Amanda Lamberti

Communications Manager

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.

 

We hope you have a restful winter break! Our offices will be closed starting on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, and will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.

Holiday Message from the Dean pro tem

Application Dates and Deadlines

Bachelor of Education

If you are applying for the September 2023 admission, the UBC Okanagan application deadline is Jan. 15, 2023. 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.

We also have tips to help guide your application process.

Master of Arts in Education or Master of Education

If you are applying for the September 2023 admission, the application deadline is January 31, 2023. For required documents and additional information, visit the program page. To view upcoming courses, visit the Graduate Student Resources page.

Dr. John-Tyler Binfet, associate professor, has surveyed and interviewed more than 3,000 children and adolescents from kindergarten to post-secondary gathering their perspectives on kindness. Hot off the presses, Dr. Binfet’s new book Cultivating Kindness: An Educators Guide is a research-driven guide to all things kindness in schools.

“This book is a resource for educators who want to introduce kindness in their classrooms or schools and are seeking ideas and strategies to support kindness in students,” says Dr. Binfet. “I hope it can serve as a guide for well-being initiatives for students, and for educators, to shift the climate in classrooms, to foster kindness among people and showcase the good that people are doing.”

The book includes a kindness checklist for schools to assess how kind they are and practical scenarios to help teachers challenge students to consider kindness. In addition, there is a repository of kindness resources to support the continued kindness education of readers.

 

What inspired you to write the book?

After nearly 10 years of research and asking almost 4,000 students about kindness, I felt it was time to glue it all together and tell the story of what I’ve learned from students about being kind.

I didn’t want another adult interpretation of kindness. I wanted to honour the students’ voices and their experience around being kind; especially after learning that, from their perspective, it takes a lot of bravery to be kind. For some students, it doesn’t unfold quickly and easily in a school setting and they need some support. They need some structure and that’s where teachers come in. They can really be a guide — a kindness coach.

 

While your book is called an educator’s guide, are there others who may benefit from reading it?

This book would be an excellent resource for anyone that works or volunteers with children or youth in any capacity. It would also be appealing for parents and guardians who are interested in guiding kindness within their children and within the family structure. For example, just as they may ask “Have you done your chores this week?” I want them to ask, “Have you done your kind acts?”

We know that doing three kind acts a week is a formula for bolstering children’s wellbeing. Three acts will help children feel better about themselves and about the people around them.

 

Could you share some examples of how students you’ve interviewed have been kind?

There have been a few examples over the years that have stopped me in my tracks. Especially with adolescents because they, unfortunately, have the stereotype of being mired in conflict and ego-driven. I have had students in middle school who have said “my act of kindness is a quiet one where I stop talking when other people are.”

I have had another student tell me that they don’t talk about their mother around another student, because that student’s mother had passed away the previous year from cancer. This student restricts their speech because they know if they don’t, they’ll wound a friend.

 

As we’re approaching World Kindness Day (Nov. 13), how do you enact kindness?

I try to walk the talk with my research and commit to at least three kind acts a week. For example, one act I like to do in a drive-thru is pay for the person’s order behind me. However, my favourite acts of kindness are the ones where I can specifically craft the act for the person. I love the unexpected nature of it, and I try to be stealth in how I deliver my kind act.

 

Learn more about the book and how to purchase a copy at utorontopress.com/9781487525026/cultivating-kindness

 

We are pleased to share that Dr. Chris Martin has received the Outstanding Book Prize for The Right to Higher Education: A Political Theory from the North American Associate for Philosophy and Education / Theory and Research in Education.

The prize honours excellent scholarship at the intersection of philosophy and education. As the recipient of the prize, Dr. Martin will have the contributions to his author-meets-critics session published as a book symposium in Theory and Research in Education.

Congratulations Dr. Martin!

Learn more about the book by reading a Q&A with Dr. Martin.

Christia Langlois is this year’s recipient of the Kelowna Kiwanis Legacy Major Entrance Award in Education – an award accompanied by $10,950.  Established by the Central Okanagan Kiwanis Community Service Society, the award is presented to a student pursuing the Teaching Children (Kindergarten to Grade 5+) pathway.

“I am so grateful to receive this award,” says Christia. “It will allow me to focus on my children and my studies without having some of the financial stresses of returning to school. While not a Kiwanis member myself, I really appreciate the work, dedication and passion of the organization and their volunteers.”

***

Growing up in the small towns of Blagnac and Orthez, France, Christia had long been drawn to teaching and working with children. It began in high-school, when she was asked by her head gymnastics coach if she would assist in teaching the younger years.

“I love when kids discover something new,” says Christia. “You can see the questioning in their eyes as they unravel new knowledge or figure out how to do something, and you can really see that spark in their eyes when they get it.”

She completed her Bachelor degree in Literature at Paris Nanterre University, France, and continued teaching gymnastics while living there, and again in Chile where she lived for several years.

Shortly after moving to the Okanagan, she began coaching gymnastics, circus and art.

“I added ‘circus’ to the programming, so the kids learn skills in juggling, silks, trapeze and slacklining,” says Christia with a smile. “They absolutely love it. I especially love watching the pre-teens and teens reconnect with the child in themselves and start playing around, and having genuine fun.”

Christia also added arts and crafts opportunities into her circus classes, for example, having the children make their own juggling balls, hula hoops or other props. In her art class, her students had the opportunity to experiment with different techniques, materials and paints.

“I like to work with collage and mix together different textures. We have also done printmaking and embossing.”

In addition to her past coaching and teaching experience, Christia has played an active role in her children’s school Parent Advisory Committee and their sports clubs. She also volunteers and sometimes works with the Centre culturel francophone de l’Okanagan — you may have seen her tent for circus set up at the local Maple Fest!

“I enjoy supporting local events and being involved in my community. Aside from the cultural centre, I also occasionally volunteer for other organizations such as Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture (RAMA) and the Okanagan Humane Society.”

In her future classroom, Christia is looking forward to experimentation, exploration and inquiry-based learning.

“Children need different types of explanations, and so I’m really excited to start working in the classroom and presenting things in completely different ways to adapt to their style of learning.”

For those interested in pursuing their Bachelor of Education in the future, Christia recommends gaining experience with a broad age group.

“Work with children for a full summer in a camp or with a sports club, because it’ll give you a good idea of what the reality of working with children or youth really is. With gymnastics, I’ve been able to teach toddlers to those in their late 50s, and I really have loved interacting with every age — they all have different challenges and a different way of learning.”

Congratulations Christia!

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 certificate and diploma students as well as current educators in the field seeking professional development opportunities.

Courses are generally three weeks in length starting July 4 OR July 25 and will be offered in the morning or afternoon Tuesday to Friday, unless otherwise noted. A minimum of a Master-level degree is required.

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

    • Outdoor Education (July 3 to 9, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or (July 4 to 21, 9a.m. to 12 p.m.)
    • Climate Change (July 4 to 21, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
    • Indigenous Education (July 4 to 21, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
    • Digital Literacy (July 4 to 21, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
    • Trauma Informed Teaching (July 4 to 21, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
    • Students with Exceptionalities (July 4 to 21, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
    • Universal Design (July 4 to 21, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
    • American Sign Language (July 4 to 21, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
    • Early Childhood Education (July 4 to 21, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
    • Science Methods (July 25 to August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
    • Childhood Learning Disabilities and Cognitive Challenges (FASD, ADHD, Autism, etc.) (July 25 to August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
    • Indigenous Education (July 25 to August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
    • Assessment and Testing (July 25 to August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
    • Teacher Well-being (July 25 to August 11, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
    • Literacy (July 25 to August 11, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
    • Classroom Leadership (July 25 to August 11, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
    • Health, Outdoor Education and Physical Education (July 25 to August 11, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
    • Inquiry Project (G.R.I.P.) (July 4 to August 11, online-asynchronous)
    • Other – educators are invited to submit their own topic

Note that there is separate application for courses to be taught in French, please see invitation below.

Interested educators must submit their resume, course title, description, objectives and learning outcomes by 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 28.

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. 


Nous invitons nos collègues à soumettre des propositions de cours en français pour notre Institut d’été en éducation (OSE – SIE). Partagez vos recherches, votre passion et vos connaissances avec la prochaine génération d’éducateurs, d’experts en éducation et d’agents du changement.

L’Institut d’été en éducation offre des opportunités d’apprentissage uniques aux éducateurs pour renforcer leur croissance professionnelle en mêlant connaissances pédagogiques théoriques et pratiques. Les instructrices et instructeurs aident à insuffler un engagement envers les connaissances professionnelles et promeuvent un développement professionnel continu.

Nous cherchons des instructrices et instructeurs qui partageront leur enthousiasme pour l’apprentissage continu et inspireront le personnel enseignant à toutes les étapes de leur carrière. Les instructrices et instructeurs conçoivent leur cours pour les étudiant.es du baccalauréat en éducation, des certificats et diplômes post-baccalauréat et post-baccalauréat ainsi que pour le personnel enseignant actuel dans le domaine à la recherche d’opportunités de développement professionnel.

Les cours durent généralement trois semaines à partir du 4 juillet OU du 25 juillet et seront offerts le matin ou l’après-midi du mardi au vendredi, sauf indication contraire. D’autres formats peuvent aussi être proposés.

Un minimum d’un diplôme de maitrise est requis pour offrir un cours.

Les instructrices et instructeurs peuvent soumettre une proposition selon leur expertise. Voici une liste non exhaustive de thèmes possibles :

  • Éducation en plein air
  • Changement climatique et questions environnementales
  • Éducation autochtone
  • Littératie numérique
  • Enseignement tenant compte des traumatismes
  • Élèves à besoins spécifiques
  • Design universel
  • Planification interdisciplinaire, intégration langue et contenu
  • Évaluation
  • Apprentissage par enquête

Les personnes intéressées doivent soumettre leur curriculum vitae, le titre du cours, la description, les objectifs et les résultats d’apprentissage avant 16 h le lundi 28 novembre.

SOUMETTEZ UNE DEMANDE ICI

* Chaque cours nécessite une soumission séparée.

Si vous avez des questions, veuillez envoyer un courriel à sie.education@ubc.ca ou à carl.ruest@ubc.ca.

Congratulations to Addie Mercuri for receiving the Outstanding Master-Level Award!

Addie is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Education program. She is a gifted educator and has optimized her studies to further this as gift as she has assumed teaching assistant roles supporting students in a variety of our programs. In addition, she engaged with the UBC Alumni Legacy Project, where she worked with other students and groups across campus on the “Green Ribbon Crewneck Initiative”.  This project aimed to develop greater mental health awareness and raise funds for the B.A.R.K. program. She brings an enthusiastic spirit to all that she undertakes and it’s greatly appreciated by all involved.

Q&A with Addie Mercuri

What does receiving this award mean to you?

To me, this award showcases how much opportunity there is within the Okanagan School of Education (OSE) for graduate students. I would not be able to receive this award if there were not opportunities available for me here. This award represents all the wonderful, insightful, and impactful experiences I have had in the various roles I have held throughout my graduate program. These positions have been as beneficial to my education as the courses I have completed and have allowed me to apply and interweave theories and practice. That is what I will be reminded of when looking back at this award.

What has your experience been like with the Okanagan School of Education?

I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to work and be a member of the OSE. I have had many conversations with members of the OSE throughout these years, and every person has genuinely asked about my own endeavors, and has offered guidance, resources, or encouragement in some capacity. I truly believe that my own philosophy of teaching and leadership has been strongly influenced by these conversations. I intend to remember these discussions fondly, as I hope to cultivate that same feeling of empowerment and confidence in future students I work with as these educators have done for me.

What is your research project?

My thesis research project is centred around exploring executive functioning skills (EFS) in first-year university students and the impact these skills may have on academic performance. EFS encompasses the board range of cognitive processes that allow students to participate in purposeful behaviour, such as organization, goal setting, time management, critical thinking, and problem solving. Additionally, the ability to employ these skills may differ from assigned at birth sex and age, which are two variables measured in this research as well. By surveying students self-perceived abilities to execute goal-oriented behavior and collecting demographic information, we can infer potential relationships between these factors and grades achieved in higher education.

Why did you choose that topic?

I am a lover of the brain and have started to enjoy searching topics around cognitive psychology in education. My goal coming into this program was to help students succeed in whatever goals they are aspired to achieve, especially in first-year students, as the first year can be particularly difficult for incoming students. Gaining a deeper understanding of how students view their own abilities in their decision-making skills towards purposeful behaviour can provide deeper insight on how to better support our students.

What advice do you have for future graduate students?

While completing your master’s in a timely manner is important, please do not forget what brought you to this program. Some sound advice I received from one of my research committee members was to not rush the completion of my thesis project simply to keep up with the timeline – continue to follow that passion and curiosity of education. My thesis has had many lives since starting this program, and I am grateful for it, because this journey brought me to research that I am genuinely excited about! The work ethic and motivation will ebb and flow, but the passion you have for your research topic will ground you throughout it. Enjoy the process!

 

Graduate Supervisor: Dr. Peter Arthur

Congratulations to Lola Gaius for receiving the Master-Level Outstanding Presentation/Publication award!

Question and Answer with Lola

What does receiving the award mean to you?

This award means a lot to me. When I started my program here at UBCO, I was full of self-doubt. I constantly second-guessed myself and did not feel I knew enough about anything to have an opinion. Being able to publish my thoughts in a peer-reviewed journal and now, to receive this award, is so validating. I feel more confident about myself as a scholar and a thinker, and I know that my ideas and thoughts are worth sharing.

What has your experience been like with the Okanagan School of Education?

My experience here has been nothing short of amazing. Even though the entire taught part of my M.A has been online due to the pandemic, I have felt supported. I have met Faculty members who have served as mentors and who have patiently guided me as I figured out who I am as an educator and helped me find my Voice. The classes I have taken were all safe, caring spaces in which everyone felt at liberty to wonder and explore without fear of censure. My course mates are awesome educators who come from diverse backgrounds, bringing with them a wide variety of experiences and viewpoints. I feel constantly inspired and challenged.

What is your research project?

My research is in change leadership. There is a huge gap between knowledge and practice in the field of education. We know so much about best practices and how to provide quality education, but somehow a large percentage of this knowledge sometimes does not translate into actual classrooms. I am exploring the factors that support, and the challenges that may limit, the implementation of innovative teaching practices in the classroom. I am focusing especially on transferability across contexts. Much of the available research is domiciled in Western/European contexts. What factors may hinder the transferability of these ‘best practices’ into contexts with different world views, cultural practices and social and economic circumstances?

Why did you choose that topic?

I chose this topic because of my experience as a classroom teacher attempting to put into practice evidence-based practices in my own classroom.  Due to the pandemic, I started my program online while I was still in my home country — Nigeria. I became immediately enamoured of constructivist approaches to learning because it lined up with what I instinctively felt was the best way to keep young learners engaged in school. I was therefore very eager to immediately begin practicing what I was learning.

I started to face challenges right from the start. There were cultural differences in the way classrooms are expected to be run in my context and what would be obtainable in a constructivist, inquiry-focused learning environment. There were social and economic realities that affected the availability of support and resources. There was resistance from colleagues who had a general belief that my ideas looked very good in theory, but would not work in our own contexts.

I still feel that a constructivist approach to learning is a very effective one which creates engaged learners and motivated teachers. By isolating and understanding factors that affect transferability of innovative teaching practices across contexts, I am hoping to become more effective as a change-leader.

What advice do you have for future graduate students?

Be open to new ideas, experiences and practices. The graduate program at UBC offers incredible diversity of thought and experience which you can harness to enrich your learning experience.

Our 2022 Stephen Daniel Pope Graduate Award and Doctoral-Level Outstanding Presentation recipient is Liz Saville!

In memory of Dr. Stephen Daniel Pope, this award is presented to an Okanagan School of Education graduate student who shows great promise in the field of education. Dr. Stephen Daniel Pope is remembered for his passion for education and his significant contributions to the public education system of British Columbia in the 1800s.

QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH SESSION WITH LIZ

What does receiving these awards mean to you?

I am very grateful and honored to receive both of these awards.

Receiving the Doctoral Studies Outstanding Conference Presentation encourages me in my efforts this year at both CSSE and AERA to help promote both my PhD research and other research activities I have been engaged with and inspire others in the field to consider thinking about what it means to build and support cultures of belonging in STEM classrooms.

It is especially humbling to be acknowledged with the Dr. Stephen Daniel Pope award. This award encourages me in the value of my graduate work this past year in thinking about equity in STEM education and in the plans for my upcoming PhD research activities. I am so thankful to be a part of the learning community here at the OSE.

What has been a highlight for you during your graduate student experience?

My highlight of this past year was attending and presenting at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference. The time spent at this conference was one of sharing, networking, learning, and just being with other people in-person who care about education – a true highlight for a graduate student who started her studies in the middle of a global pandemic!

Who inspires you, and why?

Though my graduate student experience I have been fortunate to work with many of the professors in the OSE who have introduced to me new ways of thinking, new people, new research, and new opportunities. I am very grateful for the ways in which these professors have each supported and inspired my continued growth as an educator and researcher in different ways.

What advice do you have for future graduate students?

Come into your graduate programs at the OSE with a receptivity to growth, challenge and opportunity and you will be rewarded. Take advantage of all that the OSE has to offer you. If you do – you will find yourself growing in your ways of thinking, being and doing with every course you take, in your interactions with OSE faculty and staff and through the research and learning opportunities that are available to you as a graduate student.

Congratulations to Michael Landry, our Vicki Green Graduate Award recipient!

The Vicki Green Graduate Award recipient is selected based on how their research will implement contemplative, transformational, imaginative or creative interdisciplinary understandings in sustainability for children, youth or teachers.

QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH SESSION WITH MICHAEL

What does receiving the award mean to you

It is an honour to receive the Dr. Vicki Green Award. As a PhD candidate, nature lover, and angler, it is especially meaningful to be acknowledged for my work and to see that the awards committee recognizes the value of my research to the field of education and the sustainability of the local community.

What has your experience been like with the Okanagan School of Education?

I joined the Okanagan School of Education as a student enrolled in the (Individualized) Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program in 2019. Right away, I felt like a welcomed and valued member of the learning community. I have worked as a sessional lecturer in the English Foundation Program and as a teaching assistant in the English Foundation Program and B.Ed. program. I have also served as a research assistant for several projects conducted at the Okanagan School of Education.

What is your research project?

The aim of the study is to uncover the relationship between intercultural communicative competence (ICC), local community and campus socialization by examining the inclusion of ICC learning incomes in an English Academic Program (EAP) course via an online module. The overarching research question for my study explores the relationship between ICC and learning English as an additional language in a post-secondary EAP setting and asks: How does the development of ICC relate to the development of overall EAL communicative competence in a post-secondary EAP program?

Why did you choose that topic?

Understanding the role ICC plays in the campus and community socialization of EAP students in Canada is one window into understanding if these students have an equitable educational experience. Consequently, my inquiry into the efficacy of ICC learning outcomes via an online module will likely help inform future teaching approaches, EAP programming, the professional development of faculty across campus, policies related to internationalization, the provision of services at Canadian post-secondary institutions, and the enhancement of local communities.

What advice do you have for future graduate students?

Getting the most from your graduate studies involves enjoying the process and celebrating the small victories and relationships you experience along the way. I also think it’s important for students to pursue inquiry into topics they are passionate about. Having that intrinsic motivation really helps you learn from perceived setbacks and keep progressing through your program.

 

Graduate Supervisor: Dr. Scott Douglas

Congratulations to Karin Wiebe, MA recent graduate, PhD student and graduate research assistant, for receiving a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship Master’s Award!

Karin has a wonderful record of service and contributions at the faculty, campus and community level along with excellent academic achievements. Recently, she was part of the graduate committee that planned and hosted a virtual graduate student symposium: Boundless: Transformative Education Practices and Research.

Karin’s study looked for the successful self-driven strategies, practices, and affordances used by newcomers engaged in language learning in the workplace. Using an additional language socialization theoretical framework, participants’ language learning strategies and perceptions were gathered through semi-structured interviews and a focus group. This study will assist in developing a deeper understanding of English as an additional language learning in the workplace, uncover self-driven language learning affordances which will be shaped into a set of workplace learning principles for newcomers to use, and inform future workplace language development courses.