Bryanna Scott, PhD Student and Aboriginal Education Program Coordinator, Wins “Indspire” Scholarship

PhD student and Aboriginal Education Program Coordinator Bryanna Scott has been awarded a scholarship from Indspire's Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards program.

As noted on the charity’s website, “Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. In partnership with Indigenous, private and public sector stakeholders, Indspire educates, connects and invests in Indigenous people so they will achieve their highest potential.”

Bryanna, a citizen of the Metis Nation of Ontario, has received this national award twice in the past and is honoured that Indspire supports and contributes to the success of many of Canada's Indigenous students across all fields and levels of post-secondary education.

Dr. Connie Russell Wins 2017 NAAEE “Outstanding Contributions to Research in Environmental Education Award”

Dr. Connie Russell, Professor in the Faculty of Education, has been awarded the 2017 North American Association for Environmental Education's (NAAEE) “Outstanding Contributions to Research in Environmental Education Award” – the highest honour an environmental education researcher can receive in North America.

The award is presented each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to research in environmental education. As noted on the NAAEE website:

“In nearly three decades as an environmental education scholar, Dr. Russell has made substantive, innovative contributions in numerous dimensions. A leader in the field at local, national, and international levels, Dr. Russell edited the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education for more than a decade and is the co-editor of the Peter Lang book series, (Re)thinking Environmental Education. Dr. Russell is recognized and admired as a generous scholar who has been an inspiring mentor to countless students and colleagues.”

This prestigious award is well-deserved recognition for Dr. Russell's research achievements.

Attendance Research Team Wins Trustee Character Award

The Attendance Research Team, led by Dr. Christina van Barneveld, was awarded the Lakehead Public Schools’ “Trustee Character Award” for their work in developing data templates to illustrate student attendance data for elementary and secondary schools.

Members of the Attendance Research Team – Christina van Barneveld, Sophie Lis, John Loovere, Eric Fredrickson, Andrea Pugliese, Anika Guthrie, Rick Cicigoi, Rebeccah Boban and Colleen Kappel – have developed detailed templates that provide easy access to student attendance data that each school can use to examine areas of need and strength.

“When presented to school staff, the templates spark a valuable conversation about barriers to regular student attendance and the correlates of student absenteeism. Data gathered from this research is critical to the ongoing work of school and school board staff to improve student attendance. The work of the Attendance Research Team is a model for the region and has generated interest from other school boards and the Ministry of Education,” explained Lakehead Public Schools Trustee Ellen Chambers during the presentation of the award.

(Pictured below, left to right: Heather Harris, Rick Cicigoi, Rebeccah Boban, Sophie Lis, Christina van Barneveld, John Loovere, Eric Frederickson, and Anika Guthrie. Not pictured are team members Andrea Pugliese and Colleen Kappel.)

Faculty of Education Offers Modified BEd Program to Sandy Lake Community Members

The Faculty of Education, working closely with members of Sandy Lake First Nation, is offering a modified version of the Honours Bachelor of Education program to community members in Sandy Lake, Ontario.

The modified program, which began September 2017, includes an additional year to accommodate students’ work schedules. The six-year program will include online courses, face-to-face instruction in Sandy Lake, and courses in Thunder Bay. Students will travel to Thunder Bay during portions of their third and fourth year for course work, and will reside in the city for their final two years as they complete their professional program, including the practicums.

“The community of Sandy Lake has a strong commitment to education, and a long-standing relationship with the Faculty and with Lakehead University,” says Dr. Don Kerr, Acting Chair of the Department of Aboriginal Education.

“Our agreement includes a unique guarantee by the Band to ensure a minimum number of students through the first four years of the program, allowing the Faculty to be able to plan for the delivery of each year of the program, and ensuring a strong and ongoing commitment by both the Band and the Faculty to the program.”

Alumnus Keri Cheechoo Featured on CBC “Ideas” Program

Alumnus Keri Cheechoo (BEd, 2014) was a featured panelist on the CBC program “Ideas from the Trenches,” which showcases the work of outstanding PhD students across Canada. The show was broadcast from the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences this summer.

The theme of this year’s Congress was "Decolonization: The Next 150 on Indigenous Lands,” and Keri, a Cree woman from Long Lake #58 First Nation, spoke on her research addressing the state-sponsored sterilization of Indigenous women.

Noting that many Indigenous women have been coerced to undergo sterilization, Keri explains that it’s “critical that we provide that space for the narratives of these women …. They underwent these processes and they’re not able to look into their grandchildren’s eyes and see the future."

Keri is currently a PhD student at the University of Ottawa. She plans to interview women who have experienced this trauma and create poetry from their interview transcripts.

The full episode of the program can be heard here.

Dr. Wayne Melville and Co-Authors Publish New Book: Building the Science Department: Stories of Success

How can a science department become a site for developing science teachers' professional learning? Building the Science Department: Stories of Success (2017, National Science Teachers Association Press) answers that question through stories from teachers, at different stages of their careers, who are working to reform science teaching and learning.

In the first half of the book, Dr. Wayne Melville and co-authors Doug Jones and Todd Campbell examine the role of A Framework for K–12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards in making the science department a place for building teacher professional learning. In the second half of the book, they analyze teachers’ stories and offer key questions for improving instructional practice.

“Teachers love to tell stories of their classrooms and their practices. The stories can be about their successes, their difficulties, their triumphs, and their disasters. They can be inspiring and they can be harrowing. They can also instruct, guide, and help us learn,” the authors write in the book’s foreword (p. ix).

Building the Science Department: Stories of Success follows the 2015 publication Reimagining the Science Department, by the same authors. For more information about the book, click here

MEd Alumnus Joey Miller Leads Indigenous Youth on 130-Kilometre Canoe Trip

Faculty of Education alumnus Joey Miller (BEd 2015, MEd 2017), a wilderness guide and outdoor education teacher of the Matawa Learning Centre, is featured in a Canadian Geographic Magazine article about his experiences leading Indigenous youth on a 130-kilometre canoe route through Winisk River, paddling from Nibinamik to Webequie.

The 11-day summer canoe trip was a pilot Grade 12 experiential education course teaching the youth about water safety and leadership, while connecting them with their traditional lands.

"It is about giving students a new and fun way to earn high school credits while teaching them useful skills they can use around their home communities which are all on major rivers or lakes,” explains Joey, an experienced paddling instructor who conceived of the course.

“It’s also a chance for me to learn from them. This is their land. They’re connected to it in ways I could never be. Two of the students told me their grandparents used to paddle this route. It’s an honour to be out here on their land with them."

Eleven students and four guides (Joey Miller, Jody Mitchell, Thomas Hall, and Marten Falls First Nation Band Councillor Alex Aggamaway) completed the journey, which was funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

During their trip, the group traversed different classes of rapids, portaged when necessary, and experienced backcountry camping. The students earned certifications in basic white water rescue and canoeing while earning a high school credit and developing leadership skills.

The article is available here: This Canoe Expedition Program Provides School Credit to Indigenous Youth.

Bachelor of Education Graduates Begin Teaching Careers in Pikangikum

Bachelor of Education graduates Irene Kuan, Jade Ly, and Ryan Saunders, who were part of a group of six teacher candidates who travelled up north to Pikangikum this past March/April to complete their final five-week teaching practicum, are beginning their first permanent teaching contracts in the Ojibwe First Nation community.

The Pikangikum teaching placements were realized through a new and ongoing partnership between Lakehead University, The Ontario Provincial Police’s “Project Journey” initiative, Eenchokay Birchstick School, and the community of Pikangikum. For further details on this partnership, see the write-up in our September issue of Education Exchange Newsletter (pages 2-3).

Congratulations to the graduates as they embark on their new teaching careers! (Pictured below: BEd graduates Dianna Semenick, Irene Kuan, Ashley Roper, Vanessa Maurice, Ryan Saunders, and Jade Ly, who completed their teaching placements in Pikangikum).

September Issue of Education Exchange Newsletter Published

The September issue of our Education Exchange newsletter has been published. This newsletter brings our current and former students as well as our educational partners together to share news, successes, and innovations.

To access our Education Exchange newsletter, click the following link:

Education Exchange Newsletter (September 2017)

To see previous issues of the newsletter, visit the newsletter archives.

Faculty of Education Alumnus Lisa Dampier Wins Anti-Bias Teaching Award

Lisa Dampier, Grade 7-8 teacher at Thunder Bay’s Westmount Public School, has been awarded the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) 2017 Anti-Bias Award for her work teaching global citizenship and social justice.

The award is presented to educators who incorporate practices in their teaching that work toward the elimination of bias.

Lisa established a Learning Academy for her students, through which they broadened their perspectives by learning about different cultures, religions, and world issues such as the uneven distribution of water and resources. They learned about the negative impacts of bias, racism, and stereotypes. They also worked to make a difference by creating social media videos that addressed bullying and children’s rights, and repairing and restoring old bicycles to give to local children in need.

“I believe it is extremely important for young people to begin to develop a social conscience as early as possible. By learning about different cultures, world issues and events, as well as what's happening in their own community, they are able to gain greater awareness of the importance of diversity, compassion and equity. Seeing students develop a voice and passion for change, and watching the pride they feel in themselves when they realize their actions can make a difference, has been both inspiring and empowering for me as a teacher,” she explains.

Lisa is a graduate of Lakehead’s Bachelor of Education program (1993) and an Associate Teacher to Lakehead BEd students.  

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