About the Contributors

In: Actions of Their Own to Learn
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About the Contributors
Larry Bencze

I am an Associate Professor in Science Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada, where I teach in the graduate studies programme. In addition to the PhD (U. Toronto, 1995) and BEd (Queen’s U., 1977) in education, I hold BSc (Queen’s U., 1974) and MSc (Queen’s U., 1977) degrees in biology. Prior to work as a professor, I worked as a teacher of science in elementary and secondary schools and as a science education consultant in Ontario, Canada. My teaching and research emphasize history, philosophy and sociology of science and technology, along with student-led research-informed and negotiated socio-political actions to address personal, social and environmental harms associated with fields of science and technology. I have recently edited (or co-edited) two books about activism and am co-editor of the open-source, non-refereed, journal on activism at: goo.gl/cvO2TA

Don Carruthers Den Hoed

I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary, Canada. I grew up on a wooded acreage in the Alberta foothills, close to Kananaskis Country in the Canadian Rockies. This influenced my early career in park information and interpretation and offered me opportunities for camping, hiking, and playing outdoors. My desire to help people understand these wild places led to acquisition of a BA in Communications in rhetoric and geography. Later, my desire to help include persons with disabilities in parks (inspired by my mother’s work in special education) lead to my MA in Education. My experience as a graduate of, and host of, the Canadian Parks Council Leadership Course and a growing desire to lead organizational change drove me to pursue the Interdisciplinary PhD in Environmental Design, Social Work, Education, and Health. My wife is smarter than me. Our children know where their food and heat comes from. A red fox lives in our yard.

Catherine Hart

I am currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Regina, Regina, Canada and am preparing to defend my dissertation about environmental subjectivity among environmental education researchers. I have a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Paleoecology. My research interests include environmental subjectivity and discourse, environmental justice and gender issues in environmental education research. I am also interested in qualitative approaches to research at onto-epistemic, theoretical and methodological levels. My teaching experience includes courses in biology, science methods and environmental education. I am a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Environmental Education and regular reviewer for Environmental Education Research, Environmental Studies and Science, the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education and the Australian Journal of Environmental Education. I have been a participant and presenter at AERA for the EE SIG and at the NAAEE Research Symposium since 2012 and have recently completed an article for the Journal of Environmental Education Special Issue on Gender in Environmental Education Research.

Paul Hart

As a Professor of Science and Environmental Education at the University of Regina, Regina, Canada. I currently teach graduate courses in research methodology and curriculum inquiry. My research work has focused on teachers’ identities as environmentally oriented educators. More recently, I have explored the potential of post-critically informed ideas for research practice across social-environmental boundaries. A current focus is grounded in applications of emerging qualitative research approaches. These may be useful, it seems to me, in extending conceptualizations of learning that implicate new perspectives on the subjectification of values and worldviews. I serve as an Executive Editor of the Journal of Environmental Education and as a consulting editor/editorial board member for several journals including Environmental Education Research and the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education.

Eugene Kowch

I am an Associate Professor in the Leadership, Policy and Governance area in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, Canada. My research program focuses on developing human and organizational capabilities in concert, so that innovative teaching and learning processes in the information age can be engaging, fun, sustainable and flexible. In my first career as a petroleum engineer I held progressive positions in multinational energy companies, culminating in senior corporate development leadership positions where I learned that human capability and happiness was a function of learning and leadership. Obtaining degrees in undergraduate and graduate education, I realized the incredible potential for computing and technologies with a new generation of teachers and learners looking for new ways to learn. As a professor in a research institution, my graduate students conceptualize and develop ideas and processes for designing education organizations in concert with student learning taking complexivist and post-structural systems approaches. My research focuses on developing senior leaders in organizations who are able to learn their way forward with the design and development of more flexible participatory and technology-enhanced learning environments.

Lyndon Martin

I am Dean, and Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, in the Faculty of Education at York University, Canada. My research is broadly situated in the field of mathematical thinking, learning and teaching. More specifically, I am interested in the notion of mathematical understanding and in how we might improve mathematics teaching to promote this.

Sherri Melrose

I am an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Disciplines at Athabasca University, Canada’s Open University. It is my privilege to teach healthcare professionals who are upgrading their education in both undergraduate and graduate programs. I am a Registered Nurse and my clinical expertise is in the area of psychiatric mental health. Inspired by my doctoral studies supervisor, Dr. Bonnie Shapiro, I am committed to understanding who my students are, how they construct the knowledge they need and how I can best support their own efforts to learn. My program of research centers on how health professionals learn in online environments. Insights and findings from my work have been disseminated in peer reviewed articles and e-textbooks and many of these are available at http://auspace.athabascau.ca/handle/2149/1357

Alison Peacock

For fourteen wonderful years I was the headteacher of The Wroxham Primary School in Hertfordshire, England. During that time I engaged in research with the University of Cambridge to explore ways of teaching and leading that resisted notions that ‘ability’ is fixed. Our mission was to ensure that we always gave children (and adults) the opportunity to surprise us. I am the author of Assessment for Learning without Limits (2016) McGrawHill Education, and co-author of Creating Learning without Limits (2012) Open University Press. These books seek to tell the stories of individual children, teachers and schools where limits have been lifted on learning. I was honoured to be given the title of Dame by the Queen in 2014 and now also have a visiting Professorial role at the Universities of Hertfordshire, England, and Wrexham Glyndwr, Wales. My current role is as Chief Operating Officer of the newly established Chartered College of Teaching in England. This is a new professional body for the teaching profession that aims to re-empower teachers’ authoritative voice through engagement with research.

Bonnie Shapiro

I am a Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, Canada working with teachers-in-preparation and graduate students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. I first entered the profession as an elementary/junior high school teacher. Over many years, I have contributed to the curriculum and research literature in Education, with an ongoing passion for work in Science and Environmental Education. It has been a privilege to serve as an Editorial Advisory Board Member/Consulting Editor for several journals in these fields. The conceptualization of Actions of Their Own to Learn represents a career-long interest in in creating more authentic educational and research environments based on understanding the ways learners, teachers, and researchers contribute to, and are impacted by their work. I strive to develop research approaches that deepen insight into the social/cultural features that lie at the heart of the issues and challenges in Education that we all seek to address. This book has been a wonderful opportunity to present the research and thinking of outstanding, internationally recognized colleagues from a range of fields, who share these interests.

Kathleen C. Sitter

I am an Assistant Professor in the field of Social Work, having served at Memorial University and currently, the University of Calgary, Canada. I have 12 years of teaching experience in education, social work, and business. My areas of interest include disability studies and human rights, accessibility and inclusion, and the theoretical and practical implications of collaborative visual methodologies. My research and scholarship primarily focus on the role of visual and social media in adult education and community engagement. My dissertation, titled “Participatory Video as Radical Incrementalism: Exploring the Right to Love Among Adults with Disabilities,” won the 2012 AERA Disability Studies in Education Special Interest Group Outstanding Dissertation Award. My work has been published in venues such as Disability & Society, Social Work Education, Critical Questions in Education, and Intercultural Education.

Jo Towers

I am a Werklund Research Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, Canada. My research interests include students’ mathematical understanding, student experience and identity in relation to learning mathematics, and inquiry-oriented approaches to teaching and teacher education.

Emily Hanke van Zee

I am an Associate Professor of science education and senior researcher in the Department of Physics at Oregon State University, USA. My research has focused upon ways of speaking in which students express their own ideas while engaging one another in discussing what they think. For the past decade, I have designed and taught a laboratory-centered physics course for prospective elementary and middle school teachers. Details about this course are available through a wiki (http://physics.oregonstate.edu/coursewikis/ph111) and drafts of an open source textbook, Exploring Physical Phenomena. With funding from the US National Science Foundation, I explored ways to integrate science and literacy learning in this course. With support from the Spencer Foundation, I sponsored a Science Inquiry Group for teachers and teacher educators interested in sharing their inquiries and findings and served as co-organizer of Teacher Researcher Day at National Science Teachers Association conferences. I can be reached at Emily.vanZee@science.oregonstate.edu.

Peta White

I am a Lecturer in Science and Environmental Education at Deakin University, Australia, joining the team in 2014. I have worked in several jurisdictions across Canada and Australia in primary and secondary classrooms, as a curriculum consultant and manager, and as a teacher educator in under/post graduate programs. I gained my PhD at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada where I lived for 8 years, focusing on living sustainably and using this as a platform from which to educate future teachers. I continue with a strong commitment to sustainability practices, living with an agenda of responsible consumer choice, learning to live with enough, and practicing Education for Sustainability. Where possible, I take up leadership roles in state and national environmental education organisations, valuing the opportunity to work cross-sectorally with diverse colleagues. I have a background in zoology and I’m currently working on a number of exciting projects with students, teachers, and fellow academics including: developing biology education multi-media resources, researching in school-based contexts around teacher professional learning, and reflexively working on my own scholarship and teaching practice, bringing contemporary science into my teaching and learning. My passion for initial teacher education, activist environmental education, and action-orientated research methodologies drives my current teaching/research scholarship.