Dr. Ann Kajander Publishes Mathematics for Intermediate Teachers: From Models to Methods

Research shows there is a need to move beyond traditional, formula-based approaches to mathematics—and Dr. Ann Kajander’s (Professor, Thunder Bay campus) new book, Mathematics for Intermediate Teachers: From Models to Methods, aims to teach teachers the reasoning behind the methods.

The 2023 book is written for prospective and practicing teachers, with the encouragement of Lakehead’s Bachelor of Education candidates in mathematics curriculum and instruction courses. These preservice teachers, all of whom had extensive post-secondary mathematics coursework, claimed that understanding the representations and reasoning (what the field calls specialized mathematics content knowledge for teaching) significantly deepened their understanding of the concepts. A group of the 2021-2022 cohort even gathered for the book's cover shot in the Bora Laskin library!

As noted on the Cambridge Scholars Publishing website, the ideas and activities outlined in the book “are directly transferable to classroom use, with concepts developed using visual models and representations, manipulatives, reasoning, and with deep connections to other concepts. These methods support better thinking, learning, and understanding for all students. In addition, these visual and active approaches are also much better aligned with Indigenous ways of thinking and knowing, a critical benefit for societies striving for decolonization.”

Ann, who teaches mathematics education, is the author of numerous research papers, and has published five other books on mathematics education.

Dr. Pauline Sameshima Named OAEA “Post Secondary Teacher of the Year”

Dr. Pauline Sameshima (Professor, Faculty of Education) has been awarded the Post Secondary Teacher of the Year, 2022 award by the Ontario Art Education Association (OAEA).

The OAEA recognizes excellence in Visual and Media Arts education, and honours visual art schools and community educators who exemplify standards of quality in art education in Ontario.

Pauline was nominated for the award by Andrew Dean, Vice President, Research and Innovation at Lakehead University, for her numerous and significant contributions to the arts. As written in the nomination letter:

"Since her arrival as the Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies (a first in this field) at Lakehead University in 2012, Pauline has continued to promote the arts and alternative representations of research knowledge as ways to engage and stimulate thought, conversation, and learning across wide audiences, disciplines, and communities. Her work provides extensive opportunities for artistic expression and learning, and introduces new artistic techniques and arts integrating methodological approaches to the university community, the Thunder Bay community locally, and internationally through the galleries she curates… Her leadership and contributions to art education here at Lakehead, in our community, and internationally through her research and curation are richly deserving of this award.”

Some of Pauline’s notable achievements include:

  • opening and curating seven Galleries spaces: six on-site campus locations plus a virtual gallery that hosts local, national, and international juried art exhibitions as well as featured art work. The galleries are used to teach about local research, build community and research capacity, and showcase local community artists in an academic setting;
  • publishing Parallaxic Praxis: Multimodal Interdisciplinary Pedagogical Research Design (2020), an arts integrating methodology book that won a Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award;
  • creating her own artwork. One artwork was recently selected as one of the 80 of 425 submissions to be exhibited in the 2022 National Art Education Association’s Members’ Juried Exhibition;
  • participating in a current research project with a large scientific research team on a 26.5 million USD National Institutes of Health grant. Pauline leads the Community Arts Integrated Research program for this grant, which seeks to develop, with scientists and community members, an education curriculum for HIV cure research through the arts; and
  • being inducted into the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada, one of the highest honours for a Canadian academic.

A Zoom awards ceremony was held to honour Pauline and the other award winners, hosted by the OAEA Awards Committee.

Congratulations, Pauline!

Randy Wilkie Appointed Editor of the Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education Journal

Congratulations to Randy Wilkie (Contract Lecturer, Thunder Bay), who has been appointed as Editor of the Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education journal, The Monograph.

The Monograph shares geographic teaching resources to its membership, which includes geography and environmental teachers across Ontario.

Randy’s first edited journal can be found here.

Congratulations, Randy!

Research in Action: Arts Build HOPE and a Bridge between Science and Public

Published in The Chronicle Journal Thursday, January 31, 2023.


A world-wide effort to find a lasting cure for one of the biggest epidemics of the modern age is using art to help researchers understand how their work is being perceived and to engage the public in reaching their goal. One of the community engagement leaders is an award-winning Lakehead University professor who hopes such artworks will be on display in Thunder Bay, for Lakehead’s Research and Innovation Week, to shed light on research into HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus.

“I hope the exhibit will draw attention to the urgency we need to give to HIV,” says Dr. Pauline Sameshima, a professor in Lakehead's Faculty of Education. “It's a very pressing issue globally and we need to draw attention to HIV and the stigma still associated with people living with HIV.

“The project is exciting in that we can share research using the arts. We are in the second year of this grant and we have been very successful in creating conversations and dialogues amongst the scientists, communities and the artists.”

Sameshima is involved with the HOPE Collaboratory, a San Francisco-based US$26.5-million initiative trying a “block-lock-excise” approach to HIV treatment led by primary investigator Dr. Melanie Ott. The aim is to develop therapies that will not only stop the remnant HIV in a body from reproducing, but permanently get rid of it. This group includes researchers from 16 institutions and two pharmaceutical companies. HOPE is one of 10 Martin Delaney Collaboratories funded by the National Institutes of Health. There are currently 10 collaboratories based in the United States with international collaborators across the globe.

(More information on HOPE, the “HIV Obstruction by Programmed Epigenetics” collaboratory, is available at: https://hopeforhivcure.org/about/hope-collaboratory)

Many people can manage HIV, which can lead to AIDS, by taking a pill each day to essentially put it to sleep. HIV however, remains a significant health concern where barriers to access prevail, and in some countries it is a leading cause of death.

“It's a fatal virus for many in Africa,” Sameshima states.

A component of the HOPE Collaboratory is Community Arts Integrated Research (CAIR), which uses artworks to raise awareness of this complex endeavour and promote discussion.

Sameshima, who acts as educator and curriculum designer, leads the CAIR program, which includes interdisciplinary researchers and graduate students from Lakehead and Brazil. The team works closely with HOPE’s Community Advisory Board (advocates, ambassadors and People living with HIV) and Dr. Patricia Defechereux, HOPE’s Community Engagement Coordinator. The team’s highly collaborative structure is a key innovation that creates bridges between communities.

“We use the arts as a way to teach and learn about what the scientists are trying to figure out,” Sameshima explains. “We want to teach and involve the community in what is going on, so the community can advise the scientists, and the scientists can keep the community informed. We're using art as a communication between the two groups.”

Specifically, arts will help explain the “block-lock-excise” approach. An exhibit at Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco features sculptures and photography. Sameshima is planning an exhibit to coincide with Lakehead’s Research and Innovation Week activities in February, where local residents can see pieces that reflect the work of the collaboratory.

Tashya Orasi, a PhD candidate in Leadership & Policy in Educational Studies, is Sameshima's graduate assistant. She has presented her own art and was co-lead on an community art-making session at the HOPE annual meeting in September involving scientists and community members. Raif Derazzi, HOPE’s Community Advisory Board’s Co-Chair, interviewed scientists at this event. See the interviews here: https://youtu.be/NiZrtkSZx1c

“As an artist, teacher and researcher, this experience working across disciplines with HIV scientists and community members, alongside Dr. Sameshima, has been invaluable to my future career as an educational researcher,” Orasi says.

As part of her graduate assistantship, Orasi is also gallery coordinator of the LAIR galleries, spaces on campus where items curated by Sameshima and guest jurors can be viewed. (More information on LAIR, the Lakehead Arts Integrated Research Galleries, is available at: https://galleries.lakeheadu.ca)

This project has been a learning experience for Sameshima. She spent 17 years as a classroom teacher before earning a PhD in curriculum studies, and working at Washington State University before joining Lakehead a decade ago.

“My focus is really on education, not science,” says Sameshima, who was recently recognized as the Ontario Art Education Association's Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Along with the Lakehead University's Research and Innovation Week activities (February 27 to March 2, 2023) displays, Sameshima also hopes this summer's C2U Expo <https://ec.lakeheadu.ca/c2uexpo/welcome>, which seeks to strengthen community-campus research and learning partnerships, will host a panel of HOPE participants and other researchers to discuss the multi-pronged search for HIV cures.

“There are a lot of things on the go,” Sameshima notes. “And, yes, we would like to expand and grow this project within our own community.”

Research in Action highlights the work of Lakehead University in various fields of research.


PhD student Mohit Dudeja Wins Pradeep Khare Memorial Scholarship

PhD student Mohit Dudeja has been selected as the first place winner of the Pradeep Khare Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship awarded to international students from India who demonstrate “exceptional leadership and community involvement, promising career aspirations, outstanding academic achievement, and a desire to continue serving the community after attaining their educational goals.”

Mohit’s doctoral research—tentatively titled Transglobal Queer Identities: Experiences of Indian Queer International Students in Small Canadian Cities—will explore the experiences of queer international research participants, with questions including: How does being queer shape your educational experiences and daily life in a small city in Canada? What support systems are available for you, as a queer international student? How accessible are the support systems to you?

Mohit plans to interview participants to learn whether they feel safe on campus to express their gender and/or sexual identity, and what resources and support systems they might need from their university.

“Ultimately, I want to foster progressive change in the education system,” he says. “Recommendations from my research will add to the emerging body of work on queer concerns in the internationalization of education. I also seek to contribute to the academic conversation on queer inclusion in education, and to provide practical and operational assistance to schools, curriculum developers, and policymakers.”

Mohit has worked with various non-profit organizations in India and is the founder of Mendlife Foundation, a volunteer-based organization dedicated to helping underprivileged youth in Delhi attain a quality education and sustainable livelihood. Mohit has also developed a sustainable system to provide subsidized mental health services to members in marginalized communities. In Thunder Bay, he volunteers with Thunder Bay Counselling on a community youth program called “CHOICES.”

Mohit’s supervisor, Dr. Gerald Walton (Professor, Thunder Bay) notes that “this scholarship is a prestigious and competitive award, and I am elated about Mohit’s success!”

Congratulations, Mohit!

SSHRC-Funded Research Project Aims to Humanize Learning

Many students, and particularly traditionally underrepresented students including international students, Indigenous students, and mature students, face challenges as they enter and progress through postsecondary education. These challenges can include poverty, mental health challenges, previous poor performance in education, a lack of academic preparation, and more.

A research team led by Principal Investigator Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston (Associate Professor, Orillia) has received a SSHRC Insight Development grant to work toward “humanizing learning” via the development of four microcourses to teach educators how to make courses more accessible and supportive for students who struggle.

The research team includes co-applicants Dr. Joan Chambers (Associate Professor, Thunder Bay) and Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo (Associate Professor, Orillia); collaborators Helen DeWaard, Lucas Johnson, Sabreena MacElheron, and Steven Secord of Lakehead’s Faculty of Education; Kimberly Veneziale from Confederation College; and Wayne Brown from Georgian College.

Meridith explains that the research came about in 2020, when “eCampus Ontario circulated a funding call seeking proposals to develop open access resources in a variety of different areas, including humanizing learning. This call coincided with events in our faculty around the move to completely online learning, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

She adds that research supports the fact that moving online by necessity, rather than choice, creates headaches for the average student, but can pose more significant challenges for students who are marginalized or already struggling.

In response to these recognized challenges, and the desire to make learning accessible and supportive for all, the research team will develop four microcourses for postsecondary educators:

1. Defining Humanizing Learning and Principles  

2. Course Design using Humanizing Principles

3. Building Relationships and Empathy using Humanizing Principles

4. Promoting Student-Centered, Responsive Learning through Humanizing Principles

Research participants in the two-year project will include undergraduate and college educators, including professional program educators in the Faculty of Education.

“The direct benefit of our project for participants is to build awareness of humanizing learning and universal design principles for postsecondary educators, thereby advancing their pedagogy; but indirectly, our project will benefit the students who come into university or college and find the institutions unwelcoming, confusing, and even frightening,” Meridith says.

At the conclusion of the project, the microcourses will be hosted on an open access website for a minimum of five years, so that other educators in Ontario, Canada, and across the world can benefit from them.

Pictured below: Principal Investigator Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston.

Faculty of Education January 2023 Newsletter Published

front page of the newsletter

The Faculty of Education's January 2023 Education Exchange newsletter is now published.

This issue features articles on donor gifts supporting Indigenous programming, the launch of the Technological Education Diploma/Degree program, an update from Orillia's Education Student Teachers' Association, and faculty news and awards, alumni profiles, and more.

To access the Education Exchange newsletter, click here.

Dr. Leisa Desmoulins and Dr. Don McCaskill Receive NIB Trust Fund Grant: Infusing Anishinaabe Pedagogy in Classrooms

Dr. Leisa Desmoulins (Associate Professor, Orillia) and Dr. Don McCaskill (Professor Emeritus, Trent University) have been awarded an NIB Trust Fund Grant for their research project, titled Infusion of Anishinaabe Cultural Ways of Knowing and Doing into Public School Classrooms. 

Their project involves the development of culturally based Anishinaabe pedagogy and curricula, to be created in partnership with Elders, Knowledge holders, and educators from the Simcoe County District School Board and Beausoleil First Nation.

Leisa explains that “this project connects to TRC Calls to Action 62, 63, 64, specifically to develop culturally grounded curricula and resources, support teacher training needs, and ultimately, to build student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect that will foster reconciliation.”

Over the next year, Leisa and Don will work with First Nations partners to explore the underlying features of Anishinaabe pedagogy (ways of knowing and doing), to in turn develop a culturally based curriculum for high school students within the Simcoe County District School Board.

“Based on the research into the broader Anishinaabe culturally based curriculum from the Elders and Knowledge holders, we will work with partners to develop local Anishinaabe geography curricula for secondary students, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students alike,” Leisa says.

The NIB Trust Fund grants support education programs aimed at healing, reconciliation, and knowledge building, to help First Nations and Métis people, organizations, and communities address the long-lasting impacts of the residential school system.

Pictured below: Dr. Dr. Leisa Desmoulins and Dr. Don McCaskill.

PhD Student Claudia Flores Moreno Publishes Book Chapter with Drs. Sonia Mastrangelo and Meridith Lovell-Johnston

PhD student Claudia Flores Moreno, along with her supervisors Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo and Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston (Orillia campus), have authored a research chapter titled “A Self-Regulation Framework to Support the Mental Health and Wellbeing of International Female Graduate Students.”

The chapter is published in the book, Supporting Student and Faculty Wellbeing in Graduate Education (Routledge, 2022). This book discusses new pressures impacting graduate students and their supervisors, teachers, and mentors, as well as offering strategies that reflect on well-being as part of student-mentor relationships.

As noted in the abstract of their chapter, “Managing stressors is a growing concern among international graduate students, particularly for international female graduate students (IFGS) during the global COVID-19 pandemic. IFGS have coped with delayed program starts, loss of economic stability, social isolation, uncertainty, and continuous readjustments over this period. Self-regulation is a framework for understanding and managing stress that can be beneficial in helping students with their learning, mental health, and wellbeing. This chapter explores the journey of an IFGS and shows how the Shanker Self-Regulation framework can help across five interrelated domains (biological, emotional, cognitive, social, and pro-social).”

Claudia notes that the book chapter emerges from her deep interest in Shanker’s Self-Regulation framework, and takes the form of “complementary narratives” between herself and Sonia and Meridith.

She explains that she "found the genre of a collaborative autoethnography complex, [partly due to the fact that] my lived experiences have involved much uncertainty and cumulative loss over COVID-19. Dr. Lovell-Johnston brilliantly proposed that complementary narratives would allow space for ‘responses.’ Knowing what was going on from their perspective, as co-supervisors, was a great opportunity to understand the co-regulation process.”

Maclean’s Ranks Lakehead University in the Top 20 Best Education Programs in Canada

Maclean’s has included Lakehead University among Canada’s top 20-ranking schools for Education programs in Canada. The annual survey reviewed Education programs’ reputation for quality and research strength, with both areas contributing equally to the final rankings.

Dr. Wayne Melville, Faculty of Education Dean, notes that this ranking is “a testament to the work each of us has been doing within the faculty… including our commitments to each other, our programs, and our students.”

You can view Maclean’s 2023 list of “Canada’s Best Education Programs” here.