Amanda Lamberti

Communications Specialist

Office: EME3123


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.


Corporate Communications, Media Relations, Social Media, Student Engagement, Student Recruitment and Marketing.


The Small Secondary School Think Tank is back as a virtual event! 

Each year the Okanagan School of Education hosts the Small Secondary School Think Tank. This two-day event is an opportunity for educators to come together to collaborate, inspire and innovate.  Teams from small, primarily rural, secondary schools and school districts participate in an empathetic design process to support a case study school. This is a process where educators creatively identify problems, and then solutions, using design thinking, a philosophy supported by the Innovative Learning Centre.

This year’s theme is Imagining the Futures of Small Secondary Schools.

May 27 and 28
Online via Zoom

Registration is limited to small and rural schools educators and administrators, with a maximum of three participants from each school. Schools can expect an invitation to the event by mid-April.

About the event

The Small Secondary School Think Tank was created in 2013 as a result of the Rural Education Advisory expressing a need for an annual event where educators from across the province could come together in an effort to share ideas and collaborate on the unique challenges faced by small schools in British Columbia.

Read past year’s case studies on the Innovative Learning Centre page.

Congratulations to Dr. Blye Frank, Dean and Professor, on his 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Acadia Alumni Association.

The Acadia Alumni Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of alumni community members whose endeavours have distinguished them personally and professionally, and brought honour to the University.

For more information on Dr. Frank’s career and contributions, please visit Acadia University’s 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient page.


A Global Lecture presented by University of Exeter and Okanagan School of Education Connections

This event marks the first of a series for a project entitled Connecting Strands on Current Indigenous Realities in the Americas.’ The talk intends to frame our discussions by beginning with Dr. Bill Cohen, who will share a Syilx Okanagan approach to being a good ancestor. Following his Coyote Stories, we will have a round table discussion and questions from the audience. The event builds upon collaborative interdisciplinary work developed through multiple research projects with University of Exeter colleagues Prof Bryony Onciul and Dr. Marisa Lazzari and University of British Columbia colleagues Dr. Karen Ragoonaden and Dr. Virginie Magnat.

Coyote Stories: Bringing Coyote Back to Life, Transforming Monsters, and Being a Good Ancestor

Coyote Stories are central aspects of Syilx Okanagan knowledge. Bringing Coyote back to life is a foundational metaphor for the praxis and positioning of humans within a very diverse, interconnected and interdependent natural world that is continuously intelligent and creative. Coyote has a gift from creation, the ability to transform or overcome child stealing, people-eating monsters. Monsters are practices, ideas, technologies, hegemonies, and/or cultural patterns that are destructive and unsustainable. For humans to maintain a dynamic and sustaining balance with the regional ecology in which we are situated, we must continuously research (gather the bits) of knowledge, aspirations, experiences and outcomes, create new knowledge and understanding through dialogue (breathe into the pile), and ritualize new understanding into practice (step over the pile four times) to bring Coyote back to life (renew Coyote’s and our ability to transform monsters). The Coyote and Fox metaphor is part of a much larger story-way system of conceptual metaphors and frameworks, accumulated wisdom of our ancestors, ritualized understanding and place-based cultural continuity.

Tuesday, March 30
10:30 to 11:30 am PST 



About the Speakers

Bill Cohen is from the Syilx Okanagan Nation with extensive kinship ties throughout BC and Washington. He is an Assistant Professor in the UBC Okanagan School of Education with research interests in Syilx children-centred pedagogy informed by capti̓kʷɬ (Syilx traditional storyway system) stories to transform schools to be more appreciative and sustaining of place-based relationships and cultural and ecological diversity. As an educator, he has organized numerous Syilx Okanagan language, creative arts, literacy, and numeracy projects involving elders, fluent speakers, parents, children, schools and communities.

Karen Ragoonaden is a Professor of Teaching in the Okanagan School of Education, University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus, Director of the Centre for Mindful Engagement and Faculty Advisor to the President, UBC. As the recipient of numerous Tri-Council grants, her research and publications focus on transformative pedagogy and curricular innovation in relation to equity, diversity and inclusion. She actively supports authentic community engagement between the UBC Okanagan and Vancouver campuses.

Virginie Magnat is an Associate Professor, at UBC Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies Department of English, Cultural Studies, Languages and World Literatures. She conducts research across performance studies, cultural anthropology, qualitative research, arts-based inquiry, Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies. Her two monographs, The Performative Power of Vocality (Routledge 2020), and Grotowski, Women, and Contemporary Performance: Meetings with Remarkable Women (Routledge 2014), are both based on her SSHRC-funded research. The book chapter “Experiencing Resonance as a Practice of Ritual Engagement,” also supported by SSHRC and co-authored with seven Indigenous artists, scholars, and Elders/Traditional Knowledge Keepers and four graduate students, is featured in Research and Reconciliation: Unsettling Ways of Knowing through Indigenous Relationships, edited by Cree scholar Shawn Wilson (Canadian Scholars 2019).

Marisa Lazzari is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Director of the Centre for the Archaeology of the Americas at the University of Exeter. She is also an international associate member at the Instituto de las Culturas (University of Buenos Aires-CONICET), and the Instituto de Arqueología y Museo (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán), both in Argentina. Her research primarily focuses on the archaeology of circulation, materiality, and social landscapes in the south-central Andes. Her work also examines the interface between archaeology and indigenous heritage practice in South America, with a particular interest in how ancient artifacts and places shape new social spaces for interaction and cross-cultural collaboration.

Bryony Onciul is an Associate Professor in Museology and Heritage Studies at the University of Exeter. She researches community engagement, Indigenising and decolonizing museology and heritage, and understanding place and environment. Bryony is the Director of the MA International Heritage Management and Consultancy. She is the author of Museums, Heritage and Indigenous Voice: Decolonizing Engagement, and lead editor of Engaging Heritage, Engaging Communities. She founded the UK Chapter and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies.

The Centre for Mindful Engagement is pleased to welcome Robert McClure to speak at a virtual event on April 8.

After a brief introduction of Robert McClure’s own journey in mindfulness, he will discuss some highlights of what makes mindfulness and science a modern paradigm, including some key practices that are applied to daily life/the workplace. Following his talk, he will lead a brief guided mediation.

A panel of graduate students from UBC Okanagan will respond to the talk, and there will be an opportunity for an audience Q & A.

Thursday, April 8
9:30 – 10:30 a.m. PST


While the event is open to all and free to attend, you must register to receive the Zoom link. 

About the Speaker

Robert McClure, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is currently a Human Resources Consultant for Sharp HealthCare in San Diego, California, teaching mindfulness and compassion training to healthcare professionals with a focus on practices that can be done in the workplace. He is a Trained Mindfulness Facilitator and Instructor at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center/ Semel Neuroscience Institute. He is also a Senior Educator at the Compassion Institute/CCARE Stanford University. He is a Certified L2 Mindfulness Coach for Unified Mindfulness and teaches Pathways Training for mindfulness coaches. Robert lives with his partner in San Diego, California. He is a passionate LA Lakers basketball fan, practices yoga, and is a regular neighborhood exercise walker during the pandemic.

The Okanagan School of Education will be closed for Family Day on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, and will re-open on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

Bachelor of Education Prospective Students

We are reviewing your applications and you will be notified of an admission decision any time between March and May. You can check the status of your application through the Student Service Centre.

Welcome packages will be sent by the end of May.

Prospective Graduate Students

Questions about the admission process? We look forward to speaking with you when we return, until then, we recommend visiting our Master’s Degree page.

Summer Institute in Education

We will be posting our Summer Institute in Education courses by March 1.


We hope you take the long weekend to rest. The following mental health supports are available to UBC Okanagan students:

UBC Student Assistance Program

Offered by Aspiria, the UBC Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a free, 24/7 wellness resource for students offered in dozens of languages. Services include personal counselling, life coaching, group programs and more, based on your needs. How to access the Student Assistance Program.

Covid-19 mental health supports

Here to Help BC has compiled a list of free and low-cost Mental Health supports.

Crisis lines

Kelowna crisis line is available 24/7: 1 888 353 2273.
Suicide crisis line: 1 800 784 2433
Vets4warriors: 1 855 838 8255

The UBCOSUO extended benefits include coverage for personal counselling. Many students may also have counselling coverage under their parents’ extended health benefits as well. If you wish to access a personal counsellor in the Central Okanagan, try this link: BCACC counsellors

Third Space Life Charity: Student Care Program

Third Space offers supportive counselling in conjunction with the UBCSUO. Learn more about this at

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

One key virtue proffered by defenders of democracy is its inclusive nature. However, the nature and value of democratic inclusion is far less than clear when we focus on what such inclusive requirements actually mean in the context of educational policy, practice, and education for citizenship/moral education. For example, growing political polarization has led to a call for greater ‘viewpoint diversity’ in schools and universities. But is this a fundamentally, moral, political, or epistemic requirement? Consider also that many scholars have defended the educational value and importance of teaching ‘controversial issues’ as a means of fostering greater tolerance among future citizens. But the very decision to treat certain issues as ‘controversial’ and not others now invites the charge of partisanship and a lack of inclusivity. Therefore, how might moral and epistemic arguments for deliberative inclusion inform how educators should approach this, and related questions of educational justice?

This symposium session brings together three scholars working at the intersection of democratic theory and educational justice as part of an upcoming Symposium Issue for the journal, Educational Theory.

Thursday, April 8
10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. PST
Via Zoom

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


About the Speakers

Dr. Darron Kelly was appointed Assistant Professor with Memorial University, Faculty of Education, in May 2016. Darron is an award-winning, SSHRC-funded scholar who examines applications of critical social theory in educational administration (including communicative rationality, transformative leadership, and moral policymaking) and explores the educational value of place-conscious pedagogy (including teacher identity, school-community partnerships, and transformative student agency).

Dr. Quentin Wheeler-Bell is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University. His research interests include critical theory, critical pedagogy, and radical democratic theory.

Dr. Anniina Leiviskä works as a university lecturer at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, in Finland. Her research focus areas include democracy and democratic education, social and political inclusion and global citizenship education. She is currently starting a new research project “Democratic Education and Political Polarisation in the Era of Global Crises” (funded by the KONE foundation), which focuses on the current challenges of democratic education, including the climate crisis and the increasing political polarization of democratic societies.


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

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

Dewey claimed that “Education is autonomous and should be free to determine its own ends, its own objectives”. Should, and can, education be non-political? Following work in educational theory, Dr. Yosef-Hassidim will take education’s autonomy to mean a non-instrumental and not politically-driven education, education with its own logic, immanence, agenda, agency, terms, values; an educational way of thinking and doing. Realizing this vision faces, of course, many challenges. In this talk, he will briefly discuss four challenges: (1) the question of whether education’s autonomy is undemocratic, (2) preference of instrumentalized education for social-economic enhancement, (3) theorizing educational justice on its own terms, and (4) curricular considerations. He believes addressing such theoretical and practical challenges is helpful in advocating an agenda and laying some foundations for a theoretical framework for education’s autonomy.

Thursday, Feb. 25
9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. PST
Via Zoom

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


About the Speaker

Dr. Doron Yosef-Hassidim is an instructor at Lakehead University in the Department of Graduate Studies and Research in Education, and he also teaches in Thompson Rivers University’s teacher education program. He has an academic and professional background in engineering and in education, with a M.A. in Education and B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. Within his professional experience, he was a high-school STEM teacher in Israel and in Canada, and also served in several teacher leadership and professional development positions. His research interests include educational theory, foundations of education, teacher education, and political and social philosophy of education. He is spearheading interdisciplinary and international scholarly work on education’s autonomy.

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

The Okanagan School of Education will be closed for winter break starting on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, and will re-open on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Application Dates and Deadlines

Bachelor of Education

If you are applying for September 2021 admission, the UBC Okanagan application deadline is Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Your supplemental application and references are due January 31. If you are applying to both UBC Vancouver and Okanagan, you must submit your supplemental application and references to each program. Visit the program page for more information.

Master of Arts in Education or Master of Education

If you are applying for September 2021 admission, the application deadline is January 31, 2021. For required documents and additional information, visit the program page.


Paulo Freire, image source: Wikipedia

Paulo Freire was a 20th-century Brazilian educator and philosopher, and strong advocate of critical pedagogy. He is known for his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1986), where he sought to empower the oppressed by helping them actualize their full humanization.

This study group aims to facilitate conversations about Paulo Freire’s Critical Pedagogy. The main goal is to understand Freirian praxis through contemporary issues such as systemic racism, health education, diversity, and many others.

The first conversation will take place on Jan. 20, 2021. The purpose will be to discuss the idea of Critical Literacy connecting Freire’s principles to fundamental terms and definitions outlined by the anti-racism debate. We are going to have Freire and Macedo’s book Reading the Word and the World and How To Be an Anti-racist (Chapter 1) by Ibram X. Kendi.

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. PST

The group is open to all UBC students and free to attend.

Join the group to receive the Zoom link and access to resources:

Questions? Contact Fabiano Camara at

Supported by the Centre for Mindful Engagement and the Office of the President

The Centre for Mindful Engagement, Indigenous Education UBC and the UBC Eminence Cluster of Research Excellence in Culture, Creativity, Health and Wellbeing are pleased to welcome Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba, to speak at a virtual event on February 1, 2021.

The Medicine Wheel is a symbol used to represent wholeness, balance, and the natural cycles of life. It consists of a circle with four quadrants: Mind, Body, Spirit, and Emotions. In his presentation, Dr. Yellow Bird will discuss how our wellness can be improved by combining Indigenous and Western evidenced-based sciences into the Medicine Wheel to examine how decolonizing our mindfulness practices, movement, sleep, humour, collectivism, mild biogenetic stress, fasting, environment, genes, food, and beliefs can improve our wellness.

Monday, Feb. 1
3 to 4 p.m. PST

Register now

The event is free and all are welcome to attend.

About the Speaker

Michael Yellow Bird, MSW, PhD, is Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. He is an enrolled member of the MHA Nation (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara) in North Dakota, USA. He has held faculty and administrative appointments at the University of British Columbia, University of Kansas, Arizona State University, Humboldt State University, and North Dakota State University. His research focuses on the effects of colonization and methods of decolonization, ancestral health, intermittent fasting, Indigenous mindfulness, neurodecolonization, mindful decolonization, and the cultural significance of Rez dogs. He is the founder, director, and principal investigator of The Centre for Mindful Decolonization and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. He serves as a consultant, trainer, and senior advisor to several BIPOC mindfulness groups and organizations who are seeking to incorporate mindfulness practices, philosophies, and activities to Indigenize and decolonize western mindfulness approaches in order to address systemic racism and engage in structural change.

He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, research reports, and the co-editor of four books: For Indigenous Eyes Only: The Decolonization Handbook, 2005; For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook, 2012; Indigenous Social Work around the World: towards Culturally Relevant Education and Practice, 2008; and Decolonizing Social Work, 2013. Choice Magazine, selected Decolonizing Social Work as a 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Choice Outstanding Titles are given extraordinary recognition by the academic community and are designated to be “the best of the best.” He is the co-author of two recent books,: A Sahnish (Arikara) Ethnobotany (2020), and Decolonizing Holistic Pathways Towards Integrative Healing in Social Work (2021). His most recent co-authored mindfulness article, Defunding Mindfulness: While We Sit on Our Cushions, Systemic Racism Runs Rampant (October, 2020), can be found at: