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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Peru and Canada: Making Glocal Connections

One of our Laurier teacher candidates lived in Peru and developed a knowledge of a group of kids who made and sold cards as a way to support their families and their schooling. We purchased 200 of these hand-made Christmas cards a few weeks ago, had them shipped to Canada, and have sold just about all of them. We'll be sending approximately $800 back to their co-op in the next few days!

It's neat to see the glocal connections made here: a student in a Canadian university, previously living in Peru, utilizing digital technologies to re-connect with a group of young people in Peru who provide Canadian students with an opportunity to support their future education. Even further, the cards that were made in Peru meet local Canadian "demand" (Christmas cards) and serve a niche market since they are hand-made. This seems like a solid, sustainable relationship which builds economic and educational capacity. in very authentic glocal way!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

School Culture and Change: Comparative Perspectives

This winter I am teaching a Master of Education course on school culture and change. As I've developed the syllabus, I've tried to incorporate two perspectives which might not normally be seen in such a course in other universities. First, I've built in a focus on 21st century learning - one that focuses on shared building of ideas and new technologies. Second, I've incorporated perspectives from different contexts, including international (e.g. articles from different countries) and local (superintendent and principal guest speakers from local school boards). This comparative perspective will be interesting as we consider what school culture (or climate) looks like and feels like in different contexts. I am also hoping to examine whether there are common elements to healthy school culture which go beyond national boundaries.

Christmas Cards for Peru: Glocal Community Building

This week our Laurier teacher candidates have the opportunity to sell handmade Christmas cards made by a cooperative of students from Peru. One of our Laurier students lived in Peru and developed a relationship with the group. She coordinated the opportunity to ship cards here and sell them. All of the funds that our students raise will go back to support the work of the cooperative in Peru.

It's been great to see the ways in which our Laurier students have actively looked for ways to make a difference in glocal communities. It takes extra effort, no doubt, but developing an active glocal perspective comes from consistently striving to make a difference in these types of ways.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book on Educational Leadership in Comparative Contexts

I've been asked to co-edit a book (and write a chapter) on educational leadership in comparative contexts. The chapter I contribute will be on the Haitian context. It's startling when you compare how much literature we have in North America on educational leadership yet very little has been written in the Haitian context. I will draw on the work I have been doing in Haiti and on the action research (localized) that the principals have been doing with me there. The book will look at educational leadership in a variety of international/comparative contexts.

The glocal connections in such a book are remarkable. After all, educational leadership in/across different contexts shares much in common with our local experiences (e.g. operational and technical experiences, leadership expectations, teaching and learning, etc) although sometimes the level of sophistication and support are very different.