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.”

“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!

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.

Alumna Dr. Sarah Pash Elected as Chairperson of Cree School Board

Alumna Dr. Sarah Pash (MEd, 2005; PhD, 2014) has been elected as Chairperson of the Cree School Board. 

“I am honoured that the people of our territory have given me the opportunity to help shape their children’s educational experience,” she explained on the Cree School Board website. “This will be an era in which we will not just make student success our priority, but also continually measure our own success, and adjust our course as necessary.”

Dr. Pash, from the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, has a background in First Nations education, education and language research, culture, and language maintenance. She has experience in Eeyou and Indigenous Education as a teacher, University instructor, education consultant, researcher, and author.

She explains that the “voices of students, parents, communities, and our regional entities are equally important and must be engaged in a meaningful process as we continue to develop the Cree School Board.”