runs training and benchmarking sessions, assists as needed with tutorial planning and grading, and creates training resources; with instructors and faculty, he assists with assignment design and marking criteria, and helps to organize, plan and deliver writing-skills-related course interventions.

His largest single responsibility at the RGASC is co-managing (with Tyler Evans-Tokaryk) the Writing Development Initiative (WDI), a campus-wide initiative funded by the Office of the Dean. The WDI provides funding for writing-intensive courses from across the disciplinary spectrum that incorporate innovative approaches to writing instruction, and in which discipline-specific writing is both taught as a skill and used as a tool to enhance student learning.

Michael has been for many years an active participant in the Southern Ontario music scene; in his spare time, you'll often find him playing bouzouki or bass in rock, folk and experimental music contexts. If you see him, stop in and say hi!”