January Issue of Education Exchange Newsletter Published

We are pleased to announce that the January 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 (January 2019)

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


Keri-Lyn Durant Wins Graduate Student Paper Award

Congratulations to PhD student Keri-Lyn Durant, recipient of the Richard Kalish Graduate Student Paper Award, to be presented at the Association for Death Education and Counselling (ADEC) 2019 Conference next April.

Keri-Lyn’s paper, “How Grief Camp Reinforces the Need for Death Education in Elementary Schools” (published in the Fall 2018 issue of Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education) discusses her experiences as a volunteer at children’s grief camps. Grief camps offer a safe grieving space for children who have experienced a death-related loss, along with opportunities for open dialogues about grief and loss and the development of coping strategies that focus on restoration. The camps, she explains, highlight the need for death education in schools.

In the paper she writes: “Not immune to issues surrounding dying, death, and loss, young people are being done a great disservice by our embraced ignorance of inevitable life events… It is time to reclaim our dying … by moving towards healthy and appropriate modes of lifelong learning regarding death and the life that precedes it.”

Receiving the ADEC award is a significant honour, as Keri-Lyn’s paper was selected as part of an international competition. She plans to attend the conference in Atlanta in the spring.  

Randy Wilkie Elected to the College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geography Society

Congratulations to Randy Wilkie (Contract Lecturer, Faculty of Education), who has been elected to the College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

Randy was nominated for this prestigious honour by his colleagues at the Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education (OAGEE), where he has served as a regional councilor for over 25 years. During that time he has helped to promote geography and assist geography teachers through the publication of teaching resources, assistance in developing the Grades 7-12 Ontario Geography curriculum, and the creation of an OAGEE geography poster series (many of these posters hang in Ontario classrooms today). He was also awarded the OAGEE Award of Distinction in 2011, among numerous other geography-related awards, honours, publications, and distinctions throughout his career. 

According to the RCGS, Fellows are community leaders who act as ambassadors for the Society, helping through volunteerism, advice and giving, building community and furthering their mission to make Canada better known to Canadians and the world. The RCGS notes that Randy’s election to the College of Fellows reflects his commitment to Canada and its remarkable geography. 

Dr. Pauline Sameshima Featured as Distinguished Outstanding Alumna of UBC

Dr. Pauline Sameshima, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies, has been featured as a distinguished and outstanding alumna of the University of British Columbia (PhD in Curriculum Studies, 2006).

An interview and biography, published here, discusses Dr. Sameshima’s current research projects and creative research methods, which “seek to respond to pressing calls for Canada to nurture and develop creativity and innovation capacity by leveraging broad interdisciplinary approaches.”

Dr. Sameshima has received numerous honours and awards in her career. Her collaborative research model framework, Parallaxic Praxis, has been taken up in research projects ranging from HIV research, interpersonal violence, mental health care, dementia studies, technology and inclusive education, knowledge generation, literacy, and more. Her book on this framework, Parallaxic Praxis: Multimodal Interdisciplinary Pedagogical Research Design, co-authored by Dr. Patricia Maarhuis (Washington State University) and Dr. Sean Wiebe (University of Prince Edward Island) will be available shortly from Vernon Press.

Alumna Rachel Mishenene Wins Indspire Award

Educator, curriculum developer, and writer Rachel Mishenene (BEd, 2003; MEd, 2012) has won a 2018 Indspire Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Award. The award recognizes the achievements of outstanding educators of Indigenous students who are leading the positive systemic change to education.

Rachel, a member of the Eabametoong First Nation, is currently an Executive Assistant in First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education at the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. For her demonstrated commitment to K-12 students over the span of a long career in education, she has won the award in the category of Community Service.

Rachel will be presented with the award in November, at the 2018 National Gathering for Indigenous Education ceremony in Edmonton, where hundreds of educators and supporters of Indigenous education from across Canada will gather to celebrate the award recipients.

“I’m very humbled and honoured to receive this award. My work is a responsibility to my ancestors, Indigenous Peoples, and to classroom teachers who are working to creating culturally responsive learning environments,” she says.

Indspire is a national Indigenous organization that invests in the education of Indigenous people by connecting educators of K-12 Indigenous students with programs, resources, and a professional learning community to improve educational outcomes, increase high school completion rates, and support sustained systemic change.

Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo and Dr. Connie Russell Partners in Provincial Centre of Excellence for Early Years and Child Care

Faculty of Education professors Sonia Mastrangelo and Connie Russell are part of the newly created Provincial Centre of Excellence for Early Years and Child Care, led by Western University and the Ontario Reggio Association.

A 3-year $2.25 million initiative funded by the Ministry of Education, the Centre is tasked with advancing early childhood pedagogies in Ontario and will promote calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and embrace the values of Ontario’s pedagogical framework How Does Learning Happen, including the view of children as protagonists in their own lifeworlds with participatory rights and responsibilities. 

The Provincial Centre for Excellence Executive Summary is available here

Dr. Jan Oakley Receives Contribution to Teaching Award

Dr. Jan Oakley (Contract Lecturer in the Bachelor of Education program, Master of Education program, and Women’s Studies department) has received a Contribution to Teaching award for the 2017-2018 academic year. The Committee noted that Dr. Oakley provides a safe and active learning environment, and stimulates discussion that encourages deep reflection and growth in the areas of social justice and feminist pedagogy.

“This award is very meaningful to me, especially knowing the nomination came from my students,” she says. “Teaching about social justice issues for the past decade has been a huge privilege, and I am continually seeking to refine my approaches, and try out new ways to develop my toolkit as a facilitator. It’s an honour to learn with and from my students, and to build relationships with them so we can meaningfully consider how we can make shifts toward an inclusive and equitable society.”

September Issue of Education Exchange Newsletter Published

We are pleased to announce that 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 2018)

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

Dr. Pauline Sameshima Juried Art Exhibition and Showcased Artwork in a Solo Show

Dr. Pauline Sameshima, Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies, was the juror of the 26th annual juried art exhibition of the MacRostie Art Center, which exhibited two- and three-dimensional works by 35 artists from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin over the month of August.

Dr. Sameshima also exhibited her own artwork in a solo show in August. Her art included a collection of 11 ceramic bells. The series is called “Silent Belles,” inspired by the work done in a SSHRC grant spanning seven Canadian universities. The grant title is: “Reconceptualizing Teachers’ Roles for Canada’s Creative Economy.”

In an essay called "Teacher as Silenced Superhero," Dr. Sean Wiebe (2016, Primary Investigator of this grant) writes that teachers are given the token social status of superhero and that this obligates them to be expressions of our social ideals for education. The project has found that this obligation silences teachers. Idealism creates expectations for teachers to be perfect role models, and disallows risk-taking, creative experimentation, and authentic relation in their teaching.

Artwork bellThe bell(es) present women in various dispositions. The one pictured accompanies a haiku:

leaves evergreen

she walks

down the street


Dr. Sameshima explains that “this bell looks like a Christmas Tree. It is a familiar icon representing happiness, fullness, and idealism. The runway model too, holds her head high and walks with her thin legs down the street. Yet, when the angle of the photo is changed, the thin legs are actually wide and the leaves’ edges are sharp and uncomfortable. The model of perfection is tainted as the expectation of idealism prevents teachers from taking risks.”

For more information, please see: solspire.com


Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston and Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo Win SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston and Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo, who were successful with their SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant, entitled “Enhancing Instruction in Literacy, Inquiry Based Kindergarten Classrooms.”

As part of their research, they will observe and analyze child-led learning opportunities focused on inquiry and literacy in Simcoe County District School Board Kindergarten classrooms, and facilitate professional development focus group discussions with Kindergarten educators.

Their interest in Kindergarten pedagogy and practice will also help to strengthen the placement experiences of teacher candidates in the Bachelor of Education program by identifying needs expressed by Kindergarten educators – many of whom host teacher candidates in their school board.

Pictured below: Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston and Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo