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!

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 2019)

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


SSHRC Partnership Development Grant Awarded: Advancing Sustainability in the Lake Superior Watershed

Dr. Charles Levkoe, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems, Associate Professor in Health Sciences, and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education, is leading a partnership that will receive $188,106 over the next three years.

The research project is entitled Lake Superior Living Labs Network: Enhancing Capacity for Regenerative Social-Ecological Systems. Co-investigators include Faculty of Education professors Dr. Constance Russell and Dr. David Greenwood. 

This research will explore how postsecondary institutions might play a stronger role in advancing sustainability goals (including health and social and environmental justice) in the Lake Superior Watershed by turning higher education institutions into hubs for interdisciplinary “living laboratories” that integrate teaching, research, place-based experiential learning, and community engagement.

The project brings together four universities to serve as hubs (Lakehead University, University of Minnesota Duluth, Algoma University, Lake Superior College - Duluth) and numerous community organizations and First Nations as partners through the new Lake Superior Living Labs Network. More information is available at livinglabs.lakeheadu.ca.

Pictured below: Dr. Charles Levkoe, Dr. Constance Russell, and Dr. David Greenwood.

SSHRC Partnership Development Grant Award: Research on Self-Regulation and Literacy Development

Congratulations to Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo, Associate Professor (Orillia) and co-investigator Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston (Assistant Professor, Orillia), who are receiving $196,268 to spend three years using research methods that have been selected in consultation with a partner organization (Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre) and Indigenous community members.

Their research is entitled Supporting the Development of Young Children's Self-Regulation Capacities and Literacy Skills in Ontario's Northern Communities: Engaging Families and Educators.

Self-regulation is crucial to healthy child development including mental health, learning, resilience, and caring relationships in families, schools and communities. When self-regulation is compromised, so is literacy development.

Literacy rates in the north are lower than provincial averages and there are a rising number of students dealing with mental health challenges that impact academic achievement. This project will investigate whether promoting self-regulation through culturally appropriate techniques such as storytelling will help to improve well-being, literacy outcomes and overall school success. The research study adopts a holistic approach, engaging teachers, children and community members.

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

Congratulations to Tesa Fiddler, named Outstanding Indigenous Educator

Congratulations to Tesa Fiddler (MEd, 2012), a teacher with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, who was recently named the 2019 Outstanding Indigenous Educator by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.  

Tesa is a member of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake First Nation) with family connections to Onigaming and Muskrat Dam First Nations. She has worked as an Indigenous Education Resource Teacher for the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board since 2011.

From 2011 to 2016, Tesa was a co-instructor with Dr. Lisa Korteweg in the course “Indigenizing Perspectives and Practices in Education,” at Lakehead University, among other classes.

She also taught at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education Institute, and York University.     

Pictured below: Tesa Fiddler, right, received a certificate from CTF President Shelley Morse after being named the 2019 Outstanding Indigenous Educator by the Canadian Teacher's Federation.


Master of Education Student Robin Faye’s Artwork Featured in Public Show

Robin Faye, a visual artist and Master of Education student with a focus on Environmental and Sustainability Education, has created an art piece (see below) currently on display at the “Breaking Ground” exhibition at the Baggage Building Arts Centre in Thunder Bay.

The artwork is an interactive piece about pedagogical learning spaces. Robin created it as part of an arts-integrated research project conducted by Dr. Pauline Sameshima, her thesis supervisor. The artwork invites viewers to gently move inside it and sit on a meditation cushion to contemplate.

Robin explains that Dr. Sameshima worked with yoga teachers in her research, inviting the participants to write about their training process and respond to art she had created. Robin then read what the participants had written, and responded with the creation of her own piece, which deliberately remains untitled.

“My artwork is my impression of the yoga teachers’ experiences,” she explains. “Viewers will have their own interpretations of it, but some themes include contemplation, personal growth, and internal experiences. It references a snake skin, as one of the participants described her experience of growing as a yoga teacher to be like shedding her skin, like a snake.”

Robin adds that arts-integrated research is a dialogic process between artist and participant, with a goal of authentic expression. It’s a fluid process that can change according to context – much like one’s impressions of art.

Robin’s artwork was selected as the cover art for the show, which is a spring exhibition of multidisciplinary works by 20 artists. It is on view until June 29th at the Baggage Building Arts Centre in Thunder Bay.

Her work is also exhibited online at Lakehead University's Arts Integrated Studies Virtual Gallery, which is curated by a jury coordinated by Dr. Sameshima. 

PhD Student Holly Prince Awarded Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship

Holly Prince is one of only 20 doctoral students from across Canada and the globe who has received a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards in Canada in the social sciences and humanities fields.

Prince is an Indigenous scholar and Anishinaabekwe from the Red Rock Indian Band, Lake Helen Reserve, and currently a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education (Thunder Bay campus), supervised by Dr. Lisa Korteweg, in the Joint PhD in Education program.

For more than a decade, Prince has been working as a researcher and project manager at the Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), focused on improving the end-of-life care in Indigenous communities with the active collaboration of community members.

Her current PhD work is situated in Indigenous community-based educational research, interdisciplinary in its focus on accessible, culturally relevant, well-being and education services, determined with and controlled by Indigenous people.

Prince has been awarded $180,000 over three years to advance her research into First Nations community-based palliative care education and programs, including funds to promote travel for research and scholarly networking and knowledge dissemination.

“I am extremely excited to have been awarded this honour and to become part of the new doctoral cohort in the Trudeau Foundation scholarly community,” said Prince.

“I feel both humbled and extremely responsible in my role as an Indigenous scholar, to see my own doctoral work as improving the conditions for academic research with Indigenous communities or bringing research back to life or positive repute in communities.”

“The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (PETF) encourages research that strives to make societal change through academia,” Prince said.

“Being part of such an accomplished and influential academic community will offer great opportunities to move Canadian institutions, like healthcare and education, forward in prioritizing Indigenous peoples, communities and our knowledge systems in research. I look forward to inquiring with fellow PETF scholars and mentors as to how academia can respectfully recognize the importance of Indigenous perspectives in the pursuit of knowledge and ideas.”

Even though Prince’s research is specifically situated in palliative care education in Indigenous communities, she said this kind of work is relevant for all research in Canada, given the “longstanding broken relationships between Indigenous communities and universities and an ongoing inadequate acknowledgement of the value of Indigenous knowledge systems and community-based control.”

The Trudeau Foundation receives nominations from top PhD candidates in the Social Sciences and Humanities fields from universities across Canada and internationally. About 300 exceptional PhD students are nominated by their home universities, but only 20 in total are chosen after a grueling application process, including flying to Montreal for personal and group interviews.

This is the first time Lakehead University has nominated a graduate student for the PETF scholarship.  

“For Holly to be awarded the renowned Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship is a phenomenal achievement and a testament to the outstanding quality of her scholarship,” said Dr. Korteweg, Prince’s supervisor.

“It is also a tribute to the pressing need for more Indigenous research by Indigenous scholars and with Indigenous communities. I couldn’t be prouder of Holly and for the national recognition of her Indigenous scholarship,” Dr. Korteweg added.

“For Holly to receive the prestigious Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship is a wonderful personal achievement and a tribute to her scholarship,” said Dr. Wayne Melville, Acting Dean of Lakehead University’s Faculty of Education.

“As a Faculty we wish her all the best as she pursues her vital research into First Nations community-based palliative care education programs. The award is also a testament to the quality of the Joint PhD in Educational Studies Program here at Lakehead, and the commitment of our faculty members to nurturing the next generation of researchers,” he added.

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