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 was 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, Student Engagement, Student Recruitment and Marketing.

 

World Kindness Day (Nov. 13) often inspires individuals to ask themselves “how am I kind?” and “what can I do to express kindness or be more kind?”

Dr. John-Tyler Binfet, associate professor, has spent nearly a decade researching how children and adolescents perceive and experience kindness. Since 2012, Dr. Binfet and his research team have interviewed more than 3,000 public school students in the Okanagan Valley between kindergarten and Grade 9 about kindness. Additionally in 2019, Dr. Binfet and Dr. Sally Stewart, associate professor of teaching in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences assessed university aged students self-perceptions of kindness.

These interviews and self-reports have found that the majority of students express kindness by helping others emotionally and physically. Additionally, the acts of kindness could be grouped into three themes:

  • Intentional, where you make a plan; for example, building a care package for a friend that is ill.
  • Random, where the act is spontaneously performed or reactionary, like holding the door open for someone
  • Quiet, where the thoughtful act doesn’t draw attention to the initiator, like leaving positive notes along a street

The research has revealed an alignment in how university and school-aged students define kindness. Across the ages, kindness means performing actions that improve the lives of others, help others, and demonstrate politeness.

His research highlights the importance of nurturing pro-social behaviours in children and adolescents as being kind doesn’t necessarily come easily to all students. There are some who need extra support to understand the concept. To assist in helping children and adolescents cultivate kindness, Dr. Binfet suggests starting by asking yourself, ‘How am I kind? How do I show that I’m thoughtful, courteous or compassionate?’

“Parents, educators and community members can help children and adolescents develop strong social and emotional skills by modeling pro-social behaviour—basically, the type of behaviour they wish to see exhibited by others,” says Dr. Binfet.

Thanks to recent funding from the Central Okanagan Foundation grant, Dr. Binfet and his team will research high-school students’ views of kindness in the Central Okanagan School District. This study will provide the missing piece in understanding how kindness is evident from Kindergarten to university students.

 

Here are 24 ways to celebrate World Kindness Day that are inspired by responses from K to 9 and university student participants:

  1. Greet a neighbour
  2. Bake a treat for a friend
  3. Pick up litter
  4. Help a friend with homework
  5. Give a compliment
  6. Teach someone a new skill
  7. Call a friend
  8. Leave change in the vending machine
  9. Hold the door open for someone
  10. Help out with the household chores
  11. Give a pet a belly rub
  12. Donate gently used items that you no longer need
  13. Write someone a kind note or send a letter
  14. Give someone a gift (homemade or purchased)
  15. Volunteer with a local organization
  16. Run an errand for someone
  17. Place positives notes around your community or use sidewalk chalk to leave positive messages
  18. Pay for the person in line behind you
  19. Cook a meal for someone
  20. Donate money to a cause you’re passionate about
  21. Show someone appreciation by thanking them
  22. Let someone go ahead of you in line
  23. Help a neighbour or friend with their yard work
  24. Offer a hug to a friend or family member

BC TEAL has a variety of upcoming events as part of their English Additional Language (EAL) Week. These events take place online and are free for all to attend. We would like to highlight two events that have an OSE connection.

Using Indigenous Storytelling to Re-Story Your Classroom

Nov. 23 |   6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Desiree Marshall-Peer, Lecturer

Indigenous Storytelling is a pedagogical stance that has been used for millennia. Each story is layered and contextual. Learning is embedded in memory, history and story. Using story as a basis to approach cross curricular learning allows students to relax into the learning while leaning into the topic at hand. This allows teachers to re-tell the story of their classroom and the learning that is occurring. Together we will use traditional stories to explore learning opportunities across subjects and how they in turn create storied opportunities for our student’s understanding.

Register

Free and Fun Academic Open Education Resources

Nov. 25 |   6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Ronan Scott, MA alumni

Ronan is an English language instructor and materials writer. Ronan recently worked on an OER project where he and others created language learning materials for students on the cusp of attending full-time post-secondary education in Canada. Learn more about this collection of materials:

  • Listening and Speaking
  • CLB 8
  • Technology, Business, and Geography units.

Register

 

The Centre for Mindful Engagement is pleased to announce that Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, University of Illinois, will be presenting on social-emotional learning.

A NEW KIND OF FITNESS: PROMOTING THE RESILIENCE AND WELL-BEING OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS THROUGH SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING – RECENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICAL STRATEGIES

Thursday, Dec. 2  |  8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  | UNC 200

Due to physical distancing measures and current Interior Health event restrictions, this event is open to Okanagan School of Education students, staff and faculty only. 

Now is the time like no other for us to work together to find ways in which to promote the well-being of both educators and students. Recent innovations in social and emotional learning (SEL) in the past decade have seen an abundance of research documenting the critical role that social and emotional competencies, such as self-regulation, empathy, and self-compassion can play in fostering thriving and mitigating mental health problems. This session will focus on the promotion of social and emotional learning (SEL) to transform the lives of students and educators. The session will provide a guide for understanding how systemic approaches to SEL provide a foundation for developing learning contexts that promote the social and emotional competencies of adults and students to support success and well-being. Implementation and strategies that are successfully being used in schools will be shared, including information on how SEL can be promoted in both educators and students.

About the Speaker

Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl is the NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to her graduate work, Dr. Schonert-Reichl worked as middle school teacher and then as a teacher at an alternative high school for adolescents identified as at risk for high school completion. Known as a renowned expert in the area of social and emotional learning (SEL), Dr. Schonert-Reichl’s research focuses on identification of the processes that foster positive human qualities such as empathy, compassion, altruism, and resiliency in children and adolescents. Her projects in this area include studies examining the effectiveness of classroom-based universal SEL programs including such programs as the Roots of Empathy, MindUp, WE Well-being, and the Kindness in the Classroom Curriculum. Over the last decade she has led the development and implementation of the Middle Years Development Instrument, or MDI, a measure that captures children’s voices regarding their social and emotional well-being, physical health, and resiliency inside and outside of school. Dr. Schonert-Reichl has received several awards for her work, including the Janusz Korczak Medal for Children’s Rights Advocacy, and the Joseph E. Zins Distinguished Scholar Award for outstanding research on social and emotional learning (SEL).

The Okanagan School of Education is pleased to announce a new graduate degree pathway. Prospective graduate students can now pursue a Master of Education (MEd) with coursework only.

“We are excited to expand our graduate program with this new coursework only option,” says Dr. Sabre Cherkowski, director of graduate programs. “This pathway to completing the MEd will offer rich opportunities for learning and professional development.”

Students will plan their courses, with guidance from their assigned supervisor, to build a program that provides broad knowledge at an advanced level to inform their professional and/or applied practice. Graduates will be prepared to contribute as educational leaders in their current roles and may have further employment opportunities in K-12 and post-secondary education, school administration and education consultation, government and policy work, among other careers.

This program is typically completed on a part-time basis over two academic years, including summer sessions, through a combination of campus-based and online coursework. MEd students are required to complete the degree within four years.

The MEd degree with coursework only requires completion of 30 credits:

  • 6 credits of core courses: CUST 562 and EDUC 521;
  • 24 credits from the Okanagan School of Education’s course offerings

This pathway is suitable for those students who anticipate completing the degree mostly or entirely online.

Applications are now open for a start date of September 2022.

Learn more about the program and admission requirements on our Master’s Degrees page.

We are now inviting colleagues to submit course proposals for our Summer Institute in Education (SIE). Share your research, passion and knowledge with the next generation of educators, education experts and change-makers.

SIE offers unique learning opportunities for educators to strengthen their professional growth by intertwining theoretical and practical pedagogical knowledge. SIE instructors help to instill a commitment to career-long professional knowledge.

We are seeking instructors that will share their enthusiasm for life-long learning and inspire educators at all phases of their career. Instructors will design their course for Bachelor of Education, Graduate and post- baccalaureate students as well as current educators in the field.

Courses are generally three weeks in length starting July 4 and offered in the morning or afternoon, with the exception of Outdoor Education which has the option of running as a one-week intensive. They will be held Monday to Thursday with the exception of the week of August 1, which will be held Tuesday to Friday due to BC Day.

Instructors can apply* to one or more of the following topics:

  • Outdoor Education (July 4 to 8, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or (July 4 to 21, 9a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Classroom Leadership (July 4 to 21, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Indigenous Education (July 4 to 21, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • French (July 4 to 21, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Educational Technology (July 4 to 21, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Creating a Thinking Classroom (core competencies) (July 4 to 21, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Literacy (July 4 to 21, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Science (July 4 to 21, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Movement across the Curriculum (July 4 to 21, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Instructional Strategies for All Learners (July 4 to 21, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Numeracy (July 25 to August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Assessment and Design (July 25 to August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • American Sign Language (July 25 to August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) (July 25 to August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Social Emotional Learning (July 25 to August 11, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Teaching English Additional Language (July 25 to August 11, 1 p.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Mental Health Stress Management (July 25 to August 11, 1 p.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Typical and Atypical Development in Infants and Children (July 25 to August 11, 1 p.m. to 12 p.m.)

Interested educators must submit their resume, course title, description, objectives and learning outcomes by Nov. 29. A minimum of a Master-level degree is required.

APPLY

*each course requires a separate application

If you have any questions about the SIE or the application process, please email sie.education@ubc.ca.

Interested in receiving a notification for when we begin accepting instructor applications? Sign-up for our Summer Institute Instructor newsletter.

All courses are subject to change and minimum enrolment. 

Dr. Christopher Martin, Associate Professor, is hosting a Canadian Philosophy of Education Society seminar. 

Chris England will be presenting on Equality and Educational Justice. In this session, England will analyze the concept of equality and its relevance to discussion of education justice. By “educational justice” he is referring to what students deserve regarding their compulsory education in liberal democracies. Some current approaches to justice in education focus on statistical inequalities of outcome. Outcome-based approaches are often concerned about equal participation across designated groups. Critics of outcome-based approaches advocate instead for equality of opportunity. Advocates for equality of opportunity tend to be more supportive of standardized testing or recruitment practices that focus on selecting for talent. England argues that both of these approaches to educational justice are misguided because they tend to see equality as educationally valuable, for its own sake. He argues that the solution to this debate is to abandon the concept of equality in fields of educational justice and advance more precise criteria about what students deserve. He argues that students in liberal democracies deserve access to the Razian conditions of personal autonomy: adequate life options, the skills to participate in them, and adequate independence.

Thursday, November 18
9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Via Zoom

The event is open for all to attend. While attendance is free, you still need to register to receive the Zoom link.

REGISTER

About the Speaker

Chris England is a high school English teacher working in Cranbrook, BC. He recently completed his MA with a thesis entitled Personal Autonomy and Educational Justice. His academic interests include topics of ethics, epistemology, values, social and cognitive science. His thesis, “Personal Autonomy and Educational Justice’, was awarded Best MA Thesis (2021) in the Okanagan School of Education, Faculty of Education (UBC).

 

 

About the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society Seminar Series

The Canadian Philosophy of Education Seminar Series aims to create a space to support in-progress work in the philosophy of education, provide opportunities for pre-tenure/early career and graduate students, and contribute to the cultivation of scholarly community. Anyone working at the intersections of philosophy and education are welcome to contribute to the series.

If you are interested in presenting a paper in future events, contact Dr. Christopher Martin at christopher.martin@ubc.ca.

Ronan Scott, an English Language Instructor at Okanagan College, left Dr. Scott Douglas’s, associate professor in the Okanagan School of Education, language book presentation feeling inspired to pursue his Master of Arts in Education.

“I’ve always been interested in the creation of language learning materials and I was excited to finally meet an author,” says Scott. “Following the presentation, I was speaking to Dr. Douglas and as we went further into conversation, I realized if I wanted to create effective language learning materials, I needed to know more about languages and how people learn.”

***

After four years of studying at the University of Ireland, Galway Ireland, Scott received his Bachelor of Education with teachables in religion and history.

“My first teaching position was at a high school in Norway, and I realized I didn’t want to teach religion and history, and I didn’t enjoy teaching children as much as I enjoyed teaching adults.”

Scott decided to pursue a Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) in Prague, Cz. After obtaining CELTA, he spent 18 months travelling and working around Europe at various language schools before eventually deciding to move to Canada.

“I started working at a private language school in Toronto, and my partner and I found the city wasn’t for us. When you picture Canada, you picture the Rockies. We heard about Kelowna and decided to pack up and move.”

Three years and one presentation later, he began the School’s Master of Arts in Education program and immersed himself in the language learning field. With Dr. Douglas as his supervisor, they focused on education and languages together. Not only looking into how people learn language, but how can people learn languages using materials.

“As a language instructor, you will pick up a book and have to make a decision whether to use it or not,” says Scott. “And when you go through it how do you decide if it’s effective? How do you examine it with a critical eye? That is what I wanted to figure out.”

To develop the theoretical framework for his thesis, he researched second language acquisition and general education theories, and material development principles.

Based on this research, Scott developed a set of ten principles for language learning materials:

  1. The language learning material or activity is as authentic as possible.
  2. The language-learning material or activity actively reduces classroom anxiety.
  3. The language-learning materials use language which is thought to be in the +1 area of the students’ additional language.
  4. The language-learning material or activity helps students become valued members of the community.
  5. The language-learning material or activity promotes controlled and free production of communicative speech.
  6. The language-learning material or activity provides a rich recycled exposure to the target language.
  7. The language-learning material fosters critical thinking, empowerment, and motivation.
  8. The language-learning material utilizes engaging and relevant content and objectives.
  9. The assessments in the language-learning materials provide several options for competition and are relevant to the context of the situation and content of materials.
  10. The language-learning materials are based on the relevant curriculum or guidelines adopted for whom the materials will be used.

Source: The perceived benefits of using English as an additional language learning materials created according to a principled framework (2021)  

Scott believes that if an instructor follows these principles it will guide them in creating, choosing or editing their own language learning materials.

“I really want this research to be the start of a very focused conversation about effective language learning materials, and I want it to motivate other people to create their own principles of material development.”

Not only was Scott writing a thesis on the topic, he was working with members of the School of Education’s EAL department to develop Open Education Resource (OER) materials. The materials were created based on Scott’s principles and covered three topics: business, geography and technology.

All of the materials are based on the BC articulation guide for English as an additional language schools. This guide covers what goals that must be achieved in order to help prepare students for post-secondary education in Canada.

“The goals are focused on what skills do students need in order to thrive,” says Scott. “For example, they need to be able to take notes, be able to paraphrase, express themselves, and agree and disagree in a respectful manner. You pick all these goals you want and then you start thinking how do you move your student from here to here.”

The idea is that a student will be able to come into the classroom, use the materials and by the end of those materials they should be able to accomplish those goals.

For Scott, this project meant occasionally reminding himself that he wasn’t creating lessons. He was creating materials for people he’s never met and will likely never meet. He needed to ensure that someone would be able to pick up these materials and know exactly what to do.

“Dr. Douglas said that it takes about 100 hours to create one hour of classroom materials, and after this project I have a much greater appreciation for those materials,” says Scott. “I would love for people to use them and let us know what they think, and also to be inspired to create their own language learning materials.”

On Tuesday, Sept. 28, Central Okanagan School District educators, syilx Elders and Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) members, university faculty, and community educators from across the Okanagan came together in shared commitment to the intents of a five-year research project, Co-Curricular-Making – Honoring Indigenous Connections to Land, Culture, and the Relational Self. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded partnership project is facilitated by Dr. Margaret Macintyre Latta, Director of the Okanagan School of Education.

Held in Bertram Park, Kelowna, BC, the first gathering focused on the ONA Water Declaration as Pedagogy. Participants learned from and alongside Elder Rose Caldwell, Elder Pamela Barnes, and Elder Grouse Barnes, Pauline Terbasket, Executive Director of the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Kelly Terbasket, Program Director of IndigenEYEZ, and Dr. Bill Cohen, Associate Professor, Okanagan School of Education. The gathering closed with a smudging and water ceremony led by Elder Rose Caldwell and Elder Grouse Barnes.

Participating educators are taking up the challenge of decolonizing their pedagogies. But, in striving to embrace this curricular responsibility, many are confronted with the need to deepen their understandings of decolonization and local Indigenous Knowledge alongside negotiating the complexities of reconciling conversations with their students, colleagues, and extended communities. The project invests in habits, practices, and ways of being that embody curricular Indigenization for a voluntary group of educators with long-term commitment to project intents and to fostering these efforts in their school and community sites.

By the end of the five-year project, teachers and their students will have gained deeper understandings of syilx culture with teachings that connect land, culture and understandings of self-in-the-world.

Learn more about the partnership project.

Whether you’re interested in applying for the Bachelor of Education program this year, or in the future, here are a few tips to guide you along the way.

  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 as a fully completed application. We recommend you save copies of your written answers in a word document, so 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.

You can also visit the UBC Okanagan job and volunteer board to see if there are relevant experiences.

  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 or online 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 Reference Form, your student number, name and email 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. You will receive an automatic email when your reference has submitted the 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 June.

  1. Need help?

If you have questions about your application or need assistance please visit the Student Advising Services webpage to contact them or book an appointment.

The Okanagan School of Education is pleased to share that Dr. John-Tyler Binfet has received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant.

Dr. Binfet and his collaborators, Central Okanagan Public Schools’ Alan Lalonde and Sherri McKinnon, were awarded $24,994 for their project: Advancing and Enriching Social and Emotional Instruction in the Central Okanagan Public School District.  

The aim of the research is to enhance the teaching of social emotional learning (SEL) within school district 23 and to ensure consistency around the opportunities for students to practice and develop their social and emotional competencies.  The team will work together to co-create a series of SEL training modules to fortify teachers’ foundation knowledge and ability to create SEL-rich learning opportunities for students.

Congratulations to Dr. Binfet and his collaborators!

Learn more about current research grants in progress.