Amanda Lamberti

Communications Specialist

Education
Email: amanda.lamberti@ubc.ca


Biography

Amanda began working at the Okanagan School of Education, UBC, in 2019. Previously she worked at the City of Kelowna where she was responsible  for developing strategic communications plan and delivering tactics for the Active Living and Culture Division as their Communications Advisor. Prior to that she was the Digital Communications Consultant where she one of the Project Managers for the City of Kelowna website redesign launched in 2016.

She has an Advanced Social Media Strategy Certificate from Hootsuite Academy.

She was a volunteer English Teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from August 2013 to January 2014.

Responsibilities

Corporate Communications, Media Relations, Social Media, and Marketing.

 

Political Inquiries aNd Theory Studies (PINTS) is a speaker series with the goal of creating a shared space for faculty and students. With the aim to serve as an incubator, the series invites you to develop social connections across campus.

Join esteemed colleagues whose work has a (broadly conceived) connection to political theory, policy, or practice. Following the presentation you’re invited to join your colleagues for a social and discussion.

Upcoming Events

3 to 4 p.m. in EME 4116

October 24, 2019

Responding to the Challenges of a Reflective Space in Research Partnerships
Dr. Alison Wylie and Dr. Andrew Martindale
Philosophy and Anthropology, UBC

November 7, 2019

Is Higher Education Part of the ‘Basic Structure’ of Open Societies?
Dr. Christopher Martin
Okanagan School of Education, UBC

Present at PINTS

Faculty or students interested in presenting their research can contact Professor Christopher Martin by email at christopher.martin@ubc.ca.

A Q&A Session with Andrew Calhoun, Academic Advisor

Applications are now being accepted for the 2020/2021 Bachelor of Education (BEd) program!

We sat down with Andrew Calhoun, Academic Advisor, to find out what the most frequently asked questions were when students are applying for the BEd program.

Whether you’re interested in applying for the program this year, or in the future, these tips are sure to help you out.

 

  1. Admission requirements

The most often asked question is ‘what courses do I need to get into the program?’ While we have the admission requirements listed for each pathway on our Bachelor of Education page, we have also developed self-assessment worksheets to assist you in reviewing (and checking off) the academic admission requirements for your chosen pathway: Teaching Children and Teaching Adolescents.

For students interested in teaching French, you will also need to:

  • Successfully complete the Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF) OR
  • Demonstrate completion of all of your education in the French language OR
  • Provide a letter from a Francophone Education Authority indicating your proficiency OR
  • Provide a written assessment by Faculty of the French Department of a Canadian university, acceptable to the Teacher Regulation Branch, attesting that you have demonstrated knowledge of the French language to indicate you are capable of conducting all French language teaching

TIP: We recommend completing the DELF by your third or fourth year of your undergraduate degree as there are limited seats and dates available for the exam.

 

  1. Experience

A minimum of 75 hours of practical experience (volunteer or paid) working with children or youth is required. We recommend you work/volunteer with the age group that you wish to teach. You will be asked about your experience when you submit your Supplemental Application Form. On this form, you will also be asked to write a personal essay on what your goals as an educator are, and examples of the qualities and experience you bring.

TIP: We understand you might change your mind about what you’ve written. We do allow you to re-submit a Supplemental Application Form. However, you must resubmit it fully completed. We recommend you save copies of your written answers into a WORD document to complete it. That way if you wish to modify your answers, you don’t have to re-type everything.   

A range and variety of instructional experiences is encouraged to better prepare for the program. Typical experiences for applicants include but are not limited to working in school classrooms as a volunteer or assistant, teaching dance, coaching team sports or working as a summer camp counselor.

TIP: Not sure where to go for experience? You can contact your local school district, recreation/community centre, youth group, art gallery or museum to see if they have any opportunities.

 

  1. References

You will need two professional references from individuals who have personally observed you working with children and/or youth in a face-to-face instructional capacity, either in a group or with an individual.

References must be credible authorities who can speak to your abilities, experiences and interests relevant to the teaching profession. They cannot be a family member or a personal friend.

Examples of appropriate references:

  • An individual who has personally observed you in a face-to-face (as opposed to an online) context where your primary role was to instruct or interact with children and/or youth
  • School administrator (e.g., principal, vice-principal)
  • Teacher at an elementary, middle or secondary school
  • Camp director
  • Daycare program coordinator
  • TA-supervising professor

You will send each of your references the link to the Confidential Report on Applicant, your student number and name as provided in your BEd application, and the pathway you are pursuing.

This form is confidential and is only used for admission purposes. As the applicant, you should not see the completed form.

 

  1. Status

You can check the status of your application through the Student Service Centre. Prospective students will be notified of admission between March and May.

 

  1. Need help?

Let our Student Recruitment & Advising experts guide you: call 1.877.807.8521 or email advising.ubco@ubc.ca.

You can also book an appointment by calling 250.807.9100.

Kim Ondrik

The Innovative Learning Centre and Centre for Mindful Engagement presents Living the Curriculum from the Inside Out. 

Join Kim Ondrik, Head Learner, Mill Bay Nature School in Cowichan Valley for pizza, and a presentation and discussion on innovative teaching practices; specifically exploring co-created curriculum, social justice, mindfulness, student-centered learning and living curriculum.

The presentation is on Thursday, November 21 from 4:30 p.m. until approximately 6 p.m. in EME 1123.

While the presentation is free to attend, space is limited. Please register online to confirm your space.

About the speaker

Ondrik with two of her youngest sons

Ondrik with two of her youngest sons

Kim Ondrik is presently the head learner and co-creator of Mill Bay Nature School, an innovative school of School District 79. The school is in its second year and is inspired by the embodied ideas of the Coast Salish People, Reggio Emilia, Dr. Gord Neufeld, and proponents of ‘risky play’ and democracy. In this place, the natural world is perceived as a provocative learning space of change, diversity, and challenge. Mill Bay Nature School is a place of natural learning – from the inside of the child outwards, from the inside of the adult outwards – from core competencies to curricular competencies to content. Mill Bay Nature School takes collaboration seriously – wide awake of how dedicated teachers ‘scraping up against reality’ as they interrogate their assumptions and transform – in the service of young people, their families and the greater community – create enormous tension, calling forth great humility and holding the potential of one example of systemic transformation.

Ondrik was the co-creator of three other innovative sites of learning and growth in British Columbia public education before her work in the Cowichan Valley.

Learn more about her research study on “To Inspire Social Justice and School Transformation: What is the Lived Curriculum We Have Co-Created At the Community School?

2019 FNESC Annual Indigenous Education Conference Opportunity

Vancouver, BC       November 29 – 30

 

The Opportunity

Two Okanagan School of Education Bachelor of Education (BEd) Interns will be selected to attend an-all expenses* paid trip to the 2019 First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) Annual Indigenous Education Conference in Vancouver. The conference takes place November 29 to 30; however, the selected interns are expected to leave Kelowna Thursday late afternoon or evening.

*All expense paid trip includes:

  • Two-day conference registration fees
  • Flights to and from Vancouver
  • Transportation to and from the hotel in Vancouver
  • Shared two-nights accommodation at the Bayshore Inn, Vancouver
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided by the conference on Friday, Nov. 29
  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided by the conference on Saturday, Nov. 30
  • A per diem rate of $30 will be provided for dinner on Saturday, November 30

 Please note:

  • Transportation to and from the Kelowna Airport to your home is not included
  • Meals on Thursday, Nov. 28 is not included
  • You must be willing to share a hotel room with an intern colleague or arrange and pay for your own accommodation in Vancouver for November 28 – 30
  • The flight from Kelowna to Vancouver will be on Thursday, Nov. 28 between the late afternoon and evening. On Nov. 28 there is an Opening Social Evening and Auction. You may or not be able to attend this depending on flight times.
  • You will be required to leave TOC plans for Friday, Nov. 29 as required by your Mentor Teacher

 

How to apply
Deadline: October 21
  • Complete the information section in the application form
  • Answer the two questions in this application. Please note the due date of January 31, 2020 for question 2.
  • Submit the signed approvals with support statements from your Mentor Teacher; and your Faculty Advisor
  • Submit the application and support statements to education.ubco@ubc.ca by Oct. 21
Selection

Two interns will be selected based on the quality of their responses and the statements of support from their Mentor Teacher and Faculty Advisor.

The Undergraduate Program Committee is responsible for reviewing all applications and selecting the interns.

Submissions must be received by October 21. Selected interns will be notified by October 28.


About the First Nations Education Steering Committee Annual Indigenous Education Conference

Complete information about the conference can be found on their website, http://www.fnesc.ca/conference/. Below is an excerpt:

 The First Nations Education Steering Committee’s 25th Annual Indigenous Education Conference brings people together to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for helping First Nations learners reach their full potential, and transform relationships for the advancement of quality First Nations education.

Held at The Westin Bayshore Hotel in downtown Vancouver, BC, the conference features concurrent workshops, exhibitors, plenary presentations and networking opportunities.

Each year, approximately 800 educators attend this exciting event.

  • November 28, 2019 Opening Social Evening and Auction
  • November 29-30, 2019 Main Conference Day

With this year’s theme, Meeting Diverse Student Needs, we will focus on the following topics:

  • meeting the needs of current and former children and youth in care
  • creating effective Local Education Agreements and other accountability tools
  • creating learning environments and curricula that are inclusive and responsive
  • developing quality First Nations language and culture programming

In particular we will consider each of those topics in the context of the landmark BC Tripartite Education Agreement, signed by Canada, BC and FNESC in July 2018.

 

In recognition of World Mental Health Day on October 10, Karen Ragoonaden, Professor of Teaching & Director of the Centre for Mindful Engagement at the Okanagan School of Education has a reminder for educators, candidates, interns and students.

“Take a pause,” says Ragoonaden. “It’s easy to overlook taking care, and thinking, of yourself; but self-care is very important – and that includes checking in with yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Professor Ragoonaden has been researching mindfulness and specifically its impact on educators for more than five years.

“I became interested in teaching and in researching mindfulness when the Okanagan School of Education was gifted with the smartEducation (stress management and resiliency techniques in Education) curriculum in 2012,” says Professor Ragoonaden. “We re-conceptualized and operationalized the curriculum so that the teachings would be accessible to post-secondary and Kindergarten to grade 12 contexts. The smartEducation has found its home in Teacher Education, Nursing (smartNursing) and within the school system.”

In one of her more recent studies, Professor Ragoonaden conducted a pilot study with teacher education students who voluntarily attended eight mindfulness focused sessions on campus and also followed guided practices at home over nine weeks. At the end of the pilot, the students reported improvement in being less judgmental and less reactive towards thoughts, feelings and emotions of others, and in particularly of oneself.

“We’ve found that when individuals are practicing mindfulness consistently it positively influences their mindset,” says Professor Ragoonaden. “It really demonstrates to people that you are more than your thoughts, and you have the ability to make changes.”

To help you “take a pause” on October 10, OSE has three guided practices used during the study available on education.ok.ubc.ca under smartEducation: Pause Practice, Body Scan and Sitting Practice.

“In addition to smartEducation practices, there is an easy to remember acronym developed by Tara Brach to help you practice mindfulness and compassion: RAIN,” says Professor Ragoonaden.

“‘R – Recognize what is happening
A – Allow the experience to be there
I – Investigate with gentle attention
N – Nurture’.”

You can learn more about Tara Brach and view her resources for meditation at tarabrach.com.

Stress Management and Resiliency Techniques (SMART) was developed in the United States, and is now managed by smartUBC, a not-for-profit group at the University of British Columbia coordinated by the Okanagan School of Education.

Learn more by visiting smartubc.ca.

Photo of Andrew Pulvermacher

Congratulations to Andrew Pulvermacher, Master of Arts student, for receiving a Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) – Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program grant!

Andrew received his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University in Calgary, and his Bachelor of Education from the University of New Brunswick. He has experience teaching middle school, high school and post-secondary. For nearly ten years, he has been teaching adult education courses at Okanagan College in Penticton and more recently Kelowna.

 

Question and Answer with Andrew

What is your research project?

My proposed research explores how Canadian public post-secondary institutions can respond to the growing demographic of adults returning to school. Currently, these institutions face increasing social, economic, and political pressures to serve as de facto extensions of high school, where youth go for employment training and preparation for well-paying careers.

I will examine sociological and philosophical research on the role and place of adult learners in post-secondary institutions, and the particular barriers they face. With my findings, I will develop a new philosophical framework for post-secondary programming that can better serve adults’ needs. I will then apply this framework to British Columbia, which offers an ideal circumstance on which to focus in light of recent changes to policy that reinforce the importance of adult education and herald opportunity for further changes that extend beyond adult students.

I intend to determine to what extent adult students are served by current teaching practices, and how they might be better served by programming that puts adult education at its centre.

Why did you choose that topic, and what difference do you hope your research will make?

In teaching adult education at a post-secondary institution, I see the value mature students bring to the classroom, institution, community, and society. I also recognize that the particular circumstances of mature students—the real-world experiences they bring and the additional outside commitments they carry—make them indicators of educational worth, both real and perceived, in programs and institutions, and in society. I see potential for post-secondary institutions to better welcome, support, integrate, and serve these students, to the benefit and success of all students.

I expect that this research will contribute to the greater debate surrounding post-secondary reform, demanding that those involved in the funding, organization, and delivery of education at all levels revisit the aims, roles, and objectives of colleges and universities in liberal democracies.

What advice do you have for future graduate students?

As a new graduate student, I cannot speak from specific experience, but I can say that for me, entering graduate studies as a practicing professional gave me an opportunity to shape my research interests and work from insights I could not otherwise possess. I have the fortune of returning to my studies with new direction and fresh drive. I cannot help but recognize the overlap in my own experience and my research, and so while I don’t necessarily see the former as motivating the latter, I may as well own what I now also represent, so here’s my advice: if you’re thinking about returning to school—at any level of study—know that you bring more value than you think and go for it.

 

Graduate Supervisor

Dr. Christopher Martin

You’re invited to take part in the search for an Associate or Assistant Professor of Indigenous Education on Oct. 7, 8 and 9. We have three candidates selected for interviews. Presentations are open to all Okanagan School of Education (OSE) students, staff and faculty and will take place starting at 9:30 a.m. in EME 3112. Following a brief break, there is an opportunity for students to have a conversation with each candidate.

Your involvement and feedback is valuable – download the feedback forms for each candidate below. Forms are due to Lindsay Cox at Lindsay.Cox@ubc.ca by 9 a.m. on Thursday, October 10.

Interview Schedule

October 7: Lois Edge – Download feedback form, view presentation (begins at approximately the 7 minute mark)
October 8: Jennifer Markides – Download feedback form, view presentation (begins at approximately the 4:30 minute mark)
October 9: William (Bill) Cohen – Download feedback form, view presentation (begins at approximately the 5:30 minute mark)

Detailed Agenda

9:30–10:45
Presentation (45 min) & Questions (30 min) in EME 3112
10:45-11:00
Break
11:00-11:30
Conversation with students in EME 3112

Search Committee Members
Dr. Margaret Macintyre Latta, Professor & Director, OSE, & Committee Chair
Dr. Jeannette Armstrong, Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy, Community, Culture, & Global Studies, UBC Okanagan
Terry-Lee Beaudry, Adjunct Professor, OSE, & Deputy Superindendent, Central Okanagan School District
Dr. Robert Campbell, Associate Professor, OSE
Dr. Scott Roy Douglas, Associate Professor, OSE
Dr. Jan Hare, Professor & Associate Dean, Indigenous Education, UBC
Dr. Karen Ragoonaden, Professeure titulaire/Professor of Teaching, OSE
Camille X. Rousseau, Graduate Student, OSE
Kristin Schuppener, Faculty Administrator, OSE

PINTS Speaker Series and Centre for Mindful Engagement presents Beyond the Classroom Walls: Teaching in Challenging Social Contexts

The Okanagan School of Education is pleased to welcome Dr. Jerome Cranston, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Regina to UBCO on Thursday, October 3 for two presentations. The presentations will focus on his recent bookBeyond the Classroom Walls: Teaching in Challenging Social Contexts, which provides a richly descriptive, research-based inside-look at informal education in some challenging international socio-political and ethnocultural settings.

“We live in an increasingly globalized world, yet teachers in the majority of North American contexts know relatively little about what teaching looks or sounds like in non-traditional settings,” says Cranston.

His presentation will highlight that by developing a deeper sense of critical, intercultural awareness of teaching and learning at a global-level, teachers will be better able to develop relationships with students and families who come from quite different life experiences than many of us have.

“I have two hopes from the research work reflected in ‘Beyond the Classroom Walls: Teaching in challenging social contexts,’” says Cranston. “I would like to believe that it offers a level of critical awareness and, perhaps, some level of understanding of the very real challenges that many teachers encounter across the globe as they try to create better futures for children and youth. And, I want to believe that the ethnographic narratives contained in it offer us all a sense that we collectively can make a difference in the face of some unimaginable challenges.”

Both events are open to the public, UBCO staff, faculty and students. While attendance is free, you still need to register as limited seating is available.

“As an educator who is committed to anti-racist, anti-oppressive and decolonizing approaches to education, I have been fortunate to find myself invited to work with some marginalized communities who want to be represented in the literature developed around the lives of teachers and their commitment to teach,” says Cranston. “It is my privilege to be invited to work with them and I see myself as related to them and the stories they share with me.”

 

About the speaker

Cranston holds a Ph.D. (Manitoba), M. Ed. (Lethbridge), B.Ed After-Degree and B.Sc. (Alberta). Prior to becoming an academic he spent 16 years in the K-12 education system as a teacher, principal and superintendent in a career that spanned Canada’s “prairie” provinces. He researches and teaches as part of an interdisciplinary, international “community of inquiry” on topics that explore formal and non-formal teacher preparation and the ethical dimensions of school leadership with a particular focus on how capacity building in the education system can transform a set of seemingly random acts – like teacher hiring – into a just enterprise.

His maternal grandparents originated from tribal communities in what are now Nepal and Burma/Myanmar and who were anglicized and evangelized as part of the colonial contagion. His paternal grandfather, a travelling book-keeper with the East Indian Rail Company was killed in 1941 during a Japanese bombing of a railway station. His then widowed grandmother, a mother of five, died in 1942 of malnutrition; an outcome of the British manufactured famine in West Bengal. He accepts a distant yet unvarying connection to the trauma that echoes through their colonized histories.

 

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Kelly who graduated with her PhD in June 2019!

Jennifer is a district literacy specialist in the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District (School District 83) in Salmon Arm. For more than 20 years, she has been teaching in a number of different capacities; including courses in early reading behaviour at Thompson Rivers University and at the Okanagan School of Education.

Her passion for teaching students to read created a belief that literacy can change a student’s life trajectory.

Question and Answer Session with Jennifer

What was your research project?

My case study examined the professional learning experiences of ten teachers engaged in a provincially-developed professional learning community (PLC) over a period of two years, that was formed as part of the Changing Results for Young Readers (CR4YR) British Columbia provincial initiative.

I found that teachers can engage in wholistic professional learning, which involves experiences connecting the mind and heart while learning in relation to others. I suggest that teacher professional learning ought to focus on providing time for professional to develop learning relationships, encourage teachers to theorize, and allow on-going learning experiences for teachers.

What difference do you hope your research will make?

I’ve noticed in my teaching practice and witnessed in my colleagues, professional learning is an area of attention that can add sustenance to teaching. It can be one of the things that develops excitement and engagement in teaching. It can reinvigorate or simply be one of the areas of teaching that allows teachers to survive a complex role.

I know that professional learning can be all those things, but there is no recipe to follow to ensure teachers are motivated to participate and that the learning experiences are relevant, valuable, and meaningful. In my role (in the district), it is very important to me to create conditions for teachers’ learning that are impactful to each teacher personally and professionally.

This urgent need to work with teachers in ways that not only increased their knowledge, but their professionalism led me to this research to further understand how teachers are experiencing learning.

My fondest hope is that my research will contribute to the elevation of the role of a teacher to one of deep admiration and value.

What advice do you have for future graduate students?

  1. Be open to other perspectives and alternate ways of thinking about research.
  2. Read, read, read, and then read some more.
  3. Set a schedule for writing and talk about your research as much as possible with anyone who will listen.
  4. Enjoy the process and celebrate every little accomplishment along your journey.

 

Learn more about her research by reading her thesis: Teaching professional learning: focusing on a wholistic experience linking the mind and the heart through relational learning.

Our 2019 Doctoral Studies Outstanding Dissertation Award recipient is Donna Kozak with her dissertation on Parents with teachers re-authoring the home-school interface: a critical participatory action research study.

A familiar face around UBCO, Donna Kozak (or Dr. Donna Kozak we can officially say!) has been an adjunct professor co-teaching a literacy course for our Bachelor of Education students for seven years – and prior to that had been teaching a language and literacy course for our year one Elementary Teacher Education Program  (ETEP) students from 2008-2011.

In 2012, Donna was approached to develop a Central Okanagan School District/UBCO partnership to create a Learning Centre focused on language arts and literacy for the then ETEP – and now Bachelor of Education students. It may have been hard to believe back then that that partnership would lead her to inspiring change in parent-teacher partnerships. Her journey to pursuing her PhD through Interdisciplinary Studies at the Okanagan School of Education is one that she calls a “gift.”

When Donna began her PhD, her initial research sought to answer a question she had reflected on for nearly her entire three decade career.

“In all my years as a teacher, I wondered about how we position ourselves with parents as partners, because there’s the assumption that we’re partners in children’s education. So my wonder led to let’s figure out historically why parents and teachers, home and school, are positioned the way they are.”

Following the completion of her initial research, Donna asked herself, “Now that I understand why this relationship exists the way it does, could my research disrupt that? Could it suggest to the profession that there is another way for parents and teachers to interact and what it might take for that to happen.”

Thinking outside of the traditional research box, Donna engaged in critical participatory action research for her dissertation.

She approached teachers from Kindergarten to grade four and asked them to invite one or two parents per classroom during that academic year to join a committee. A total of twenty-five teachers and parents then co-created a learning community that met on five occasions over four months. Through guiding questions, they shared their stories, experiences, and knowledge which led them to better understand each other’s perspectives. Ultimately this transformative research experience had them disrupt how parent-teacher relationships have been historically and unquestioningly defined.

While reflecting on her experience, Donna remarked that her highlight was being true to participatory research by taking a step into the unknown and trusting the process.

“The unpredictability of it and how well it turned out. That was a highlight,” she says with a laugh and further explains that her theoretical framework was the concept of third space, where combined diverse voices resulted in a new hybrid form of knowledge. “Everyone brings a different perspective and out of that diversity, something new is born.”

She has two pieces of advice for prospective graduate students:

One, find a supervisor that really believes in you and supports you, and is on the same page as you.

“Know your people that are surrounding you. If your people aren’t aligned with you it can cause some heartache and problems. So surround yourself with people that really understand and support you and that you connect with. “

Two, have patience and be kind to your self.

“I really chunked the journey. There are definable steps that you take within the PhD program so I always took it one step a time and that was more manageable because to think of the overall big picture was really scary,” says Donna. “Find what works for you – a study schedule, setting short term goals and celebrating the goals when you’ve achieved them. It’s on your mind 24/7 so I found I worked best in chunks of time and gave myself a rest – or tried to give myself a rest.”

Donna crossed her last milestone off her list after she crossed the stage in June, 2019.

You can read her thesis on Parents with teachers re-authoring the home-school interface: a critical participatory action research study online.