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facultyofeducation contributors





Pam Adams Marguerite Anderson Tom Bielecki Margaret Beintema Brenda Bell Ken Heidebrecht Carol Knibbs Lori Lavallee Judy Lavorato SuHun Lee Craig Loewen Darcy McKenna Greg Martin Diane McKenzie Elizabeth McLachlan Darcy Novakowski Rob Olson Susan Pollock Kristen Shima Nicole Spence Wayne Street Kelly Vaselenak Jaime Vedres Pamela Winsor Caroline Zentner

special thank you

Ms. Shelley Rourke’s Grade 2 class at Vauxhall Elementary School






University of Lethbridge Printing Services The Legacy is produced by the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge in collaboration with the Communications Office.



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Correspondence is welcome and may be addressed to: Faculty of Education University of Lethbridge 4401 University Drive W Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4 403-332-4550

Photographer: Jaime Vedres, Inset photographer: Rob Olson

Dr. Craig Loewen finds balance woodworking in his shop Inset: his recent project, a University of Lethbridge clock LEGACY





each of us recognizes the challenge in establishing and maintaining balance in our lives

As a Faculty of Education we strive to maintain balance within our campus work lives. As professors at the University of Lethbridge our workload is divided into three parts: teaching, research and creative activity, and service. Teaching excellence is a hallmark of this faculty; as is the breadth of research and creative activity its individuals demonstrate. Service is a critical component of our work lives in support of collegial governance. However, just as in the rest of life, time for research can be hard to find in a busy teaching schedule, and sometimes research activity can press into time needed for planning, marking, and the development of excellent lessons. Regardless, this faculty values excellent teachers who are also excellent researchers ‌the responsibilities of teaching and research are held in balance, and the work is equally valued. After all, research informs practice, and practice refines research. In essence the two are integrally linked and therefore share equal priority and value. I am proud of the standard of teaching in this faculty, and equally proud of the research excellence and productivity of its members. The ability of this faculty to hold its teaching and research in balance is evident in its excellence.

A. Craig Loewen, PhD Dean of Education

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year at a glance

ards, including the Let hbr nd bo i es a d g eb itte r a mm n ch co o f th e


alumni honour society inductees

the alumni inducted into this prestigious group have served as role models to our students and the broader university community through success in their vocation, outstanding community service or superior accomplishment in their avocation. congratulations! Sylvia Campbell (BEd ’79)

Through her many years as an educator and mentor, Sylvia Campbell has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to environmental issues and human rights. She has served on numerous committees and boards, including the Lethbridge branch of the Canadian Federation of University Women, the Southern Alberta Group for Environment and the Lethbridge Network for Peace. Campbell was a longtime member of the Raging Grannies, a group through which she worked to raise awareness of social justice issues related to peace, the environment, gender, human rights, world equality, Canadian unity and social programs.

frank Frank Gnandt (BASc ’74, BEd ’79)

Frank Gnandt has been an exceptional educator in Lethbridge School District No. 51 for more than 30 years and has instilled a passion for the arts in many students. Gnandt, currently the choir director for Chinook High School in Lethbridge, is recognized by his peers as an accomplished adjudicator, instructor and conductor. His influence and passion for music have spread to students and audiences locally, provincially, nationally and abroad. Gnandt has been a guest conductor and performed at numerous prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and at the Vatican. Gnandt is a recipient of both the Governor General’s Award for Community Service and the ATA Teacher of Excellence Award.

michelle Michelle Hogue (MEd ’04)

An assistant professor and co-ordinator of the First Nations Transition Program at the University of Lethbridge, Dr. Michelle Hogue has helped ensure the success of many students at university, particularly in science-related programs. Hogue’s research blends required curricular and institutional demands with narrative and arts practices that, with holistic knowledge, have the potential to change science education for Aboriginal learners. In addition to her research, Hogue develops new and innovative teaching practices with high school students, educators and administrators on the Blackfoot (Kainai) Reserve in southern Alberta. Hogue has been the recipient of many awards and scholarships, including most recently the Canadian Education Association Pat Clifford Award.

yearataglance year at a glance

celebrating students

Hailee Virostek received the Faculty of Education Academic Gold Medal for the most distinguished graduate in the academic year. “It was an honour to receive the Education Academic Gold Medal and to be recognized for my hard work. It will be a constant reminder for me to always strive to be the best professional I can be.”

Erika Kewley recieved the Master of Counselling Medal of Merit. “This award is an honour and symbol of the outstanding academic and personal support I received from everyone within the U of L community. The award demonstrates how this amazing community helps students achieve their goals.”

Joanne Collier received the William Aberhart Gold Medal in Education. The award symbolizes the highest general proficiency in the final two years of a bachelor of education program. “Teaching is something I am passionate about, and it is an honour to be recognized in this way, especially given there are so many teacher graduates deserving of the same recognition. The affirmation that accompanies this award is encouraging to me as I embark on this next leg of life’s journey.”

Leslie Waite received the Master of Education Medal of Merit. This award is given for excellence in graduate studies.


The Faculty of Education is pleased to welcome secondments, Paul Bohnert and Andy Tyslau. The Secondment Program brings teachers from the Southern Alberta schools on campus to share their expertise and current teaching practises with Education students.


sharing teacher and faculty news

year at a glance

in memoriam

Dr.Rick in memory of



rick mrazek 1952-2013

Dr. Rick Mrazek’s influences in the education community extended from the grade three classes he once taught in Coaldale to international recognition as a leading science, technology, and environmental educator. His contributions helped establish sustainable environmental and conservation programs in the K-12 schools, post-secondary institutions, parks, and communities throughout Canada. Rick was a proud University of Lethbridge graduate (BASc/BEd ’78), member of the Alumni Honour Society and Alumnus of the Year (1993) who obtained his MEd and PhD from the University of Alberta. He received many awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013).He began his academic career at the U of L in 1986 and progressed through the academic ranks to his most recent position as Associate Dean.

Dr.Laurence in memory of

Walker 1938-2013

laurie walker Dr. Laurence Walker was a Canadian scholar well-known for his contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the areas of language learning, especially grammar. Laurie had a vision for how teachers could best be educated, and worked throughout his career to teach students and develop programs. Laurie joined the Faculty of Education in 1983 as an Associate Professor. In 1985 he took on the additional role of Coordinator of Graduate Studies for the Faculty of Education. He became a Full Professor and Associate Vice President (Academic) in 1991. He became the Dean of Education in 1995, a position he held until his retirement.

yearataglance year at a glance

faculty award

celebrating 40 years

The Faculty of Education is pleased to announce that Dr. Cynthia Chambers is the recipient of the 2013 Ingrid Speaker Medal for Distinguished Research, Scholarship, or Performance. Chambers is a leading figure in Canadian curriculum and literacy studies, and the enduring influence of her research has extended locally and around the world.

appointment to alberta education task force for teaching excellence

joyce ito

The Faculty of Education would like to recognize Joyce Ito for her long-time service and commitment to the University of Lethbridge. Joyce began her career at the U of L on June 28, 1973. She works as a Program Specialist in the Faculty of Education Graduate Studies and Research Office.

time to

congratulations for service over 20 years

craig loewen Dr. Craig Loewen, Dean Faculty of Education has been appointed to the Alberta Education Task Force for Teaching Excellence. The initiative will explore new directions for supporting excellence in teachers and other educators. Through consultations with parents, students, teachers, support staff, school leaders, stakeholders, community and business representatives, and all interested Albertans, the task force will provide recommendations for the future of the teaching profession in Alberta.

Robin Bright Richard Butt Cathy Campbell Cynthia Chambers Nancy Grigg Peter Heffernan Margaret Joblonkay Judy Lavorato Craig Loewen Jean Mankee Kas Mazurek Jane O’Dea Robert RuntÊ Brian Titley David Townsend Kelly Vaselenak Gitte Villiger Pamela Winsor

July 1, 1992 July 1, 1983 August 1, 1986 July 2, 1989 July 1, 1986 July 1, 1982 November 6, 1985 September 1, 1988 July 1, 1987 September 13, 1971 July 1, 1986 July 1, 1990 July 1, 1992 January 1, 1991 August 1, 1985 September 6, 1986 December 12, 1988 July 1, 1990

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f Lethbridge in 196 sity o 7 . Pam iver Un r ec ew a en th at

teaching was an organic career choice for both dave and pam adams. pam grew up in picture butte surrounded by educators – she couldn’t imagine any other lifestyle. dave chose education after a professor had recognized how he flourished in his summer job working with children. it was suggested he was a natural teacher.

Dave (BEd ‘81) and Pam (BEd ‘81, MEd ‘00, PhD ‘05) met when they were both first-year teachers in Lethbridge, she at Hamilton Junior High, and he at École St. Mary School. Dave, who was born in Buffalo, New York, opted to stay in Lethbridge when the rest of his family moved back to the United States. “The opportunities that presented themselves to me at that point in my life were much better here,” he says. From teaching and administration, to CEO of Lethbridge Family Services, and serving as coach of the U of L’s Pronghorns’ basketball team, Dave kept broadening his repertoire. This collective experience served him well during his recent stint as principal at a international school in Oman. Pam’s mother was an educator, and their home was a haven for teachers. She recalls their excitement about the Faculty of Education at the new University of Lethbridge in 1967. “It was just natural for me to come here,” she says. “I didn’t know it at the time, but I was fortunate to be attending one of the best teacher preparation programs in the country, and eventually became a faculty member.” In 2008, Pam served as the Assistant Dean of Field Experience. She now teaches and conducts educational research throughout Alberta on school improvement, teacher professional learning, and leadership.

mmit on education in the u s d l r While a world summit on education in the United Emirates, an opportunity arose for UniArab woattending aand t e g d Dave Pam Adams. As it took shape, they saw how the Faculty of Education n Ara could play an integral role di n e bE t in transforming education on a global scale. mr At ate It offered the Dave helped launch a private school in Oman with several Canadian-educated iteachers. s sp Alberta curriculum, along with Arabic language arts and Omani history. arke d an Pam was in Oman for opening of the school where she supervised teachers in their third professional idea semester there. She continues to conduct research about international teacher development. “We would not have had a successful opening of the school in Oman without the University of Lethbridge,” Dave says. Dave is now principal of Willow Creek Composite High School in Claresholm but the Omani people have made a lasting impression. “Pam and I hope we can finish our careers off in education in the United Arab Emirates,” he says. 8 LEGACY

Writer: Caroline Zentner, Photographer: Rob Olson riter: Caroline Zentner, Photography: Rob Olson

Elizabeth McLachlan, Photographer: Rob Olson Writer: Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan, Photographer: Rod Leland

L-R: Michelle Boivin-Carriere, Kristin Hegland-McKay, and Tia Walker

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a different learning style kristin hegland-mckay remembers the moment she decided to become a teacher. “I failed an art course in elementary school,” says the lethbridge collegiate institute instructor, “and I knew from that second I was going to become an art teacher.” perhaps the challenges she had already overcome were what motivated her.

In her early years, Kristin Hegland-McKay wore a brace requiring her to lie only on her back or stomach. While other children were learning to crawl and walk, her gross motor skills were delayed, but her fine motor skills were becoming advanced. “I spent my days inventing little games and creating designs for amusement.” As she became older she was afflicted with illness which led to learning disabilities. “I struggled through school. I had a lot of language difficulties, but I was fine in math and social, and I excelled in art.” Upon entering junior high school she and her parents met with a dedicated team of educators who laid out her options, one of which was placement in a remedial English class to help with reading, comprehension, and spelling. “My parents did a great thing,” recalls Hegland-McKay. “They turned to me and asked what I wanted to do.” “It was empowering to have the opportunity to take some ownership over how I was allowed to learn.” “I want to go into regular English,” she responded, “because I want to be an art teacher.” Hegland-McKay worked hard. In 2000 she convocated from the University of Lethbridge with a BA in Art (Honours), BEd (Honours with Distinction), and a minor in Social Studies. She credits her success to a teacher who understood the importance of differentiated learning well before it became avant garde. Children can learn if allowed to do it their own way, insists Hegland-McKay. “I’m lucky to work in a system where such a philosophy is valued. It’s an exciting time to be in education.” LEGACY



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Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan, Photographer: Rob Olson

”If children are diagnosed it’s often between twelve and eighteen, but resources are targeted at people who are thirty-plus, concerned with having families, taking care of kids, and trying to negotiate careers,” says Dr. Jennifer Thannhauser. “At the time I was diagnosed, there were no resources for young people who were trying to make it through school, dealing with peer relationships, and deciding on career paths. Few researchers are studying the psycho-social needs and issues related to pediatric MS.” Thannhauser set out to fill the gap. With a BA in psychology, she was accepted into the MEd program in counselling psychology at the University of Lethbridge, where she conducted groundbreaking research into the experiences and needs of teens with pediatric MS. Her research identified a process of grief and loss rarely mentioned in available literature. “With diagnosis the core loss is physical health, but related to it are other secondary losses, such as a shift in self-identity,” says Thannhauser. She also investigated the impact on peer relationships of living with a disease that isn’t always visible. While pursuing her PhD Thannhauser returned to the U of L to teach in the Faculty of Education and continue her research. As her studies advanced, her interests expanded to include post-secondary students in general. “I became aware of the struggles they can have,” she says. “Resilience and coping skills are necessary so individuals can thrive within the post-secondary environment and beyond.” Recently Thannhauser, a registered psychologist in the province of Alberta, accepted a counselling position in the University of Calgary Wellness Centre. “I will continue developing wellness resources for youth with MS,” she says, “collaborating with the MS Clinic in Calgary to provide professional development for mental health practitioners interested in supporting people with MS (including youth). I will also actively work to develop and provide wellness programming to post-secondary students.” LEGACY


Photographer: Rob Olson Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan


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a gracious step into leadership after the sudden and sad passing of dr. rick mrazek, dr. thelma gunn stepped into the position of associate dean at the university of lethbridge faculty of education. “becoming associate dean isn’t just about me taking on a new professional challenge. It’s also about taking up where rick left off. In doing so, my primary role is to support the dean and to support the faculty.”



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“I prefer a collegial, democratic approach,” says the former assistant dean of Student Program Services (SPS). “I work best when many people have input, and ideas are bounced around.” Gunn is grateful to be working with Dean, Dr. Craig Loewen, whom she considers a mentor. “I have a lot to learn from Craig,” she says. “He’s been a successful administrator for quite some time, and he truly understands our programs.” Of her new position Gunn states, “We’re in a tight budgeting period. I’ll be helping to look toward ways of making sure we’re properly staffed so we don’t take any hits to the quality of our programs.” She continues to teach and is also continuing the Undergraduate Program Effectiveness research she started in SPS. “I’ve always been interested in the feedback that our current and former students provide regarding the effectiveness of our undergraduate program.” Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Gunn taught in various locations in her home province, as well as overseas in Japan. She also completed her Masters of Education in Sydney, Australia, before returning to the University of Saskatchewan for her PhD in Cognitive Educational Psychology. She started teaching at the U of L in 2000, eventually moving into administration. While committed to the Faculty of Education, Gunn is passionate about her family life. “I try my best to be balanced,” she says. “When I’m here I am committed to my position, but when I’m at home, my family is my complete focus.” Thankfully, her family functions as a supportive whole. “In some respects it’s not just me who took this job. My whole family did. They understand how important my new position is to me as a professional as well as a person.”


Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan, Photographer: Rob Olson

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tive and envision a future fo r instru be proac o t s r ment to a c u al m d e usic e g a edu ur o cati c n LEADING STUDENTS INTO LIFELONG on i e o t n Ca is Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan, Photographer: Rod Leland



MUSIC APPRECIATION AND LEARNING “artistic literacy is important,” says dr. ed wasiak, university of lethbridge faculty of education music education professor. “we say things through the arts when words fail.”



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Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan, Photographer: Rob Olson

L-R: Kyle Harmon, Sarah Harmon, Joanne Collier, Dr. Ed Wasiak, Erin George-Samuel, and Keith Griffioen

One of a large family of musicians, Dr. Ed Wasiak began teaching trumpet at age fifteen. During four decades of teaching and research he has noted the evolution of instrumental music programs in schools. “Bands have been dominant in Canadian music education for more than fifty years,” he says. “However, now there are many other options.” Wasiak’s textbook, Teaching Instrumental Music in Canadian Schools (Oxford University Press, 2013), builds upon what’s good in traditional school band programs, while encouraging new approaches that appeal to today’s learners. s “Kids are passionate about music,” he says. “Studies show they d he nee spend many hours a day wearing headphones. A high percentage would love to be engaged in creative expression; however, they may not be interested in traditional school music programs. Let’s offer a vibrant guitar program, world drumming, or a rock band. It takes years of hard work to create a beautiful sound on an instrument, but with technology like digital audio labs, students can create music quickly and with less frustration.”

“There is still a place for traditional acoustic instruments,” adds Wasiak. “My intent is to encourage educators to be proactive and envision a future for instrumental music education in Canada that better meets the needs and interests of 21st century learners.” Wasiak stresses the importance of instrumental music teachers using current theory in classroom leadership and management, as well in curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices. “If we do, students’ performances will improve,” he says, “and our instruction will lead to lifelong musical understanding and appreciation.” Grounded in research, Wasiak’s recently published work covers many current issues in Canadian musical education, and includes suggestions for assignments, questions, and resources. “I fieldtested much of the book on my students,” says Wasiak. Graduates are now taking it into their own classrooms. A companion website to the book features videos, templates, exemplars, presentation materials, webinars, and podcasts: 17


Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan, Photographer: Rob Olson

L-R: Dr. Leah Fowler and co-author of Reading Canada: Teaching Fiction in Secondary Schools, Wendy Donawa


CANADIAN LITERATURE: INTEGRATION INTO THE CLASSROOM “i was always a reader,” says dr. leah fowler of the university of lethbridge faculty of education. “but I was also interested in all the subjects.” with double majors in science and english she taught a variety of courses before pursuing her ph.d. in curriculum studies.

“Curriculum studies are about curating the curious mind,” says Dr. Leah Fowler. “A classroom is an intellectual living room where people can talk across differences and move toward a more generative way of being together. Teaching is important partly because somewhere deep down it can mitigate against suffering and help students work toward happiness. It gives students tools to navigate uncharted waters of difficulty.” Fowler focuses on restorative education—“the development of empathy and compassion through literature and story, study and care.” With Dr. Wendy Donowa, she co-authored Reading Canada: Teaching Fiction in Secondary Schools (Oxford University Press, 2013), which showcases Canada’s many voices, cultures, and genres. The book is dedicated in part “to Canada’s writers…whose voices offer us mirrors of ourselves, reflections of our past, and windows into our future.” “Reading Canada is a table where everyone’s invited,” says Fowler. “We want to hear all the voices and all the genres. Canada’s teachers of literature are well-positioned to be stewards of our language and narratives.” Fowler also emphasizes the lifelong benefits of writing for both writer and reader. “If you write, you find your own voice; you realize you do have opinions. You write yourself into the world. It’s the opposite of erasing a life.” Fowler has two current research foci: how published writers write, and how they teach writing. Included are right-to-read advocate Jane Rule, interviewed by Fowler before the writer’s death, and novelist, poet, and musician Thomas Trofimuk. The other is a book of essays called The T’Ching. Patterned after the qualities of the sixty-four hexagrams of the classic I’Ching, it addresses “mindful teaching amid difficulty and change.”


titles by canadian authors recommended by dr. leah fowler Contemporary Social Realism Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen, by G. Huser (ages 12+) Another Kind of Cowboy, by S. Juby (ages 14+) The Beckoners, by C. Mac (ages 14+; good combo with Lord of the Flies) Fishtailing, by W. Phillips (ages 14–17) Historical Fiction The Book of Negroes, by L. Hill (teen/adult) Obasan, by J. Kogawa (mature teen/adult)

Speculative Fiction WWW Trilogy: Wake; Watch; Wonder, by R. Sawyer (teen/adult) The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel, by D.H. Taylor (ages 12–16)

Visual/Verbal texts Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography, by C. Brown (ages 12+/all ages) Essex County, by J. Lemire (ages 12+/adult) Ancient Thunder, by L. Xerxa (ages 7–10/all ages) 19




Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan, Photographer: Kristen Shima

currentstudent CURRENT STUDENT

all one “your life’s work is to stand alone and light the way for others,” a venerable man once told university of lethbridge faculty of education student ayra kelly. “but the word alone comes from two words: all one. it doesn’t mean you stand by yourself in the world. it means you stand grounded and balanced, and lead by example.”

Ayra Kelly has been living with the words all one since she was a teenager – they resonate deeply with her. “When I was a teenager, I became my younger sister’s caregiver,” she says. “It was necessary for me to lead by example with the hopes of becoming a role model for my sister.” The girls were not alone. The people of Irricana, Alberta, live by the all one philosophy, as well, and rallied around them. “We were welcomed into people’s homes and made to feel like family,” says Kelly. “While I worked three jobs to help pay bills, they looked out for us. Our lives could have taken much different paths if it weren’t for the people in our community.” “Their kindness inspired me to never stop doing what I can to enrich others’ lives.” It also reinforced her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. Kelly carried this conviction to the University of Lethbridge, where she incorporated it into both volunteerism and studies. “I want to make Irricana proud,” she says. “I’m working hard, inspired by the incredible professors and teachers I’ve met.” Kelly feels fortunate to be in an education program that encourages reflective practice. “Reflection lies at the centre of all we do,” she says. “I’m always asking myself how I’m doing and how I can improve. I’ve learned it’s okay to ‘fail forward’ and I’m thankful for that. It’s been beneficial for me and for the students I’ve taught so far.” “Wherever life takes me, teaching and education will continue to inspire curiosity – lighting the way down new paths.”

AYRA’S FAVOURITE ORGANIZATIONS TO VOLUNTEER AT Girl Guides of Canada: Big Brothers Big Sisters: Rotary International: Me to We: Boys and Girls Club:


ALL ATWITTER IN EDUCATION “when justin bechthold enrolled in his after degree b.ed. program at the university of lethbridge faculty of education in the fall of 2012, twitter wasn’t even on his radar, personally or professionally. since then, it has become a hub for his professional activities.”

It began with instructor, Kurtis Hewson laying a strong foundation for social media in his Curriculum and Instruction, and Assessment classes. “Kurtis modeled the use of Twitter as a formative assessment tool. I didn’t initially see the opportunities for its use in education,” says Bechthold. But by his PSIII semester, Bechthold was well into the swing of things, asking students to demonstrate their understanding of the curriculum through a platform of their choice; Twitter, Instagram and even Vine, a mobile service that lets you capture and share short looping videos. “Kids love being on their mobile phones, so why not embrace it?” To be clear, it’s not simply the novelty of integrating technology into education that appeals to Hewson and Bechthold, but rather the potential for unlimited learning opportunities that social media presents to everyone. Take pre-service teachers, for

instance. Traditionally, they’ve been reliant on local professionals, but this is no longer the case. Earlier this year, Hewson co-organized a “consortium” of pre-service and experienced teachers to participate in bi-weekly online discussions over a Twitter feed. In addition to being a regular participant, Bechthold has had the opportunity to moderate two of these “chats.” “The conversation gets started on Twitter and then when there’s more details to cover, it quickly moves to another platform, typically email,” he says. “The technology provides a nice flow for real engagement,” Bechthold explains. “Using social media as an expression of creativity and engagement, as an extention of learning is something that pre-service teachers can benefit from. Having it modeled to us is the best way to step forward and participate.”

what is the value of twitter to a pre-service teacher?

Ms. Alisha Sims @AlishaTeaches @ULethbridgeEdu It gives access to knowledge of other students & experienced professionals. We share & learn together. Location is no issue! Alisha is a current student.

Kirby Fecho @KirbyFecho @ULethbridgeEdu it keeps us aware & up to date w/ a lot of what’s currently happening in educ & to better prepare us for our future careers. Kirby is a current student.

Su Hun Lee @SuhunLee @ULethbridgeEdu I made valuable connections could not have made otherwise. However, too much info available – hard to decide which is important or useful. Su Hun is a current student.

Chris Tuck @tuckchris @ULethbridgeEdu great tool for connecting, sharing and collaborating. A must-have for any pre-service teacher building their Professional Learning Network. Chris is a current student.

Andrea Dearham @MissDearham @ULethbridgeEdu I sent a tweet to an author about work we were doing in class. The author replied! The students were thrilled and worked extra hard on the art lesson. Andrea is a current student.

what is the value of twitter to an educator?

Writer: Lori Lavallee, Photographer: Tom Bielecki, inset photographer: Kristen Shima

L-R: current students Jade Nipp, Stephanie Vincent, Kirby Fecho, SuHun Lee, and Allison Groenenboom

Stephen Lethbridge @stephen_tpk @ULethbridgeEdu Collaboration & connectivity that transcends distance & hierarchy. A valuable personal professional learning network. Stephen is the Principal of Taupaki School in New Zealand.

Beth Cormier @beth_cormier @ULethbridgeEdu Discovery, collaboration and timely info! All great reasons to follow other educators and share my own tweets. Beth is a curriculum librarian.

Chris Smeaton @cdsmeaton @ULethbridgeEdu It allows for an important connection & opportunity for enhanced collaboration. Professional learning is always available. Chris is the Superintendent Holy Spirit Catholic School Division.

Andrew Doyle @adoyle98 @ULethbridgeEdu it allows students & I to engage in learning beyond the 4 walls of the class & discuss topics with experts & other learners Andrew is a teacher for Rocky View School Division.

Alec Couros @courosa @ULethbridgeEdu Twitter enables easy communication, collaboration, & professional learning from some of the best educators on the planet. Alec is a professor at Faculty of Education, University of Regina.

graduate student research

RESEARCH DIVERSITY AT MASTERS LEVEL faculty of education graduate students are involved in and contributing significantly to education and counselling research The Faculty of Education’s open, broad-based, inclusive, and creative approach to research extends to our graduate studies program. These students are part of a vibrant research community that contribute to an atmosphere of discovery.

of Studies was introduced in 2007. To her surprise she found that math was being presented as “a process of inquiry, discovery and discussion as opposed to learning an algorithm, basically doing it whether you understand it or not,” she says.

What is trichotillomania?

“If you love the topic it’s a good way of ensuring that you have your say, by adding to the existing body of knowledge,” says Sebastian Siwiec (MEd ’13). “A thesis also provides you with the option of continuing your research with a PhD.” The focus of his work is trichotillomania, or hair-pulling disorder as it is more commonly called, looking specifically at the emotions that contribute to and maintain the disorder. “Biology, genetics and hormones and coping styles are all contributing factors and once it manifests, generally in adolescence, few people ever report complete abstinence,” Siwiec explains. Because of the stigma associated with this condition, the challenge for researchers is to engage enough subjects to ensure sufficient sample sizes. Siwiec was able to overcome this challenge by connecting with the Trichotillomania Learning Centre. Siwiec also learned about Qualtrics software. “It offers an entire suite of services for academic research,” explains Siwec, “from survey design to data collection and analysis. It’s designed as a WYSIWYG, what you see is what you get, so it helps to alleviate a lot of concerns.”

Math as a Social Science

Leslie Waite (MEd ’13), a learning specialist with Rockyview School Division, has had a math phobia all of her life. This changed when the new Alberta Program LEGACY


When her Division arranged for an off-campus cohort partnership in 2009, she saw the MEd program as an opportunity to further that learning. “I was thrilled to enroll in a course-based program and had no intention of ever writing a thesis,” says Waite. What she discovered is that linguistics and communication skills have a profound impact on student’s ability to discover and develop their creativity in mathematics. “Mathematics is a whole other language and kids need time to think about what they are doing and why it’s working or not working. They need to be able to work on strategies independently and to communicate their ideas to peers,” she explains. These ideas lead to a classroom-based action research thesis on mathematical creativity, examining the conditions that facilitate this type of learning.

Collaborative Learning Needs Measurables

Leadership in technology is something that Karin Goble, (’96 BA/BEd, MEd ’13) has interest in. “We don’t know what technology will require from our students in the future so they must be adaptive,” she explains. The focus of her MEd applied research project was to measure the impact of “engagement learning,” whether students were on task, cared about their learning and were challenged. In the context of teaching technology, this is a relatively uncommon approach, so how do you provide a structure for that type of learning? Goble describes her preferred teaching style as being both “student-centered” and “project-orientated.” Essentially it is applied learning. Goble is helping her students develop a solution-orientated mindset which will, undoubtedly, contribute to their future employability.

Initially, student response ranges from excitement to fear. In conclusion, perceptions of their own engagement in a student-centred technology class were overwhelmingly positive, she says. “Students need to become active learners and the best way to learn is through struggle.”


Photographer: Kristen Shima Writer: Lori Lavallee


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Writer: Lori Lavallee, Photographer: Rob Olson, Inset photographer: Ken Heidebrecht

“A key understanding from neuroscience is the building of neural pathways to enhance learning for all students in an inclusive environment,” says program instructor Sue Bengry. “In essence, it’s about understanding how the student’s brain works and tailoring the instruction to relate to that functionality.” “It’s a less subjective way of working,” explains Vanden Dungen, “I believe it’s made me more empathetic, tolerant and resourceful.” Working in the Horizon School Division for almost twenty years now, Vanden Dungen has worked with a broad spectrum of children, many from local and migratory Mennonite 26

for ical crit gly sin ea cr

Dr. Nancy Grigg and Sue Bengry

religious communities. More recently, his work as a classroom support teacher has also included students whose primary language is Low German, at the Horizon Mennonite Alternative Program. “Inclusion is challenging,” he says. “It’s not the way most of us were taught [to teach].” With its cohort model, the structure of the MEd program has provided him with some unexpected connections. “My cohorts have been an amazing support,” he says. “Being with the same group for three years has been essential to my success in the program. It’s also meant that I have a network of ‘inclusion professionals’ outside of my school and division.” As we enter a new era of advancement in brain research, neuroscience is helping to inform learning specialists. It’s becoming easier for researchers to access and interpret information originating in the brain. “The basis for variations in learning, behaviour regulation and thinking are now being understood and described as ‘variations in brain processes,’” says Dr. Rob Sutherland of the U of L Department of Neuroscience in the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience. Accordingly, he predicts that “future innovations in education will depend upon understanding and applying what neuroscience has discovered about the developing brain.” A classroom support teacher can take this specialized knowledge and incorporate it into a customized plan of action that consciously shapes a student’s learning. “It’s important to provide a solid rationale for your recommendations,” says Vanden Dungen. “To do this, we need to become critical consumers of scientific data and the neuroscience courses help lay that foundation.”


As University of Lethbridge Faculty of Education’s Dr. Nancy Grigg explains, “The solid body of research that exists to support the use of various educational strategies is now being enhanced by neuroscience research, contributing unique and important knowledge of how best to enhance student learning.” Dan Vanden Dungen (BA ’90, BEd ’92) will be among the first cohort to graduate in 2014. Initially, he struggled with how neurological theory would translate to the classroom. In retrospect, he says that knowing how the brain works matters because it allows educators to better identify changes that can be made.

i s b ec o m ing

understanding how the student brain works

“when we hear “brain-based research,” we tend to think primarily in terms of brain injuries or diseases such as stroke and alzheimer’s, but what is the connection between neuroscience and inclusive education?


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SHARING TEACHER KNOWLEDGE “i meet part of my commitment to research, teaching, and service through involvement in the international educational community says university of lethbridge faculty of education professor pamela winsor.

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reread the stories. In addition to developing reading, writing, and oral language skills, this approach accommodates the sparse materials available to teachers. “Chalk and boards are their only standard resources,” says Winsor. “The dictated stories become the reading material in the classroom.” This is particularly effective as the stories reflect the children’s own lives. To date, Winsor has been directly involved with training eighteen Lead Trainers and over fifty teacher educators. “The goal is a better-educated, self-sustaining teaching force. CODE’s philosophy is if you can learn to read and write, you can learn to do, and be anything,” she states. “CODE works in a number of African countries. As long as I have valuable skills, I plan to share them.”

a g lo b

BOOKS FROM THE GLOBAL MICRO-LIBRARY THAT REPRESENT THE SEVEN CONTINENTS OF THE WORLD North America Kusugak, M. ( 2006). Curse of the Shaman, A Marble Island Story. Toronto, ON: Harper Trophy Canada. South America Taylor, S., & Vilela, F. (2008). The Great Snake: Stories from the Amazon. London: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books. Asia Cheng, A., & Young, E. (2005). Shanghai Messenger. New York: Lee & Low Books. Australia Harvey, R. (2011). To the top end: Our trip across Australia. East Melbourne, Vic: Allen and Unwin.

Africa Asare, M. (1997, 2007). Sosu’s Call. Accra, Ghana: SubSaharan Publishers. Napoli, D. J. (2010). Mama Miti: Wangai Maathai and the Trees of Kenya. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Europe Morpurgo, M. (2012). A Medal for Leroy. London: Harper Collins Children’s Books. Kimmel, E. (2011). The Golem’s Latkes. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. Antarctica Hanel, R. (2012). Can You Survive Antarctica? An Interactive Survival Adventure. Mankato, MN: Capstone.

The Global Micro-Library was made possible by an Alberta Teachers’ Association Trust grant awarded to Dr. Pamela Winsor and Beth Cormier, Curriculum Librarian.

Dav e a nd P a m .A

Throughout her career Dr. Pamela Winsor has volunteered with numerous literacy organizations. Her special interests in international teacher education and early literacy taking her to Kosovo, Belize, Republic of Maldives, South Africa, Kenya and Sierra Leone. Currently, she volunteers with CODE (Canadian Organization for Development through Education) in Ghana, where children’s literacy instruction begins in Ghanaian language and later continues in English. As a consultant to Reading Ghana she teaches early literacy strategies to Lead Trainers, who in turn pass them on to classroom teachers and teachers in training. Winsor focusses on the Language Experience Approach (LEA), in which children dictate stories to their teachers. Teachers and children then read and

Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan, Photographer: Rob Olson Photographers: Bernie Wirzba and Glenda Moulton

irates sparked an id ea fo rab Em ed A



inting now will ground them for h 3D pr the fu t i w e ture c n e as th ri e p ey e ex s t nco n implications of 3d printing e unt d u er t t s ech g nolo n in education i v gy in Gi their various pr teachers and students can now experience the emerging technology of 3D printing in their classrooms, an area being explored by dr. marlo steed, university of lethbridge faculty of education multimedia instructor

“Whether in a year or five years, 3D printers will become a common tool that is much more accessible and affordable than it is now,” says Steed. “Not only do students need to understand the technology, which has the potential to change the way the world thinks and does business, but 3D printing makes learning more real, authentic and effective.” Steed, who recently purchased the faculty’s first 3D printer, hopes to collaborate with teachers in the field to explore the implications 3D printing has for education. The ability to sculpt an object virtually and then print it in 3D format, exposes students to in math, science, art, and other subject areas. . rofessionsconcepts “It’s cross-curricular,” says Steed. “For example, one of my students created a 3D model of an Aztec temple based on the Social Studies curriculum. Other students could be creating other architectural structures; these structures could be printed out as physical models as part of a presentation on the Aztec culture—to

Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan, Photographer: Rob Olson

physically recreate a representation of an ancient Aztec city. In this way the activity could be linked to an art project or developing design skills for CTS (Career and Technology Studies).” 3D printing can also serve mnemonic purposes. “If students can create and physically hold an object that represents their understanding of an idea or issues, it’s unlikely they’ll forget the experience,” says Steed. The technology is rapidly advancing. “Think about 3D-printing a lung or a heart,” says Steed. “There’s speculation that someday this technology could build homes. Giving students experience with 3D printing now will ground them for the future as they encounter technology in their various professions.” Teachers interested in collaborating with Steed in investigating ways 3D printing can be integrated into learning are invited to contact him at: / Phone: 403-329-2189

questionanswer the legacy q&a: dr. brian titley on the importance of research over a period of three decades, professor of education dr. brian titley has produced major works of historical inquiry that influence our understanding of institutions and politics in canada and abroad. his books have critiqued church power in ireland, investigated the canadian indian department and its policies, studied dictatorship in sub-saharan africa, and offered a biographical portrait of immigrant adventurer edgar dewdney. his latest offering, the indian commissioners, examines the careers of those who directed the indian department on the prairies during a critical historical era.

Legacy: You retired recently to devote yourself entirely to research. Can you explain why research is so important to you? BT: I’ve always had a great curiosity about history, politics, and economics and how they shape beliefs and social practices in the world. There are inevitably more questions than answers; research leads us to the answers. By doing research I satisfy my own curiosity and in publishing the results I share what I have learned with others. Legacy: You published five books with Canadian university presses and dozens of articles in scholarly journals. Why did you choose these outlets for your research findings? BT: For me, university presses are the gold standard in humanities and social science publishing, although scholarly journals can be as important in some disciplines. I believe that all university presses are not of the same caliber; there is a clear hierarchy in place. The outlet in which your research appears determines your reputation as a scholar and the reputation of your institution is affected accordingly. It takes many years to

establish a good reputation and it can easily be destroyed by a few dubious publications. Publications with good presses and journals are screened by peer review to ensure quality. This gatekeeping function is more important than ever today since technology has allowed for the proliferation of countless vanity academic presses and journals that cater to those who wish to evade peer evaluation. Legacy: Can you tell us about your latest research? BT: I am working on a book about Catholic nuns in the United States and more than half of it is written. I believe that I have a unique perspective on the topic. The idea is to generate debate rather than have the last word, and I am hoping for a good debate. Brian Titley retired as Professor of Education in June 2013. In 2008-2010 he was the Faculty’s first University Scholar and in 2009 he won the Ingrid Speaker Gold Medal for Distinguished Research.

Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan Photographer: Rob Olson


Faculty of Education University of Lethbridge 4401 University Drive W Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4 Phone: 403-329-2051

Legacy Magazine - 2013 issue  

The University of Lethbridge Faculty of Education's Legacy Magazine, highlighting news, events and stories about the Faculty.

Legacy Magazine - 2013 issue  

The University of Lethbridge Faculty of Education's Legacy Magazine, highlighting news, events and stories about the Faculty.