About Me

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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Glocal Leadership - Imagine the Power

I often wonder why we focus so much on the local (provincial) landscape regarding educational issues in Ontario.  Our pre-service (B.Ed.) and graduate programs don't seem to take nearly as global of perspective on education-related issues as often occurs in places such as Australia, Singapore, and Southeast Asia.  Ontario has a strong school system but we do a dis-service to our teachers, principals, and system administrators when we don't adequately consider how our local educational realities are situated within the broader world.  In the end, our students lose.  They perpetuate a system which thinks of itself as the centre of the universe.

Instead, imagine the power of a school system which provided an opportunity to learn multiple world languages, coordinated service and learning experiences to diverse areas of the world (including diverse parts of Ontario), raised awareness of glocal social justices issues, and intentionally incorporated literature, arts, and social study lessons which had an "inter-cultural" focus.  Sounds something like the International Baccalaureate (IB) program but, I would argue, could be accomplished minus the high cost or sporadic availability of IB.  We live in an ideal province to provide this kind of powerful learning experience - solid school systems, diverse populations, and a commitment to equity and diversity.

We should be able to provide this kind of glocal education in every school; we just need the vision and commitment to do so.

Resources for Teachers

If you are a teacher and looking for resources to stimulate glocal thoughts and actions within your students, check out the resources at the top right of the blog under Favourite Links.

Organizations to Promote Glocal Micro-Credit

We have provided mciro-credit loans through Kiva for the past number of years.  This is a great way to develop glocal perspectives since you can see where your loan is going in (pretty close to) real time. Click on the name below


Another micro-credit organization doing very cool work in Haiti is Fonkoze.  Check them out:


Waterloo Region District School Board and Glocal Citizenship

On Friday, I met with one of the superintendents of the WRDSB and discussed my hope of developing glocal perspective building.  He was quite excited about the potential of working together as they explore this area for their school board.  They are hosting a "Me to We" day (Free the Children) with Al Gore, Jesse Jackson... in mid-February and that's a great start!  Click below to see more details:

Me to We Day - Kitchener Waterloo

I've done a number of presentations in local schools about glocal and see great potential for the future!

Haiti Educational Leadership Capacity Building

For the past 5+ years, I have been working with school principals in Haiti.  More than 500 principals have gone through training courses with me. I feel like I have learned much more from my colleagues in Haiti than I have been able to impart. Frankly, it has been a shared journey learning from each other.

This week, I received exciting news.  I had put an application together to receive some seed money to develop a leadership program for Haiti utilizing digital technology. The application was approved and I'm now putting together the components.  We'll be starting with five administrators, three in Haiti and two in Ontario. The concept includes a number of components:

1. Coordinating leadership resources (videos, wikis, web-links, pdfs) which will be developed by Bruce Alexander (school principal @ Keatsway PS in Waterloo) and myself with support from the Ontario Principal Council.  Conestoga College tech students will develop a video to accompany each leadership module and we anticipate using a platform developed by ClevrU, another Waterloo-based company.
2. Principals will have an iPad or Blackberry to access the materials.  They will also use the device to have the ability to be in real-time communication with an educational partner (either in Haiti or Canada).

I'm excited about what I'm calling "reciprocal mentoring."  The partnership will support the development of leadership abilities in Haitian principals who are often separated geographically (or economically) from the opportunity to access training.  It will also support the development of global perspective building in Canadian principals.

I will be piloting the project this winter and spring with a trip or two planned to Haiti to study the effectiveness of the model in April/May.  More details to follow!

Getting Started

I've been thinking glocal for a long time.

Growing up in India, traveling through Latin America, being educated in Canada, and working in Haiti have reinforced that our world is very interconnected.  My hope in this blog is to think through how we can help each other understand our glocal realities.  That is, that everything we do is in some way connected with the broader world. 

As important to me as the thinking about these realities is the acting on this awareness.  Thinking and acting glocally - developing this global citizenship seems to me to be a critical path for our shared futures.

So if you share some of these wonderments, then please join me in the journey!