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John Irwin: Blurring the lines between teaching and learning

Join Irwin leaning agains the University of Guelph-Humber building

“It’s about learning how to learn – towards the development of independent learning. Life is an adventure, and an education gives you the facility to steer it any way you choose.”

“My teaching style comes from the point of view of a lifelong learner. I want students to learn much more than the material; I want them to learn about life, about each other, about themselves.”

It seems to be working. Prof. Irwin was twice awarded the Guelph Humber Student Association Justice Studies Faculty Award, in addition to winning the Faculty/Staff Mentoring Award, in recognition of outstanding student mentorship and support.

“When I see my students engaging each other, questioning each other’s thoughts, processing new knowledge and applying it in new ways… and teaching me… then I know I’ve done my job well.”


Prof. Irwin has more than 30 years experience with the Toronto Police Service. He worked as a detective within various specialties including fraud, sex crimes, youth crimes, prostitution, drugs and organized crime; he also worked as a uniformed officer and supervisor.

He holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto in Philosophy, Criminology, and Psychoanalytic Thought, and an M.A. from York University in Interdisciplinary Studies (Social and Political Thought, Criminology, Legal Philosophy).


Covert Operations
Ethics and the Rule of Law
Police Governance