PhD Student Elizabeth Boileau Wins Graduate Studies Research Excellence Award

Congratulations to PhD student Elizabeth Boileau, whose research publication, “Insect and Human Flourishing in Early Childhood Education: Learning and Crawling Together” (co-authored with Dr. Connie Russell, Professor), has won the Graduate Studies Research Excellence Award, awarded during Lakehead University’s Research and Innovation Week.

The research chapter, which is published in the Research Handbook on Childhoodnature (Springer, 2018), explores how educators might “offer young children opportunities to develop ethical and caring relationships with insects, including those who are commonly feared, disliked, or simply overlooked.” Elizabeth has presented this research at two refereed conferences, and the publication is also being used as a course reading in a Master of Education course.

“Winning this award is very exciting and validating! I am proud of the positive impact that this publication has had already. I am very grateful for the guidance of my supervisor, Connie Russell, through the research, writing and publication process,” Elizabeth says.

She adds that this research bridges her professional and academic life, since it draws on her experiences working with children and working at an insect museum prior to the start of her PhD studies.  


Dr. Michael Hoechsmann Presents Public Talk: “Remix, Rhetoric and ‘Reality’ in the Era of ‘Fake News’”

Dr. Michael Hoechsmann (Associate Professor, Faculty of Education – Orillia) will present a public talk as part of the “Uncovering the Truth: Investigative Journalism in the Age of ‘Fake News’” series.

Date: Wednesday, February 27

Time: 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Location: St Paul's Centre, 62 Peter Street North, Orillia, ON

Description: How we produce, circulate and consume knowledge, information and “news” has changed dramatically with the participatory Web 2.0 and algorithmic Web 3.0. A democratized Internet gives voice to previously marginalized voices, and generally unleashes unfiltered views into circulation. Less able to rely on professional editors we actively curate information from multiple sources through search engines and social media. The apparent fake news ‘crisis’ of lies and propaganda in the media is fueled too by the rise of authoritarian populism and the celebration of opinion and affect (“I believe what I feel like believing”) over knowledge and science.

To purchase tickets for this talk, click here.  

Humanities 101 Featured in The Walleye

The Faculty of Education’s Humanities 101 program has been featured in the February issue of The Walleye magazine (see page 64 of the link).

The article, entitled “The Fundamental Gift of the Humanities,” discusses Humanities 101, a program that provides a free, university-level experience to community members who have financial or social barriers that make it difficult for them to pursue post-secondary education.

As explained in the article: “In 2004, Dr. Christina van Barneveld of the Faculty of Education and other educators began the ongoing process of implementing, revising, and sustaining Humanities 101 at Lakehead University. The program is supported by a large network of community affiliates and volunteers including the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. People from a variety of backgrounds with different reasons for wanting to move towards their potential are attracted by the accessible approach... Humanities 101 provides a unique individual and community-directed experience. It’s a way that education can open doors so students can find their own place to make way for personal positive change.”

Humanities 101 is celebrating its 15th year in 2019. The program is offered on both Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses.

January Issue of Education Exchange Newsletter Published

We are pleased to announce that 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 2019)

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


Keri-Lyn Durant Wins Graduate Student Paper Award

Congratulations to PhD student Keri-Lyn Durant, recipient of the Richard Kalish Graduate Student Paper Award, to be presented at the Association for Death Education and Counselling (ADEC) 2019 Conference next April.

Keri-Lyn’s paper, “How Grief Camp Reinforces the Need for Death Education in Elementary Schools” (published in the Fall 2018 issue of Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education) discusses her experiences as a volunteer at children’s grief camps. Grief camps offer a safe grieving space for children who have experienced a death-related loss, along with opportunities for open dialogues about grief and loss and the development of coping strategies that focus on restoration. The camps, she explains, highlight the need for death education in schools.

In the paper she writes: “Not immune to issues surrounding dying, death, and loss, young people are being done a great disservice by our embraced ignorance of inevitable life events… It is time to reclaim our dying … by moving towards healthy and appropriate modes of lifelong learning regarding death and the life that precedes it.”

Receiving the ADEC award is a significant honour, as Keri-Lyn’s paper was selected as part of an international competition. She plans to attend the conference in Atlanta in the spring.  

Randy Wilkie Elected to the College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geography Society

Congratulations to Randy Wilkie (Contract Lecturer, Faculty of Education), who has been elected to the College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

Randy was nominated for this prestigious honour by his colleagues at the Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education (OAGEE), where he has served as a regional councilor for over 25 years. During that time he has helped to promote geography and assist geography teachers through the publication of teaching resources, assistance in developing the Grades 7-12 Ontario Geography curriculum, and the creation of an OAGEE geography poster series (many of these posters hang in Ontario classrooms today). He was also awarded the OAGEE Award of Distinction in 2011, among numerous other geography-related awards, honours, publications, and distinctions throughout his career. 

According to the RCGS, Fellows are community leaders who act as ambassadors for the Society, helping through volunteerism, advice and giving, building community and furthering their mission to make Canada better known to Canadians and the world. The RCGS notes that Randy’s election to the College of Fellows reflects his commitment to Canada and its remarkable geography. 

Dr. Pauline Sameshima Featured as Distinguished Outstanding Alumna of UBC

Dr. Pauline Sameshima, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies, has been featured as a distinguished and outstanding alumna of the University of British Columbia (PhD in Curriculum Studies, 2006).

An interview and biography, published here, discusses Dr. Sameshima’s current research projects and creative research methods, which “seek to respond to pressing calls for Canada to nurture and develop creativity and innovation capacity by leveraging broad interdisciplinary approaches.”

Dr. Sameshima has received numerous honours and awards in her career. Her collaborative research model framework, Parallaxic Praxis, has been taken up in research projects ranging from HIV research, interpersonal violence, mental health care, dementia studies, technology and inclusive education, knowledge generation, literacy, and more. Her book on this framework, Parallaxic Praxis: Multimodal Interdisciplinary Pedagogical Research Design, co-authored by Dr. Patricia Maarhuis (Washington State University) and Dr. Sean Wiebe (University of Prince Edward Island) will be available shortly from Vernon Press.

Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo and Dr. Connie Russell Partners in Provincial Centre of Excellence for Early Years and Child Care

Faculty of Education professors Sonia Mastrangelo and Connie Russell are part of the newly created Provincial Centre of Excellence for Early Years and Child Care, led by Western University and the Ontario Reggio Association.

A 3-year $2.25 million initiative funded by the Ministry of Education, the Centre is tasked with advancing early childhood pedagogies in Ontario and will promote calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and embrace the values of Ontario’s pedagogical framework How Does Learning Happen, including the view of children as protagonists in their own lifeworlds with participatory rights and responsibilities. 

The Provincial Centre for Excellence Executive Summary is available here

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:


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.”