MEd Alumnus Joey Miller Leads Indigenous Youth on 130-Kilometre Canoe Trip

Faculty of Education alumnus Joey Miller (BEd 2015, MEd 2017), a wilderness guide and outdoor education teacher of the Matawa Learning Centre, is featured in a Canadian Geographic Magazine article about his experiences leading Indigenous youth on a 130-kilometre canoe route through Winisk River, paddling from Nibinamik to Webequie.

The 11-day summer canoe trip was a pilot Grade 12 experiential education course teaching the youth about water safety and leadership, while connecting them with their traditional lands.

"It is about giving students a new and fun way to earn high school credits while teaching them useful skills they can use around their home communities which are all on major rivers or lakes,” explains Joey, an experienced paddling instructor who conceived of the course.

“It’s also a chance for me to learn from them. This is their land. They’re connected to it in ways I could never be. Two of the students told me their grandparents used to paddle this route. It’s an honour to be out here on their land with them."

Eleven students and four guides (Joey Miller, Jody Mitchell, Thomas Hall, and Marten Falls First Nation Band Councillor Alex Aggamaway) completed the journey, which was funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

During their trip, the group traversed different classes of rapids, portaged when necessary, and experienced backcountry camping. The students earned certifications in basic white water rescue and canoeing while earning a high school credit and developing leadership skills.

The article is available here: This Canoe Expedition Program Provides School Credit to Indigenous Youth.

Bachelor of Education Graduates Begin Teaching Careers in Pikangikum

Bachelor of Education graduates Irene Kuan, Jade Ly, and Ryan Saunders, who were part of a group of six teacher candidates who travelled up north to Pikangikum this past March/April to complete their final five-week teaching practicum, are beginning their first permanent teaching contracts in the Ojibwe First Nation community.

The Pikangikum teaching placements were realized through a new and ongoing partnership between Lakehead University, The Ontario Provincial Police’s “Project Journey” initiative, Eenchokay Birchstick School, and the community of Pikangikum. For further details on this partnership, see the write-up in our September issue of Education Exchange Newsletter (pages 2-3).

Congratulations to the graduates as they embark on their new teaching careers! (Pictured below: BEd graduates Dianna Semenick, Irene Kuan, Ashley Roper, Vanessa Maurice, Ryan Saunders, and Jade Ly, who completed their teaching placements in Pikangikum).

September Issue of Education Exchange Newsletter Published

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 2017)

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

Faculty of Education Alumnus Lisa Dampier Wins Anti-Bias Teaching Award

Lisa Dampier, Grade 7-8 teacher at Thunder Bay’s Westmount Public School, has been awarded the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) 2017 Anti-Bias Award for her work teaching global citizenship and social justice.

The award is presented to educators who incorporate practices in their teaching that work toward the elimination of bias.

Lisa established a Learning Academy for her students, through which they broadened their perspectives by learning about different cultures, religions, and world issues such as the uneven distribution of water and resources. They learned about the negative impacts of bias, racism, and stereotypes. They also worked to make a difference by creating social media videos that addressed bullying and children’s rights, and repairing and restoring old bicycles to give to local children in need.

“I believe it is extremely important for young people to begin to develop a social conscience as early as possible. By learning about different cultures, world issues and events, as well as what's happening in their own community, they are able to gain greater awareness of the importance of diversity, compassion and equity. Seeing students develop a voice and passion for change, and watching the pride they feel in themselves when they realize their actions can make a difference, has been both inspiring and empowering for me as a teacher,” she explains.

Lisa is a graduate of Lakehead’s Bachelor of Education program (1993) and an Associate Teacher to Lakehead BEd students.  

Faculty of Education Alumnus Dr. Janet Dyment Named Australia’s Teacher Educator of the Year

Dr. Janet Dyment, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of School in the Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania, was recently named Australia’s Teacher Educator of the Year.

This award was given to Dr. Dyment by the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) at a conference in Brisbane, Australia in July. The aim of the award is to “recognize dedication to innovative teaching practices in teacher education at a university level,” as noted on the ATEA website.

In her positions at the University of Tasmania, Dr. Dyment has taught into many teaching specializations (e.g., health and physical education, leadership, outdoor education, social sciences) and many core teacher education units. She is known for taking an interdisciplinary approach in various curriculum contexts and seeks to make her teaching thematic, integrated, and situated in real-life contexts.

“I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive this award. I feel truly grateful for my experiences both as a PhD student and academic at Lakehead, where my passion for teacher education first began,” she says.

Dr. Dyment is a Lakehead Faculty of Education Joint PhD in Educational Studies alumnus (2005), and was a contract lecturer in Lakehead’s School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism (1999-2003).

Congratulations, Dr. Dyment, on this well-deserved recognition!

Dr. Ann Kajander’s Mathematics Research Supported through Fields Institute Grant

Dr. Ann Kajander, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, is an Expert Panel member of the Mathematics Knowledge Network, hosted by the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences.

The Fields Institute was recently awarded a five-year grant from the Ministry of Education to host the Mathematics Knowledge Network for Ontario. Within the larger network are four Communities of Practice. Dr. Kajander's project, entitled Transitions in Grade 9 Mathematics, is contained within the Critical Transitions Community of Practice.

Dr. Kajander explains that this grant will enable her to continue her research projects in conjunction with the Mathematics Knowledge Network, with a special focus on Grade 9 transitions and locally developed math courses.

"The Locally Developed courses are not evaluated by EQAO, and hence often fall outside the funding sources for school improvement. These courses, taken by some of our very neediest students, serve 7% of Grade 9 students provincially, with a slightly higher percentage locally. It's time these students' needs become more of a focus,” she explains.

The Mathematics Knowledge Network brings together diverse mathematics education stakeholders from across Ontario to mobilize evidence from research and professional practice and facilitate the use of evidence-based practices for mathematics instruction, to support improved educational achievement.

Master of Education Student Jackie Chan Wins 3M Fellowship Award

Master of Education student Jackie Chan was awarded the prestigious 3M National Student Leadership Fellowship – an award from the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education that recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding leadership in their lives, at their post-secondary institution.

Jackie is the first Lakehead University student to win this award, which recognizes his many notable leadership and mentorship initiatives relating to social justice for youth, and his passionate commitment to building relationships across culture, class, and race.

One of these initiatives was Jackie’s involvement in running a land-based, well-being camp at Kingfisher Outdoor Education Centre last March. At the camp he worked with 18 Indigenous high school students as part of his research into play-based, laughter-based community building and mental health leadership.

“Before we deal with this issue of decolonizing, we have to build relationships of trust, and that can be done through laughter and play,” he explained in a recent news article.

The Kingfisher camp was part of his work with the Tikkun Indigenous Youth Project, a SSHRC-funded project out the University of Windsor exploring how young people are contributing to social healing and change.

This summer, Jackie took one of the Indigenous youth from the Kingfisher camp to Camp Arowhon, a private summer camp in Algonquin Park where he works. He also started a penpal program between Jamaican youth and elementary students at the inner-city Ogden Community Public School in Thunder Bay, and he is co-founder and director of Zen's Outdoor Leadership Camp for Youth, an NGO where he leads groups to Jamaica and Nepal to facilitate volunteer-driven service learning programs.

Dr. Lisa Korteweg is Jackie’s MEd research supervisor.

Jackie says that receiving the 3M award is “validation and motivation for me to continue on the path I am on.”

Dr. Lisa Korteweg Appointed to Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee for the CRC Program

Dr. Lisa Korteweg, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, has joined the Canada Research Chair (CRC) program’s Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee—a committee of invited and appointed experts across the NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC councils.

The Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee is responsible for making final recommendations on Canada Research Chair nominations when members of the College of Reviewers are divided. The Committee also provides policy advice on key aspects of the CRC program, and is responsible for ensuring the consistency of standards across the program.

Dr. Korteweg was invited to the Committee on account of her familiarity with the CRC program, her previous experience on SSHRC committees (as former Chair of the SSHRC Indigenous Research Panel), and her areas of research expertise.

She has accepted a three-year term as an adjudicator and will attend the next Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee meeting in October in Ottawa.

The CRC program invests approximately $265 million each year to attract and retain up to 2,000 Chairholders in universities across Canada, with the goal of promoting research excellence in natural sciences, engineering, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

Dr. Ruth Beatty’s Indigenous Mathematics Research Contributes to Accepting Schools Award

Dr. Ruth Beatty, Acting Chair of Orillia Educational Programs, has been conducting mathematics research for several years in schools in southern and eastern Ontario. 

Working in conjunction with the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and the Ministry of Education, her recent research project, “The Mathematics of Algonquin Looming,” explores how to incorporate Indigenous perspectives into the Ontario math curriculum.

One of the schools where her research was conducted, Eganville and District Public School, has recently been named as a recipient of the Premier's Accepting Schools Award.

This award “recognizes teams across the province that have done exceptional and innovative work in creating a safe, inclusive and accepting school environment,” as outlined on the Ministry of Education website.

As part of Dr. Beatty’s research, students conducted traditional Algonquin activities such as beading, which helped them to learn about patterning, algebra, fractions, and geometry.

Congratulations Dr. Beatty for this achievement, which shows how faculty research can have a significant impact.

May Issue of Education Exchange Newsletter Published

We are pleased to announce that the May 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:

Click to access Education Exchange Newsletter (May 2017) 

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