BEd Graduate Rupinder Grewal Awarded Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation Faculty of Education Award

Congratulations to Rupinder Grewal (graduate of the BEd program, 2020), who has received the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) Faculty of Education Award, valued at $1,000. The award is granted to a graduating Intermediate/Senior Teacher Candidate who is seeking employment with a public secondary board and who exemplifies values of importance to the OSSTF, including being an advocate of unionism, engaging in social activism to promote the professional nature of teaching, and showing leadership among Teacher Candidates.

Rupinder’s dedication to activism and the teaching profession is evidenced by her leadership and support shown in various capacities, such as school breakfast programs, teachers’ unions, the Climate Strike Rally in Thunder Bay, and the Ontario Teacher Candidates’ Council.

One of Rupinder’s Associate Teachers noted in a letter of support that Rupinder is “passionate about equity in education. She is an extremely hard worker, but more than that, she is extremely caring. She has a wonderful persona that makes students and colleagues feel at ease around her. She was firm with student behavior but had the natural ability to flip from discipline to cheerleader, showcasing conflict resolution strategies that many seasoned colleagues have developed over a career. She is a natural teacher who is warm, caring, humorous and patient. She will be an asset to any school lucky enough to hire her, and will no doubt be a force within our union to support our colleagues and lead by example.”

Rupinder is currently seeking employment with a public school board, and will be pursuing a Master of Education program at Lakehead starting in Fall 2020.

Congratulations Rupinder on this achievement!

May Issue of Faculty Newsletter Published

The May 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 (May 2020)

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

Master of Education Students Honoured as Lakehead Leaders

This year marks the fourth year of the Lakehead Leader Recognition Program, a program based on the principles of Lakehead University’s motto: Achievement through Effort. The Faculty of Education extends congratulations to three current Master of Education students and one MEd alumna who have been named Lakehead Leaders, in recognition of their contributions on campus and within their communities. 

Gia Spiropoulos, MEd student (Orillia) has been recognized as a Lakehead Leader in the category of Citizenship and Community Engagement. Gia has taken on a leadership role with the Women’s Extramural Basketball program. She stepped up to fill the vacant coaching position as a player-coach, actively supports her teammates in their academic endeavours beyond the court, and volunteers as a basketball coach with a girls’ team in Barrie, where she is inspiring a future generation of athletes.

Courtney Strutt, MEd student (Thunder Bay) has been recognized as a Sustainability Leader. Courtney plays an active role in organizing climate change-related activism in the community, and her thesis is centered on how community activists can address the crisis of values behind climate change related to solidarity work between Indigenous people and settlers. She supported the curriculum development of the undergraduate Climate Change Pedagogy course and is widely involved in University and community working groups focused on climate action, sustainability, and solutions.

Jacob Kearey-Moreland, MEd student (Orillia) has been recognized as a Sustainability Leader. Jacob is focused on creating opportunities to assist and uplift those facing food insecurity. His work with Lakehead’s Farm Club—which strives to “grow food and farmers of the future” to nourish the whole student body, mentally and physically—is a testament to his dedication. He has produced local organic CSA food boxes for a number of years and hosts events and tours at his farm, to advocate for food sustainability through community supported agriculture.

Erin Chochla, MEd alumnus; current Law student (Thunder Bay) has been recognized as a Lakehead Leader in the category of Academic Excellence. An exceptional student, admired teaching assistant, and excellent research assistant in Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Erin is lauded by faculty for her performance in the classroom and her high degree of integrity and respect for others.  

Further details on the 2020 Lakehead Leaders, and their accomplishments, are published here.

Pictured below: Gia Spiropoulos, Courtney Strutt, Jacob Kearey-Moreland, and Erin Chochla.

Drs. Ruth Beatty and Pauline Sameshima Win Research and Innovation Week Awards

Congratulations to Dr. Ruth Beatty (Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Orillia) and Dr. Pauline Sameshima (Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Research, Faculty of Education, Thunder Bay), who were granted Research and Innovation Week awards in recognition of the innovative ways they are conducting research to foster community connections.

Dr. Ruth Beatty: Community-Engaged Research Award
“Our goal has been to make math meaningful and relevant to First Nations and Métis students by creating explicit connections to their community, and to provide an opportunity for all students to experience culturally sustaining mathematics instruction.”

That’s how Dr. Ruth Beatty describes the First Nations and Métis Math Voices Project—a project for which she and colleague Colinda Clyne (Curriculum Leader for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education for the Upper Grand DSB) were awarded Lakehead’s Community-Engaged Research Award. This project sees research teams comprised of Anishinaabe and Métis leaders, artists, and educators working with non-Indigenous educators to explore the mathematics inherent in First Nations and Métis cultural practices. All elements of the research processes, from goal-setting to dissemination, are done in partnership with community. 

To date, capacity building outcomes of the First Nations and Métis Math Voices Project have included the Indigenous Education and Mathematics Conference (May 2019); co-presentations at provincial, national and international academic and practitioner conferences; successful grant applications; co-authored book chapters; and the incorporation of work into the mathematics curriculum and instruction course for preservice BEd students at the Orillia campus. The research team is also producing a culturally responsive math education webinar series.

Dr. Pauline Sameshima: Building Research Capacity Award

Dr. Pauline Sameshima’s award recognizes her work over the past years in transforming the University space—quite literally—through the establishment of six art gallery spaces on campus, as well as one virtual gallery. Known as GALLERIES@LAKEHEADU, the Galleries promote University wellness by enhancing the physical environment through aesthetic and intellectual enrichment.

Showcasing creative works of Lakehead researchers, students, and community artists, the galleries promote interdisciplinary research and social responsibility. Past exhibits have included projects relating to climate change, food sustainability, Indigenous knowledge, methamphetamine addiction, and dementia. The exhibitions are juried, engaging both community artists and academics and including international jurors and researchers.

“Current research attests to how innovating working spaces improve happiness, productivity and wellbeing,” Pauline explains. “The galleries are intentional means to mobilize research, develop partnerships across disciplines, share research across campus, invite mingling across communities, create university community engagement, and promote and celebrate Lakehead research.”

Pictured below left: Ruth Beatty with Colinda Clyne; right: Pauline Sameshima

Dr. Sonja Grover Publishes New Book: Judicial Activism and the Democratic Rule of Law: Selected Case Studies

A new book by Dr. Sonja Grover (Professor, Faculty of Education), Judicial Activism and the Democratic Rule of Law: Selected Case Studies (2020), has been published.

As explained on the Springer website, this book “(a) discusses judicial activism on the left and the right; (b) argues that judicial activism in respect of the protection of human rights and due process is an essential feature of the democratic rule of law as opposed to being ‘judicial overreach’ and (c) discusses selected contemporary US Supreme Court, Canadian Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights cases illustrating that these courts have, at times, engaged in judicial activism in the service of providing equal protection of the law and due process to the powerless but have, on other occasions, employed legalistic but insupportable strategies to sidestep that obligation.

The book will be of interest to those with a deep concern regarding the factors that influence judicial decision-making and the judiciary's role through judgments in promoting and preserving the underpinnings of democracy. This includes legal researchers, the judiciary, practicing counsel, legal academics, and law students, as well as those in the area of democracy studies and the philosophy of law.”

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.

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.

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