Dr. Sharon Friesen
Teachers as Designers
Sharon is a Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. She is also President of the Galileo Educational Network. Previously, she served as Vice Dean of the Werklund School of Education for more than 7 years. Her research interests include the ways in which K–12 educational structures, curriculum, and learning must be reinvented for a knowledge and learning society. She draws upon the learning sciences to study (1) the promotion of deep intellectual engagement; (2) learning environments that promote innovative pedagogies requiring sustained work with powerful ideas; (3) the pervasiveness of networked digital technologies that open up new ways of knowing, leading, teaching, working, and living in the world; and (4) the ways in which leadership practices and orientations need to change for a learning society. She has co-authored five books. Sharon has received numerous awards for her research and teaching practices.
Learning to Lead
Sara Tkachuk is a member of the first graduating class of Mount Royal University’s Bachelor of Education program. For the past 4 years, she has been working at Banded Peak School in Bragg Creek, a school known as “a gem in the woods.” In this time, she has planned design thinking challenges, encouraged student inquiries to guide learning, and collaborated with school leaders to foster student leadership. With compassion, kindness, and understanding at the heart of her teaching philosophy, she works with students in Grades 3 through 8 to create meaningful, real-life learning opportunities.
Dr. Gerald Farthing
Why Education for Sustainable Development?
Farthing represented the Council of Ministers Education Canada on the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Steering Committee on Education for Sustainable Development from 2005 to 2016, serving as Chair from 2011 to 2016. He also was Honourary Advisor to Learning for a Sustainable Future, a non-profit Canadian organization created in 1991 to integrate sustainability education into Canada’s education system.
ESD is about teaching our kids what they need to know, and be able to do, to live in a more sustainable way. The 2005–2014 Decade of Education for Sustainable Development was an initiative of the UN to encourage countries to integrate ESD into all aspects of their education systems: elementary, secondary and post-secondary, vocational, and adult learning.
ESD was one of three top priorities in the Manitoba Department of Education from approximately 2006 to 2016.
Dr. James Alouf
Preparing Future Leaders as Advocates
“Preparing Future Leaders as Advocates”—for themselves and for the education profession—requires a commitment to developing educators for leadership in schools as part of their professional preparation. By fulfilling their roles as advocates, future leaders are competing for essential resources on behalf of their students, schools, and communities. Alouf’s interest in advocacy originates with his experience as a classroom teacher and as chair of negotiations for his local school district. He represented ATE in advocating for teacher education and less government regulation.
Teacher advocates see the bigger picture and purpose of public education by problem-solving and pushing back against the status quo. They take initiative. They wonder aloud and imagine possibilities. They say “yes” when asked to explain their work. Mostly, they see advocacy as part of what it means to be an educator.