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.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Supporting the families of Peruvian migrant workers killed in our community

Three weeks ago, ten migrant workers from Peru were killed in an accident near Kitchener (click here for the Waterloo Region Record story). Last week, our Laurier students celebrated Shrove/Pancake Tuesday by making and selling chapatis (Indian flatbread) and samosas.  The students raised over $150 which has been given to a trust fund set up for the families. Once again, our students have demonstrated that small actions can make a big difference in people's lives.

Working with First Nations Educators in Canada

I've had the opportunity to work with a number of First Nations groups across Canada regarding education in their communities. I was asked a number of years ago to provide some workshops within a special program Brock University had developed with the Chippewa of the Thames near London, Ontario. Last year, I spent some time in northern British Columbia and was able to meet with representatives of the Carrier First Nations. Through these opportunities, and others, I've been increasingly challenged to consider how I may support the work of First Nations educators in Canada.

Last week, a number of events reminded me of the importance of this support: interim report of the Truth and Reconciliation commission (click here for a CBC report), panel report on on-reserve education (click here for Globe and Mail report) and a Q and A with Jean Becker, the WLU Senior Advisor, Aboriginal Initiatives.

In talking with Jean, she made me aware of educational assistants who work in on-reserve schools. Often these are First Nations women who have limited educational training but who are committed to supporting the students in the school. Teachers in these schools are often non-aboriginal and might only remain at the school for a year or two or might leave mid-year if there is a problem with things like mould or access to water. When this happens, the Aboriginal EAs often take over. Jean encouraged me to think of how the Laurier Faculty of Education might work with these EAs in providing some educational training and certification. I've already raised this with our dean and will pursue this in the months ahead.

My attention is often focused on Haiti, but an authentic glocal perspective must consider the communities (and country) within which I live as well.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Master of Education in Haiti

For the past five years, I've been working with Laurel/FLET University in delivering graduate courses and supervising Haitian students in a Master of Education program. The students are mostly principals and superintendents of schools from across Haiti. The courses are delivered in Fermathe, just outside of Port au Prince.

This May, I'll be in Haiti to celebrate the graduation of those in the first cohort. I've supervised the culminating major project for nine of the graduating students. The most recent project, written by Justin Metelus who oversees the North Department (Haiti is divided into 10 regions or departments) of the Ministry of Education, provides a blueprint for how education needs to change in Haiti. The other projects have been of similar significance and with an incredible breadth of topics.

I am hoping to put a collection of these projects, abbreviated since most of them are 100+ pages in length, into an edited volume on educational context and change in Haiti. The M.Ed., the first of its kind in Haiti, has provided an amazing means to solidify and nourish a new generation of educational leaders in Haiti.