Alumni Newsletter: Spring 2011
Turn interested into interesting. Turn innovative into innovation.
We are thrilled to announce that beginning May 2011 the Faculty of Education will be offering a Master of Education degree! The program is interdisciplinary and allows students to choose electives from a wide range of courses offered at any faculty at Laurier.
This program is predominantly a blended format program, with some face-to-face and some online components. Students may choose to study part-time or full-time. Small cohorts will provide students with a great deal of individual attention. Graduates will be further prepared as leaders in learning communities, whether in a classroom, a principal’s office, a Board office, or a doctoral program.
The admission deadline for the next intake is February 1, 2012.
Two of Waterloo Region District School Board’s finest classroom teachers, Cheryl Kewley, OCT (grade 1) and Kim Gill, OCT (Special Education) demonstrated effective use of SmartBoard technology and Web 2.0 tools for our current Teacher Education Candidates in a two hour evening workshop at Ryerson Public School in Cambridge.
Ryerson was newly opened in September of this year with innovative technologies infused in classrooms and throughout the school. The workshop was an opportunity to assist new teachers in making the connection between current technological tools and 21st century learning and teaching. Both Kim and Cheryl presented effective practices for engaging students, collaborating with other classrooms and experts in the community, and networking with a professional community of teachers. SmartBoard features, classroom wikis and blogs, collaborative cross-country projects, and individual Vokis to communicate messages, were just some of the topics addressed.
Teacher Education Candidates from both of the P/J and J/I cohorts met in the Ryerson library from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by a short tour of the school and the technology available to teachers and students. It was an excellent opportunity to see technology in action and anticipate the future of teaching and learning from practicing professionals. Thank you to Peter Berndt, Principal; to Kim and Cheryl; and, to the entire Ryerson staff for sharing their facilities and expertise.
Canadian Society for Studies in Education (CSSE) will be visiting Laurier for its Annual Meeting next Spring. The wider Congress for the Humanities and Social Sciences will be co-hosted by the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University from May 26 to June 2, 2012.
Educators from across the country will be visiting to share the latest research and practices in education.
Volunteers who are interested in being a part of this national gathering are invited to contact Dr. Julie Mueller at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Volunteers receive free admission to conference events!
The Faculty of Education-sponsored LEAP program is growing by, well, leaps and bounds. Laurier Enriched Academic Program is designed for gifted and high-ability students in grades 1-9.
The LEAP program began in Summer, 2009, with 37 students. Last summer we had 177 students. We expect well over 200 students to be here for LEAP from July 4-15. 29 camps are being offered, ranging from Machine Monsters to Movie Madness to Disaster Zone.
We’re still looking for volunteers to assist with the camps.
The Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University offers Additional Qualification (AQ) Courses three times each calendar year. Intersession ( April – June) and Fall ( September – December) courses combine 56 hours of in- class/face to face classes with 32 hours of online interactive learning. Summer (July) courses are 80 hours of face to face /in- class time only (no online modules).
The course instructors are respected curriculum leaders within their respective boards and subject associations. Courses in Reading, Writing, E.S.L., Math, F.S.L. and Special Education are offered presently with the anticipation of additional courses such as Technology in the Classroom being added in the foreseeable future. We are committed to providing the courses that teachers are interested in taking. Our instructors have the professional knowledge, extensive experience, and valued interpersonal skills required to ensure their courses are relevant and enlightening.
Specific information regarding which courses are being offered, dates, instructors and registration can all be found on the website at www.wlu.ca/education/aq .
If you have specific questions regarding course content please contact Elaine Wetherup at email@example.com or at 519 – 884-0710 ext 3112.
For inquiries regarding registration, please contact Laurie Minor at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We have our first two students embarking on a practicum in China. Emily Elder and Amy Speck-Miles will be leaving on May 4 for a 6-week stay. They will teach at the Canadian International School in Beijing, a private school which teaches both the Chinese and the New Brunswick curricula.
This is a technology-rich and extremely diverse school, with many cutting-edge features. During their stay, they will also have the opportunity to travel to Chongqing for a conference at Southwest University. Laurier has an office in Chongqing, a huge area of 32 million people, one of the fastest growing areas in China. The conference will combine lectures on education in China with sightseeing opportunities. We look forward to hearing about their adventures when they return.
The Faculty of Education is attempting to expand its international opportunities. Stay tuned for more information!
The Faculty of Education held its inaugural Homecoming event on October 3, 2010, which drew an audience of alums, current students, and teachers and principals from our partnering school boards, as well as members of the general public. We hope that this is the first of a series of annual Homecoming events.
The Faculty of Education’s student-governed Education Society, EdSoc, sponsored the Homecoming event that connected to our Aboriginal communities. We hosted the Mino Odae Kwewuk N’gamawuk or the “Good-hearted Women Singers,” a group of women from Waterloo Region as well as students from WLU’s Faculty of Social Work who perform across southern Ontario to promote understanding and create community among Native and non-Native communities. Members of the singing group led us in a smudging ceremony to purify our minds, bodies and spirits using burned sage and a ceremonial Eagle feather. The purification ceremony prepared us to listen the women perform Native songs from across North America, including traditional and ceremonial songs from the musical traditions of the Mohawk, Ojibwe, MicMac and Cherokee people, as well as songs that were “just for fun.”
The Mino Odae Kwewuk N’gamawuk provided the prelude to our keynote speaker, Rene Andre Meshake, an Ojibwe author/illustrator, storyteller, visual artist, spoken-word performer, musician and new media artist. Rene Andre Mashake was born in the railway town of Nakina in Northwestern Ontario and was raised by his Okomissan grandmother. He has been influenced by Anishinaabe oral tradition, language, arts and culture and his studies in Graphic Design at Sheridan College and Creative Writing at the Humber School for Writers. Through a fusion of Ojibwe and English, Rene Andre Meshake related his messages about Aboriginal community, language, and identity in poetry, storytelling, and prose. Mr. Meshake related to the audience stories about his life and how he made sense of his experiences through the Native teachings of the Medicine Wheel. He taught, inspired and entertained the as he communicated his Ojibwe spiritual heritage to the contemporary world.
The Grand Entry
The Spirits asked, “Who are you?”
“I’m an Aboriginal.”
They said, “Who?”
I answered again,
“I’m a First Nation.”
They said, “Who?”
I’m a Native Canadian.”
They said, “Who?”
Finally, it dawned on me
And I proclaimed, “I’m Anishinabe,
Mz aye, indoodem
One of the spirits acknowledged,
“Biindigen, gichi Anishinabe.”
Truly, any Anishinabe who still speaks the language
Make a grand entry in the prayer world.”
Meshake, R. A. (2006). The grand entry. In K. Blaeser (Ed.), Traces in blood, bone, & stone: Contemporary Ojibwe poetry (pp. 137). Bemidji, MN: Loonfeather Press.
An exciting new project which partners school principals in Haiti and Canada is emerging from Laurier’s Faculty of Education. A pilot project is currently underway with leadership modules being developed by Haitian and Canadian principals and being posted on-line.
Principals use a variety of new technologies (texting, on-line chats, Skype) to discuss the content of the modules and to “co-mentor” each other. A goal of the project is to develop resources for Haitian principals and to mobilize them for their work in Haiti. Canadian principals have the opportunity to learn about the opportunities and challenges of teaching in Haiti and, as a result, to develop a broader global perspective.
The project is being directed by Dr. Steve Sider of the WLU Faculty of Education. Dr. Sider will be in Haiti in May as part of the evaluation of the project.