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.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Life in 2030 in Haiti

Last night, I attended an excellent forum in which four Ontario university researchers presented their perspectives on life in 2030. The talks were eclectic and provided interesting insight (for example, crash free cars in 2030?!). At the end of the evening, I realized that the talks were really geared to what life will look like in 2030 in a western, "developed" context.

What will life be like in Haiti in 2030? Although the western media has not picked up on the stories, there have been many developments over the past 3 years since the earthquake. Major road and airport improvements, schools and hospitals rebuilt, new training facilities, etc. Yet, the average Haitian is still mired in poverty. Unemployment, particularly for young men, soars above 50%. The majority of children are not in school. How can we conceptualize life in Haiti in 2030 when such dire conditions persist?

It seems to me that education is the key to build the social and economic capital of the country. If we can imagine a country with solid governance and economic prosperity, we also have to imagine that this has been accomplished through a literate, educated populace. Yes, investment has to occur in roads and harbours but we need to ensure that we are training teachers and principals to lead dynamic schools. We need to work to ensure that every child attends at least primary school and that increasing numbers attend secondary and vocational schools.

Life in 2030 in Haiti. In some ways, it's difficult to envision what life will be like in Haiti in 2020 much less 2030. However, a picture of change over a generation is key to setting long-term goals and ensuring we stay the course.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chocolate and Fair Trade: Being Intentional about Glocal Education

Tomorrow night, I will be sharing with our Glocal group at the Laurier Faculty of Education, a lesson on fair trade, specifically chocolate! The lesson is tied to the Ontario curriculum and the basis for the lesson can be found at:


There are many ways that teachers can connect global issues into their classroom. I remember my first year Political Science course professor in university (John Redekop) who started every class with a Q and A of news from around the world. I continued this when I was teaching at the high school level and found it a great way to keep my students (and myself) informed of global events.

Being intentional and purposeful about glocal education is important because it's too easy to fall into the trap of delivering a prescribed curriculum without considering global and local connections to the subject and skills being taught.