Sabre Cherkowski

Director, Graduate Programs

Education
Other Titles: Professor
Office: EME3171
Phone: 250.807.9306
Email: sabre.cherkowski@ubc.ca

Graduate student supervisor



Research Summary

Leadership, professional learning and development, educator well-being; learning communities and school organizing; reflective practice.

Courses & Teaching

Educational leadership; Diversity and Inclusion in Education

Biography

Dr. Sabre Cherkowski has been researching what it means for educators to grow their professional and personal potential toward flourishing at work. She has examined how teacher wellbeing contributes to building positive school experiences and the role of leadership for cultivating positive workspaces. In recognition of her innovative research, Cherkowski received UBC Okanagan’s 2020 Researcher of the Year award for Social Sciences and Humanities in 2020.

Degrees

BA, BEd, MEd, PhD University of Saskatchewan

Research Interests & Projects

Research Area: Organizational well-being and Flourishing in Schools

This research program is designed to explore how schools and people in schools flourish. Attending to strengths and positive outlooks, as opposed to a deficit-model of thinking, can increase resilience, vitality, and happiness and can decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. These findings from positive psychology have implications for how we think about the teaching and learning that goes on in schools and the benefits that may accrue from focusing on what works, what goes well, what brings vitality to people in schools. I bring ideas from the disciplines of both positive psychology and positive organization studies into the field of education to explore flourishing in schools.

A. Flourishing in Schools: Positive Leadership as a Catalyst for Sustainable School Improvement (2017-2020)

Project Description:

Aligned with the mounting international calls for more research on wellbeing in schools, the purpose of this research is to examine positive leadership in K-12 schools using a positive organizational perspective to understand how to foster, support, and develop school leadership that encourages and sustains a culture of flourishing for all members of the learning community. We primarily use qualitative research strategies to collect data among K-12 principals in school districts across Canada, carrying out case studies, engaging expert panel focus groups, and hosting a Forum-workshop in Year 3, where we we convene participants, researchers, practitioners and other interested stakeholders to co-construct new knowledges and practices about and for positive school leadership.

Co-investigator: Dr. Keith Walker (University of Saskatchewan), Dr. Benjamin Kutsyuruba (Queens University)

Funding Source: SSRHC Insight Grant, $176, 212 over 3 years, UBC BREB: H17-01030

B. Flourishing in Schools: A Positive Organizational Perspective

Project Description:

The specific objectives of this 3 year research project were to provide opportunities for teachers and other school leaders across BC and Saskatchewan to co-create knowledge with us about how individuals and groups flourish in schools. We carried out appreciative case studies and electronic delphi surveys to gather the narrative data that helped us bring to more concrete description the notion of flourishing from educators’ perspectives.

Co-investigator: Dr. Keith Walker, University of Saskatchewan, Faculty of Educational Administration

Funding Source: SSHRC Insight Grant, $185, 872 over 3 years UBC BREB: H12-03334

Research Area: Professional Development

A. Reciprocal Learning Teams: 21st Century Professional Learning

Project Description:

We are documenting the experiences of collaborative inquiry in collegial teams in school districts across BC and the Yukon. Through this research we aim to understand how to support and encourage ongoing collaborative inquiry as the foundation for innovative, inclusive, and vibrant professional learning cultures in schools.

Co-investigator: Dr. Leyton Schnellert

Funding Source: UBC’s Okanagan campus SSIG Internal Research Grant, $3000

Selected Publications & Presentations

Publications:

Books

Cherkowski, S. & Walker, K. (Eds.) (2018). Perspectives on Flourishing. Lanham, MD: Lexington

Cherkowski, S. & Walker, K. (2018). Teacher wellbeing: Noticing, nurturing, and sustaining flourishing in schools. Burlington, ON: Word and Deed Publisher.

Cherkowski. S., Hanson, K., & Walker, K. (2017). Mindful Alignment: Foundations of educator flourishing. Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Selected Peer-reviewed Journal Articles: 

Cherkowski. S., Kutsyuruba. B., Walker. K. (2020). Positive leadership: animating purpose, presence, passion and play for flourishing in schools. Journal of Educational Administration. DOI:10.1108/JEA-04-2019-0076

Cherkowski, S. (2018). Positive teacher leadership: Building mindsets and capacities to grow wellbeing. International Journal of Teacher Leadership, 9(1), 63-78.

Cherkowski. S. (2018). Mindful and wisdom-led leadership: Mapping the inner terrain of leadership. Journal of Authentic Leadership in Education, 6(2), 1-22.

Cherkowski, S. & Bradley-Levine, J. (2018). Surveying the field of teacher leadership: Looking Back. International Journal of Teacher Leadership, 9(1), 1-5.

Cherkowski, S. Hanson, K. & Walker, K. (2018). Flourishing in adaptive community: Balancing structures and Flexibilities. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 3(2), 123-136.

Cherkowski, S. Hanson, K. & Walker, K. (2018). Flourishing in adaptive community: Balancing structures and Flexibilities. Journal of Professional Capital and Community.

Cherkowski, S. & Schnellert, L. (2017a). Professional learning communities as emergent, responsive learning teams. Teacher Development, 22(2), 229-248.

Cherkowski, S. & Schnellert, L. (2017b). Exploring Teacher leadership in a rural, secondary school: Reciprocal learning teams as a catalyst for emergent leadership. International Journal of Teacher Leadership, 8(1), 6-25.

MacIntyre-Latta, M., Cherkowski, S., Crichton, S., Klassen, K. & Ragoonaden, R. (2017c). Investing in communities of scholar-practitioners. Teacher Learning and Professional Development, 2(1), 32-4.

Cherkowski, S. (2016). The role of the school principal in cultivating professional learning climates. Journal of School Leadership, 26(3), 523-543.

Cherkowski, S. & Walker, K. (2016). Flourishing leadership: Engaging purpose, passion, and play in the work of leading schools. Journal of Educational Administration, 54 (4), 378 – 392.

Cherkowski, S & Ragoonaden, K. (2016). Leadership for diversity: Intercultural communication competence as professional development. Teacher Learning and Professional Development 1(1), 33-43.

Hanson, K. & Cherkowski, S. (2016). Deepening Connectivity: learning about ourselves through others as a way to experience integrity as an inquiry educator. Electronic Journal of Living Theories, 8(2), 1-18.

Cherkowski, S., Kutsyuruba, B. & Walker, K. (2015). Principals’ moral agency and ethical decision-making: Towards transformative ethics. International Journal of Educational Policy and Leadership, 10(3), 1-17.

Kelly, J. & Cherkowski, S. (2015). Collaboration, collegiality and collective reflection: A case study of professional development for teachers. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 169, 2-27.

Richardson, P., Cherkowski, S., & Schnellert, L. (2015). Awakeness, complexity, and emergence: Learning through curriculum theory in teacher education. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 13(1), 139-167.

 

Conferences:

International

Cherkowski, S. (2014). The role of the principal in creating learning climates that foster a possibility-oriented culture of change in schools. A paper presented at the Commonwealth Council of Educational Administration and Management/Canadian Association of Educational Administration (CCEAM/CASEA) joint conference. Fredericton, NB, Canada, Jun 2-8.

Cherkowski, S. & Schnellert, L. (2014). Co-constructing a learning culture in the school: A case study of collaborative inquiry teams of secondary teachers. A paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Philadelphia, PA, Apr 2-7.

Cherkowski, S., Schnellert, L., Richardson, P. (2014). Teacher educator professional development as reflexive inquiry. A paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA, Apr 2-7.

Cherkowski, S. & Walker, K. (2012). Flourishing Leaders: Enriching human capacity development in schools. A paper presented the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, April 27-May 2.

National
Cherkowski, S. & Walker, K. (2016).  From functioning to flourishing: Researching school improvement from a positive organizational perspective. A paper presented at the Canadian Positive Psychology AssociationAnnual Conference, Niagara on the lake, Ontario. June 14-18.

Cherkowski, S. & Schnellert, L. (2016). Engaging and sustaining professional learning through teacher inquiry teams. A paper presented at CASEA for CSSE, Calgary, AB. May 28-June 1.

*Kelly, J., *Hanson, K. Cherkowski, S. & Walker, K. (2016). Flourishing in schools: Understanding how educators experience well-being in their work. A paper presented at CASEA for CSSE, Calgary, AB. May 28-June 1.

Cherkowski, S. Walker, K. & *Hanson, K. (Oct. 2015). Living flourishing: Reflections on researching and prototyping a framework to support and grow flourishing learning communities. A paper presented at the  CSLEE 19th Annual Values and Leadership Conference, State College, PA.

Cherkowski, S. & Schnellert, L. (April, 2015). Co-constructing a learning culture in the school: A case study of collaborative inquiry teams of secondary teachers. A paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Div K, Sec 3, Lives of Teachers, Philadelphia, PA.

*Kelly, J. & Cherkowski, S. (Jan., 2015). Collaboration, collegiality and collective reflection: A case study of professional development for teachers. A paper presented at the International Congress of School Improvement and Effectiveness (ICSIE), Cincinatti, Ohio.

Cherkowski, S. (Sept., 2014). Inquiring into the moral agency of teacher leadership: Transformational leadership at the intersection of authentic learning and mindful awareness. A paper presented at the Consortium for the Study of Leadership and Ethics and Education (CSLEE)19th Annual Values and Leadership Conference, Deerhurst, ON.

Cherkowski, S. & Walker, K. (2014). Compassion, hope and trust: A flourishing perspective on school improvement. A paper presented at the Annual Association for Moral Education, Pasadena, CA.

*Hanson, K. & Cherkowski, S. (Sept., 2014). Who is the self who leads? Establishing self-inquiry as a method for cultivating transformative leadership. A paper presented at the CSLEE 19th Annual Values and Leadership Conference, Deerhurst, ON.

Kutsuyruba, B., Walker, K. & Cherkowski, S. (Sept., 2014). Moral Agency and Ethical Decision-Making of Canadian School Principals. A paper presented at the CSLEE 19th Annual Values and Leadership Conference, Deerhurst, ON.

Cherkowski, S. (June, 2014). The role of the principal in creating learning climates that foster a possibility- oriented culture of change in schools. A paper presented at the Commonwealth Council of Educational Administration and Management/Canadian Association of Educational Administration (CCEAM/CASEA) joint conference. Fredericton, NB.

Cherkowski, S. & Schnellert, L. (April, 2014). Co-constructing a learning culture in the school: A case study of collaborative inquiry teams of secondary teachers. A paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Philadelphia, PA.

Cherkowski, S., Schnellert, L., Richardson, P. (April, 2014). Teacher educator professional development as reflexive inquiry. A paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.

Cherkowski, S. & Walker, K. (June, 2014). Flourishing in Schools: A Positive Organizational Perspective. A paper presented at the Commonwealth Council of Educational Administration and Management/Canadian Association of Educational Administration (CCEAM/CASEA)conference, Fredericton, NB.

 

Invited Presentations

Cherkowski, S. (Aug. 25, 2016). Creating your desired future: Learning to thrive together. Invited professional development workshop for SD 83, Summer Working Session, for district administrators. Salmon Arm, BC.

Cherkowski, S. (Feb. 19, 2016). A shift in perspective: Working together to flourish in school organizations. An invited keynote talk for the SD 23 Wellbeing Forum, Kelowna, BC.

Cherkowski, S. (Nov. 2015). Flourishing in schools: Understanding the work of teaching, leading and learning in schools from a positive organizational perspective. Invited webinar for the Canadian Positive Psychology Association.

Cherkowski, S. (March 2, 2015). Positive organisational research in schools: Examining conditions, factors and dynamics that shape educators’ sense of flourishing. Invited speaker for the Faculty of Education Celebrate Research Week Seminar, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC.

Cherkowski, S. & *Hanson, K. (Nov. 10, 2014). Engaging in self-full community. Invited workshop on collaboration as part of school-based teacher professional development day, Seaton Secondary School, SD 22, Vernon, BC. (presenter order is alphabetical)

Cherkowski, S., Macintyre Latta, M., Ragoonaden, K., & Whiteley, R. (Aug. 20, 2014). Mindfulness and educational leadership, SD 22 School Administrator Retreat, Vernon, BC.

Binfet, T., Cherkowski, S., Crichton S., Macintyre-Latta, M., (July 20, 2014). Multiple pathways into mindful learning, Faculty of Education Summer Institute in Education, Faculty Panel Presentation, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC.

Selected Grants & Awards

2020 Researcher of the Year, Social Sciences and Humanities, UBC Okanagan Research Office

Media

EdCan Network. Feb. 27, 2020, What does it mean to flourish in your work? Well at Work.  https://www.edcan.ca/articles/flourish-in-your-work/

 

 

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