Steven Secord Receives Contribution to Teaching Award

Steven Secord (Contract Lecturer, Orillia) has received a Contribution to Teaching award for the 2021-2022 academic year. The Committee noted that Steven’s students cited his passion for teaching, his innovative use of technology, and his clarity of instruction in their nomination. They also shared that his classes are engaging and effective, giving them opportunities to learn from and with professionals in various types of science education.

“Since we teach future teachers, I try to ensure that students have fantastic experiences with their learning, so they can pass this along when they are teaching their students,” he says. “I am very grateful for the students’ nomination.”

Congratulations, Steven!

Education Faculty and Students Curate a Special Issue of Pathways Journal

In conjunction with Lakehead’s Year of Climate Action, Faculty members Dr. Ellen Field (Assistant Professor, Orillia) and Dr. Paul Berger (Associate Professor, Thunder Bay), along with graduate students Devon Lee (PhD program) and Sara Layton, Olivia Hunt, and Craig Barclay (MEd program) edited and curated a special issue of Pathways: Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education, titled “Year of Climate Action.”

The Summer 2022 issue of the Journal features numerous examples of graduate and undergraduate student learning and engagement with climate change in the Faculty.

As outlined in the Editors’ introduction, “We have curated this Special Issue … to share [Lakehead] student writing, multi-modal media art, and poetry about the climate crisis as both a call-to-action and pedagogical inquiry on how we, collectively, as educators, can turn to what profoundly matters in these moments of rapid change and uncertainty. … The pieces selected for this theme are snapshots of our students’ sense of urgency, and offer windows into the accompanying complex climate emotions and the importance of action.”

The journal’s contents are organized into four themes exploring climate change education and pedagogy: Connections to Place and Land - Flourishing and Survival; Urgency and Processing Complex Emotions; Agency and Activism; and Climate Change Education.

Pathways is published by the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario (COEO), a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that promotes outdoor education experiences for people of all ages.

To access a digital copy of the Special Issue, please contact Ellen Field.

Dr. Gary Pluim Receives Award to Support the Development of International Research Networks

Dr. Gary Pluim (Assistant Professor, Orillia), has received an International Research Partnership Award from Lakehead University for his research project, “Enhancing international research networks in Malta and Southern Africa.” This VPRI (Vice-President, Research and Innovation) award supports research that promotes increased engagement with international partners to address global challenges and issues.

Gary’s research focuses on the transfer of educational curriculum between Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean, South Pacific, Eurasia, and sub-Saharan Africa. His work examines not just the challenges and opportunities with curriculum lending and borrowing, but also the cultural consequences of education transfer in post-colonial settings. The International Research Partnership Award will allow him to advance this research by formalizing agreements with institutions in Eurasia and South Africa. Previous partnerships from the project have been established with the University of the South Pacific and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute; this funding will enable him to pursue prospective MoUs with organizations in Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, and South Africa.

“This award will assist in the development of sustainable research collaborations by deepening relations with potential partners in Southern Africa,” Gary explains. “Connecting with organizations directly will allow us to explore the viability of the project in these regions while enabling a greater understanding of the culture and contexts of our research. We will also look at the possibility of drafting collaborative funding proposals for research in which our interests might align.”

Having established relations with international partners in Malta and Cyprus this year, Gary is currently preparing for a field visit to Southern Africa later this year or early 2023. This trip is scheduled to begin in Johannesburg and Pretoria (South Africa), and continue to Gaborone (Botswana), Maseru (Lesotho), and Mbabane (Eswatini), with presentations, meetings, and tours scheduled at each location.

Book Featuring Chapter by Dr. Connie Russell and Dr. Erin Cameron Wins Award

Professor Connie Russell and Joint PhD alumna Erin Cameron (who is now a faculty member at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine University) co-authored a chapter, "Fattening Education: An Invitation to Expand on the Nascent Field of Fat Pedagogy" for the 2021 book, The Routledge International Handbook of Fat Studies (edited by C. Pausé & S. R. Taylor). The book was recently named an Association of College and Research Librarians’ “Choice Outstanding Academic Title.”

Dr. Graham Passmore and Co-Author Publish New Book: Using an ISA Mobile App for Professional Development

A recently published book co-authored by Dr. Graham Passmore (Associate Professor, Thunder Bay campus) aims to provide readers with a deeper understanding of Identity Structure Analysis (ISA). The text uses patterns in theoretical data sets to create reports for different ISA identity variants. The patterns are then used to uncover guidance for mentorship sessions for the purposes of professional development. The text also introduces an ISA mobile app. The app was created to add to the capabilities of an extant analytic ISA software in that it will make data collection possible on a phone or other small screen device.

The book was co-authored by Julie Prescott (University of Law, UK), and builds on a prior publication from 2019: Identity Structure Analysis and Teacher Mentorship: Across the Context of Schools and the Individual.

Dr. Holly Tsun Haggarty Receives Canadian Philosophy of Education Society Dissertation Award

Dr. Holly Tsun Haggarty, graduate of the Joint PhD in Educational Studies program (Thunder Bay campus, 2021) has been awarded the 2022 Canadian Philosophy of Education Society (CPES) Dissertation Award. This award recognizes an outstanding dissertation that addresses significant issues in the philosophy of education field.

Holly’s dissertation, titled Sky, Ground and In-Between: Metaphysical Belief Systems That Underpin Epistemologies of Arts-Integrating Research, was described by her external reviewer as a “bold and creative dissertation, a work [that] uses a cogent research design that weaves multiple layers of meaning making into the inquiry and rendering,” an inquiry that is “unique, looking at epistemological underpinnings of two arts-integrating methodologies,” and one that “clearly demonstrates expertise, extensive study and attention to convening research to the audience.”

Both the form and content of Holly’s work comprise major strengths of her work. The arts-integrating form includes a vividly presented script (for a play), comic illustrations, and poetry. The depth of study and compelling arguments for why metaphysical orientations matter underpin the work’s extensive literary and philosophical overviews, focusing ultimately on Elliot Eisner’s arts based research and Rita Irwin et al.’s a/r/tography, and the enactment of philosophy in education settings.

The CPES reviewers of Holly’s dissertation offered very positive comments. One noted: “This challenging work confronts our assumptions about how to do philosophy of education and how our ideas can intersect with different genres, including poetry and works of fiction.” And a second reviewer noted: “We rarely think about how to integrate arts-integrated research into the field of philosophy of education. This dissertation provides us with some methodological insights and asks us to think about our own discipline through arts-related methods.”

The dissertation was nominated for the award by committee members Dr. Pauline Sameshima, Dr. Douglas Karrow, and Dr. Donald Kerr.

Holly previously won the CSEA/SCES (Canadian Society for Education through Art) Dissertation Award for her work. A copy of the work is available online.

On behalf of the Faculty of Education, congratulations Holly!


Alumnus Chris Dube Wins “Natural Curiosity Edward Burtynsky Award” for Environmental Education Teaching

Chris Dube (BEd, 2005; MEd 2009; Thunder Bay campus), and High School Science/Outdoor Environmental Education Teacher at Lake Superior High School in Terrace Bay, Ontario, has been named Grand Prize winner of the 2022 Natural Curiosity Edward Burtynsky Award for Teaching Excellence in Environmental Education. This annual, national award honours three outstanding educators across Canada for their exemplary practices in environmental inquiry.  

Chris explains that his philosophy of experiential, environmental education is that “students and the school should be an integral part of the community. I believe that local activism, and authentic project-based learning activities, allow students to develop their critical thinking and global citizenry.”

Chris demonstrates this passion through various hands-on projects he coordinates with students, such as the sustainable trail development of the Casque Isles Hiking Trail. Together, Chris and his students developed a plan to create 11 permanent camp sites along a 53-kilometre trail on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Students received a Trillium grant to fund the purchase of bear boxes, fire rings, signage, and material to build thunder boxes. They also researched sensitive environmental features of the trail, such as the Arctic Alpine Disjunct plants, to determine appropriate locations for camp sites.

Chris has also developed a locally-focused, yet globally relevant multi-credit Outdoor Environmental Science program, based on Ontario curriculum documents. The program consists entirely of hands-on, project-based learning activities, employing authentic and alternative assessment methods and Indigenous ways of teaching and learning. He notes that the program naturally incorporates four areas of priority: Indigenous Education, Community Development, Mental Health and Well-being, and Experiential Learning.

“The majority of the course is spent on the land with First Nations members, local community members, peers, and local business and community organizations to learn beyond the walls of the school,” he explains. This enables students to understand their role and responsibilities in the community, identify goals for self-development and growth, and actualize projects that have a real impact in their community.

Chris wrote an MEd thesis focused on assessment and evaluation of two secondary school outdoor, experiential environmental programs, under the supervision of Dr. Connie Russell.  

Faculty of Education May 2022 Newsletter Published

The Faculty of Education's May 2022 Education Exchange newsletter is now published.

This issue features an article on the Recipients of the Teacher Education Research Fund Award, introduction to new staff in the Faculty, faculty news and profiles, and more.

To access the Education Exchange newsletter, click here.

MEd Alumna Melissa Chumakov Wins Award for Thesis on Women in Mathematics Education

Melissa Chumakov, a recent graduate of the Master of Education program (Orillia campus, 2021) and current Secondary Business teacher, has received a Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE) Recognition Award for her thesis, Women In Mathematics Education: Pathways to Participation.

Melissa’s thesis focuses on improving women’s participation in mathematics education at the post-secondary level. As noted on the CATE Awards website, her work “highlights women’s experiences through storytelling, as a way of understanding how the complexities of gender identity influence the ways in which women orient themselves in various domains of academia.” 

Using narrative inquiry, her thesis brings together critical feminist theory, psychoanalytical perspectives, and social constructivist theory to share five women’s “personal pathways—including experiences, thoughts, and stories—to becoming a woman mathematics educator at the post-secondary level. The research questions guiding this inquiry are: Why do women decide to teach mathematics education at the post-secondary level? What are the experiences of women mathematics educators who had “overcome barriers”? What are the critical moments along their pathway to participation?”

Melissa recently presented her work via a poster presentation at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education conference, as part of a panel featuring CATE Award winners’ research.

Lucas Johnson Receives Grant for Research Project on Educational Technology Decision-Making Influences

Lucas Johnson (Educational Technologies Facilitator, Contract Lecturer, and PhD student) has been awarded an AMTEC Trust research grant for his graduate research, titled “Educational Technology Implementation Influences in Ontario K-12 Schools.”

His research examines the decision-making processes and factors related to the selection and implementation of education technology in schools.

“It is important to critically examine the factors influencing decision-making, especially in a time when publicly-funded spending on educational technologies continues to increase and technology permeates our lives,” he explains.

He plans to collect data via by surveying boards of education and conducting interviews to garner a larger picture of the scope of the factors influencing technology acquisition and allocation.

With over 20 years’ experience in the educational technologies sector himself, Lucas is well-positioned to undertake this study.

The annual AMTEC Trust award is a $3000.00 research grant awarded to a graduate student whose research is focused on educational technology. Lucas will present his research at the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education conference next year.