Dr. Pauline Sameshima Juried Art Exhibition and Showcased Artwork in a Solo Show

Dr. Pauline Sameshima, Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies, was the juror of the 26th annual juried art exhibition of the MacRostie Art Center, which exhibited two- and three-dimensional works by 35 artists from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin over the month of August.

Dr. Sameshima also exhibited her own artwork in a solo show in August. Her art included a collection of 11 ceramic bells. The series is called “Silent Belles,” inspired by the work done in a SSHRC grant spanning seven Canadian universities. The grant title is: “Reconceptualizing Teachers’ Roles for Canada’s Creative Economy.”

In an essay called "Teacher as Silenced Superhero," Dr. Sean Wiebe (2016, Primary Investigator of this grant) writes that teachers are given the token social status of superhero and that this obligates them to be expressions of our social ideals for education. The project has found that this obligation silences teachers. Idealism creates expectations for teachers to be perfect role models, and disallows risk-taking, creative experimentation, and authentic relation in their teaching.

Artwork bellThe bell(es) present women in various dispositions. The one pictured accompanies a haiku:

leaves evergreen

she walks

down the street


Dr. Sameshima explains that “this bell looks like a Christmas Tree. It is a familiar icon representing happiness, fullness, and idealism. The runway model too, holds her head high and walks with her thin legs down the street. Yet, when the angle of the photo is changed, the thin legs are actually wide and the leaves’ edges are sharp and uncomfortable. The model of perfection is tainted as the expectation of idealism prevents teachers from taking risks.”

For more information, please see: solspire.com


Dr. Jan Oakley Receives Contribution to Teaching Award

Dr. Jan Oakley (Contract Lecturer in the Bachelor of Education program, Master of Education program, and Women’s Studies department) has received a Contribution to Teaching award for the 2017-2018 academic year. The Committee noted that Dr. Oakley provides a safe and active learning environment, and stimulates discussion that encourages deep reflection and growth in the areas of social justice and feminist pedagogy.

“This award is very meaningful to me, especially knowing the nomination came from my students,” she says. “Teaching about social justice issues for the past decade has been a huge privilege, and I am continually seeking to refine my approaches, and try out new ways to develop my toolkit as a facilitator. It’s an honour to learn with and from my students, and to build relationships with them so we can meaningfully consider how we can make shifts toward an inclusive and equitable society.”

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 2018)

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

Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston and Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo Win SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston and Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo, who were successful with their SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant, entitled “Enhancing Instruction in Literacy, Inquiry Based Kindergarten Classrooms.”

As part of their research, they will observe and analyze child-led learning opportunities focused on inquiry and literacy in Simcoe County District School Board Kindergarten classrooms, and facilitate professional development focus group discussions with Kindergarten educators.

Their interest in Kindergarten pedagogy and practice will also help to strengthen the placement experiences of teacher candidates in the Bachelor of Education program by identifying needs expressed by Kindergarten educators – many of whom host teacher candidates in their school board.

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

PhD student Kelsey Robson Wins Italian Studies Graduate Award

Faculty of Education PhD student Kelsey Robson has won the Institute of Italian Studies Graduate Award for her research on Reggio Emilia Kindergartens.

Kelsey travelled to Italy as part of her research, visiting Reggio schools to study their approach to early childhood education.

In a published paper co-written with her supervisor, Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo, Kelsey describes the philosophy of the Reggio approach as guided by 12 principles: “collaboration, the image of the child, environment as a third teacher, relationships, transparency, documentation, pedagogical documentation, provocation, progettazione (term used to describe curriculum), one hundred languages of children, respect, and reciprocity.”

The Italian Studies Graduate Award is given out every second year to a graduate student based on academic excellence and a research topic that contributes to the promotion and appreciation of the Italian culture.

Dr. Michael Hoechsmann and Co-Editors Publish New Book: Democracy 2.0: Media, Political Literacy and Critical Engagement

Participatory media, which allow us all to produce and circulate information to limitless online audiences, have radically shifted public life. Democracy 2.0: Media, Political Literacy and Critical Engagement (Brill, 2018) explores this shift through “a series of evocative, international case studies that document the impact of alternative and community use of media, in general, and Web 2.0 in particular.”

Co-edited by professors Paul R. Carr (Université du Québec en Outaouais), Michael Hoechsmann (Lakehead University), and Gina Thésée (Université du Québec à Montréal), the volume examines some of the potentials and also limits of interactive media for democratic participation.

As the authors explain: “Democracy requires a functioning, critically-engaged and literate populace, one that can participate in, cultivate and shape, in meaningful and critical ways, the discourses and forms of the society in which it exists. Education for democracy, therefore, requires not only political literacy but also media and digital literacies, given the ubiquity and immersiveness of Media 2.0 in our lives.”

In his Afterword to the collection, renowned critical pedagogue Peter McLaren refers to the book as “one of the best media literacy texts in the field” and one that “has arrived at a precipitous moment in world History.”

Other Lakehead University contributions to the book include a co-edited chapter, “Engagement with the Mainstream Media and the Relationship to Political Literacy,” co-authored by Lakehead Orillia Assistant Professor Gary Pluim, and former Lakehead Orillia student Lauren Howard. 

The collaboration between the three editors continues with a follow-up book underway called Education for Democracy 2.0: Changing Frames of Media Literacy.

Dr. Sonja Grover Publishes New Book: Child Refugee Asylum as a Basic Human Right: Selected Case Law on State Resistance

Dr. Sonja Grover, Professor in the Faculty of Education, has published a new book with Springer titled Child Refugee Asylum as a Basic Human Right: Selected Case Law on State Resistance.

The book discusses the child's right to asylum as a basic human right; the scope of the child's right to asylum given the child's privileged status under international human rights and humanitarian law, and considers relevant international and domestic case law concerning child refugees and child asylum seekers.

Dr. Grover provides recommendations for modifications of child refugee policy and state law to further compliance with international law requirements in regards to child refugee asylum seekers.

Dr. Ann Kajander and Co-Editors Publish New Book: Teaching and Learning Secondary School Mathematics

Bridging the gap between mathematics education research and practice is a key focus of the recently published Teaching and Learning Secondary School Mathematics (2018, Springer).

Co-edited by Associate Professor Dr. Ann Kajander (Lakehead University), Dr. Jennifer Holm (University of Alberta), and Dr. Egan Chernoff (University of Saskatchewan), the volume – featuring a roster of Canadian and international authors – provides a synopsis of recent research about secondary level mathematics teaching and learning.

As stated on the Springer website: “The chapters address topics of broad applicability such as technology in learning mathematics, recent interest in social justice contexts in the learning of mathematics, as well as Indigenous education. The voices of classroom practitioners, the group ultimately responsible for implementing this new vision of mathematics teaching and learning, are not forgotten. Each section includes a chapter written by a classroom teacher, making this volume unique in its approach.”

Mathematics educator Dr. Ann Kajander, who has taught mathematics at the secondary and post-secondary level, says the book is designed to fill a gap in the literature and includes a uniquely Canadian perspective, situated in an international context. She reports that the editorial team was particularly thrilled with the book’s Forward, written by Indigenous mathematician and educator Edward Doolittle, in which he observes that “many of the chapters of this book are directly about Indigenous mathematics education” and that he was pleased to find some “connections to Indigenous cultures, issues, and peoples” in every chapter of the book.

Each of the book’s six sections is introduced with a Preface (or two) by senior Canadian mathematics education scholars or mathematicians. The final Commentaries in each section situate the chapters in an international context, including eight commentaries from scholars representing five different continents.

Dr. Gerald Walton Wins Canadian Association of Foundations of Education 2018 “Outstanding Advising and Mentoring Award”

Dr. Gerald Walton, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, was awarded the “Outstanding Advising and Mentoring Award” from the Canadian Association of Foundations of Education (CAFE) in May.

The award is presented each year to a CAFE member whose “dedication and commitment to excellence in undergraduate and/or graduate advising or mentorship has made a significant contribution to the professional growth of students working in the area of educational foundations,” as noted on the CAFE website.

Dr. Walton’s nominator described him as someone who “provided me with sound advice in my growth as a scholar but also helped me through personal challenges and hurdles … held high expectations … provided important guidance … a valued mentor whose guidance truly enriched my graduate studies experience.”

Dr. Walton notes that he was "delighted to have received this award at the CAFE Banquet in Regina. This award, in particular, means a lot to me because working with students and guiding them on what interests them academically is a huge privilege and the best part of my job, hands down. I remember professors who did the same for me when I was a student. It is very enjoyable to pay it forward and a thrill to watch students reach their potential.” 

The award was presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Association of Foundation of Education in Regina.

Pictured below: Dr. Gerald Walton (centre) receives award from Dr. Kurt Clausen (President, CAFE) and Dr. Shirley Van Nuland (1st Vice President, CAFE and Chair, Awards Committee).

Tikkun Indigenous Youth Research Project Featured in Chronicle-Journal

Dr. Lisa Korteweg’s research project, the recently completed Tikkun Indigenous Youth Project, was featured in the Chronicle-Journal’s Research into Action series. This SSHRC-funded project – an international project with five research sites, including Thunder Bay – explores the factors that encourage youth, aged 16-25, to become drivers of change in their own communities.

"The Tikkun Indigenous Youth project site has helped to create safer spaces in Thunder Bay schools so that northern First Nation youth can buffer and navigate ongoing cultural differences while sharing positive experiences and building community with their Indigenous peers,” Dr. Korteweg explains in the article.

As part of the project, drop-in sessions were held at four high schools where data was collected from Indigenous students on how conditions could be improved as more welcoming and inclusive, and how students could become more engaged in community and school events.

In the third year of the Tikkun Thunder Bay site, a land-based, well-being retreat at Kingfisher Outdoor Education Centre was designed and implemented with 20 youth participants, 4 teacher candidates, and 4 Lakehead Public School Board teachers. At the camp, Master of Education student Jacky Chan, research assistant with the project, worked with the Indigenous youth as part of his research into play-based, laughter-yoga community building (see photo below), and mental health leadership.