BEd Student Ben McIntosh Discusses Impact of Teachers' Strike Action with CBC

Ben McIntosh, BEd student and member of the Education Student Teachers' Association, was interviewed by CBC on how the strike action of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario is affecting students in the program.

To read the story and listen to the interview, click here.

“A Better Way to Battle Bullying”: Dr. Gerald Walton Participated in Panel Discussion on The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Dr. Gerald Walton (Professor, Faculty of Education) participated in a panel discussion on TVOntario’s current affairs program The Agenda with Steve Paikin, exploring why bullying remains pervasive in Ontario schools and what can be done to address it.

As a part of his contributions to the panel, Dr. Walton noted that bullying — which he described as “a systemic problem that targets people who are marginalized or who present themselves as different” — must be understood as an abuse of power that connects to feelings of pleasure in the bully.

“There’s research that has looked into brain chemistry of kids who bully and how the pleasure centres are being stimulated when acts of bullying are going on … there’s an adrenalin rush that happens … it’s what motivates bullying in the first place.”

He suggests educators can use societal examples where bullying is normalized and even validated to discuss its effects.

Other panelists on the show included Katie Cole (Thames Valley District School Board), Annalisa Varano (Catholic Principals’ Council, Ontario), Claire Crooks (Western University), and Julie Schaafsma (Co-founder, Voices Against Bullying).

The show can be viewed here.

January Issue of Education Exchange Newsletter Published

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 2020)

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

January 2020 Education Exchange Newsletter

Dr. Sonja Grover Publishes New Book: Peremptory International Legal Norms and the Democratic Rule of Law

A new book edited by Dr. Sonja Grover (Professor, Faculty of Education), Peremptory International Legal Norms and the Democratic Rule of Law, has been published.

As explained on the Routledge website, the book “explores the risks to the democratic State inherent in the attempt to divorce the notion of democratic rule of law from respect for and adherence to peremptory international legal norms which allow for no derogation therefrom, such as the prohibition against torture and against inhumane treatment or punishment by the State.

The chapters address, with specific current case examples, in what ways the democratic rule of law within certain democratic States risks being undermined through those States acquiescing to the erosion of peremptory international law norms in the domestic and international context. The book therefore explores the question of in what ways such democratic State acquiescence in effect may ultimately disrupt the investment within the State in the shared culture of core human rights values that underlies democratic rule of law itself and highlights the fragility of that shared culture.

The contributors argue for a renewed commitment in principle and practice to the democratic rule of law and to its human rights international normative underpinnings.”

This book will be of interest to scholars of international law, human rights and democracy.

Dr. Graham Passmore and Co-Authors Publish New Book: Identity Structure Analysis and Teacher Mentorship

A recent book co-authored by Dr. Graham Passmore (Associate Professor, Faculty of Education) examines the benefits of applying Identity Structure Analysis (ISA) to teacher professional development.

Co-authored by professors Amanda Turner and Julie Prescott (University of Bolton, UK), the book notes that “at present no government, local authority or school is actively applying Identity Structure Analysis to monitor school improvement. In a profession where turnover is extremely high, ISA is framed as a way for professional development to meet the needs of the specific teacher.”

The book provides practical advice on how ISA may be used in conjunction with mentoring to offset teacher turnover. As such, it will be of particular interest to scholars and researchers studying teacher identity and professional development, alongside policymakers interested in reducing teacher turnover.

Identity Structure Analysis and Teacher Mentorship: Across the Context of Schools and the Individual (2019) is published by Palgrave Pivot.

BEd Student Fatima Ahmed Awarded Ontario College of Teachers Scholarship

Congratulations to Fatima Ahmed (BEd teacher candidate, Orillia), who has been recognized by the Ontario College of Teachers 2019 Scholarship Program for her excellence in teacher education.

As noted on the OCT website, this award is granted to individuals who “demonstrate a high level of preparedness for teacher education through examples of community involvement, background and life experiences.” Fatima has fulfilled these criteria in numerous ways, including her work as an Organizational Development Advisor for HIV/AIDS Chief Strategy Officers in Botswana (2013-2015); her work as an Executive Director for a youth centre for at-risk youth in Inuvik, NWT (2009-2010); and her work as an IT trainer and a Women’s Development Officer for the provincial government in Vanuatu, South Pacific (2007). 

Fatima notes that these international life experiences, along with many others – including the fact she speaks multiple languages and has lived, worked, or studied in 5 continental areas – were tremendous growth experiences that pushed her toward the field of teaching. She adds thanks to those who have supported her throughout her educational journey:

“During my acceptance speech at the OCT council meeting, I mentioned that getting this award would not have been possible without the help of mentors and allies. I had a few odds against me, including a challenging financial situation and an undiagnosed disability, which prevented me from excelling during my first undergraduate degree. But, through the help of mentors and allies who continued to believe in me, I was able to keep pushing in academic and non-academic fields. I’m grateful because this award says that people can excel in spite of some obstacles.”  

Congratulations, Fatima, on this notable award!

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 2019)

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


SSHRC Partnership Development Grant Awarded: Advancing Sustainability in the Lake Superior Watershed

Dr. Charles Levkoe, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems, Associate Professor in Health Sciences, and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education, is leading a partnership that will receive $188,106 over the next three years.

The research project is entitled Lake Superior Living Labs Network: Enhancing Capacity for Regenerative Social-Ecological Systems. Co-investigators include Faculty of Education professors Dr. Constance Russell and Dr. David Greenwood. 

This research will explore how postsecondary institutions might play a stronger role in advancing sustainability goals (including health and social and environmental justice) in the Lake Superior Watershed by turning higher education institutions into hubs for interdisciplinary “living laboratories” that integrate teaching, research, place-based experiential learning, and community engagement.

The project brings together four universities to serve as hubs (Lakehead University, University of Minnesota Duluth, Algoma University, Lake Superior College - Duluth) and numerous community organizations and First Nations as partners through the new Lake Superior Living Labs Network. More information is available at

Pictured below: Dr. Charles Levkoe, Dr. Constance Russell, and Dr. David Greenwood.

SSHRC Partnership Development Grant Award: Research on Self-Regulation and Literacy Development

Congratulations to Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo, Associate Professor (Orillia) and co-investigator Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston (Assistant Professor, Orillia), who are receiving $196,268 to spend three years using research methods that have been selected in consultation with a partner organization (Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre) and Indigenous community members.

Their research is entitled Supporting the Development of Young Children's Self-Regulation Capacities and Literacy Skills in Ontario's Northern Communities: Engaging Families and Educators.

Self-regulation is crucial to healthy child development including mental health, learning, resilience, and caring relationships in families, schools and communities. When self-regulation is compromised, so is literacy development.

Literacy rates in the north are lower than provincial averages and there are a rising number of students dealing with mental health challenges that impact academic achievement. This project will investigate whether promoting self-regulation through culturally appropriate techniques such as storytelling will help to improve well-being, literacy outcomes and overall school success. The research study adopts a holistic approach, engaging teachers, children and community members.

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

Congratulations to Tesa Fiddler, named Outstanding Indigenous Educator

Congratulations to Tesa Fiddler (MEd, 2012), a teacher with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, who was recently named the 2019 Outstanding Indigenous Educator by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.  

Tesa is a member of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake First Nation) with family connections to Onigaming and Muskrat Dam First Nations. She has worked as an Indigenous Education Resource Teacher for the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board since 2011.

From 2011 to 2016, Tesa was a co-instructor with Dr. Lisa Korteweg in the course “Indigenizing Perspectives and Practices in Education,” at Lakehead University, among other classes.

She also taught at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education Institute, and York University.     

Pictured below: Tesa Fiddler, right, received a certificate from CTF President Shelley Morse after being named the 2019 Outstanding Indigenous Educator by the Canadian Teacher's Federation.