Jennie Blankinship is from the unceded traditional territories of the Nlakapamx and Secwepemc nations in the interior of BC. She has extensive knowledge in Indigenous student recruitment, student services, event planning, curriculum development, and program planning. Jennie has a Bachelor of Arts degree from SFU and a Master of Arts degree in Indigenous Governance (MAIG) from UVic. Her focus is on indigenous research, protocols, governance, cultural knowledge, language revitalization, holistic healing and spiritual awareness.
Dr. Annabella Cant’s dream is to continue the conversation she started in her research around Somatic Understanding and how by acknowledging it we might erase the disconnect that exists between ECE and further schooling. She would also love to amplify the foundational role of educators in nurturing children’s imaginative qualities by not restricting creativity in the name of false “academic” purposes. She also plans to advocate for the importance of a fluid and organic transition between the Somatic, Mythic Kinds of Understanding and following ones described in Imaginative Education.
Dr. Anne Chodakowski is a former high school English and drama teacher. Since 2004, she has been involved in numerous aspects of imaginative education, including research, writing, and teaching. She is currently a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She also delivers workshops on various aspects of imaginative education. Her areas of interest are imaginative teacher education, literacy, drama education, assessment and orality. Anne lives in Squamish, British Columbia.
Kate Charette is an East-coaster, educator, mom, and military spouse. Her research interests include historical thinking in the K-2 grades, ways Imaginative Education can strengthen Social Studies and History teaching, educator professional learning, and online learning. She is particularly interested in how teachers use the elements of story to do Social Studies with orally literate students, and how the story forms we use in the classroom shape how we understand ourselves and others. The next research question she would like to pursue is: What elements of the imagination are elementary Social Studies teachers already engaging in the classroom, and what would they like to do more of?
Dr. Catherine Chua is an Associate Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. She was born in Singapore and received her education and teacher training qualification in Singapore. She moved to Australia in 2000 to complete her MA in English at the University of New South Wales, and PhD in Educational Studies at the University of Queensland. Catherine’s research interests include educational policy, leadership studies, language planning and policy, globalisation and educational reforms, 21st century skills and competencies, language and culture, as well as postcolonialism. She hopes to encourage more innovative practices and ‘playful’ learning in all aspects of teaching and learning.
Victor Elderton is a PhD student and graduate Mentor at SFU, Faculty Advisor at UBC and a retired principal/outdoor educator. His questions: How does nature inform who I am? How does nature influence my practice? How can I bring the more-than-human into who and what I embody as a person and an educator? These are the key questions, central to the research that he is most intrigued by. In practical way he also wants to grapple with ideas inherent in “praxis”. What might be the processes and potential learning structures I engage in to enhance heuristic transformational learning possibilities? These are ingredients that have brought him into the mycelial net of Imaginative Education.
Jennifer Fane is a teacher, researcher, PhD Candidate, and Faculty Associate in the Professional Development Program at SFU. An SFU grad, Jennifer has recently returned from Australia, where she as been working as an academic at Flinders University in the areas of early childhood and health education. An advocate for the value of interdisciplinary thinking and working, her PhD is in the Discipline of Public Health and explores preschool aged children’s understandings and experiences of their own wellbeing during the transition to school through a child-centred participatory research paradigm. Jennifer’s broader scholarship focuses on sociological perspectives of health and wellbeing and how this work is situated in teacher education programs.
David Futter is a retired middle school teacher, settled on the unceded territories of the Songees and Esquimalt Nations (Lekwungen). He has an MEd in Imaginative Education and began one of the original Learning in Depth programs. David’s research interests include: Imaginative Literacy teaching, Imaginative History teaching, Imaginative Ecological Education, Learning in Depth, and the power of story. He has been a consultant and workshop presenter on IE since 2008. David is passionate about educational change that aligns with Vygotsky’s educational ideas in general and Imaginative Education in particular.
Adriana Grimaldo is co-founder Educación imaginativa Mexico, instructor at Elena Garro Cultural Center, and an MEd student in Creativity and Imaginative Education. She has been actively involved in sharing about Imaginative Education in Mexico. She has put Imaginative Education into practice by teaching ethics to teenagers, through the novels she has written: Valles y Alturas, Editorial Progreso (2009); De Noche, Editorial Progreso (2011) and Viento Austral, Editorial Progreso (2012). She is also coauthor of Imaginative Education An Approach By Kieran Egan (Educación imaginativa: Una aproximación a Kieran Egan); Morata (2017), a book published in Spanish to spread IE in Spanish speaking countries.
Yi Chien (Jade) Ho is a teacher, researcher, community organizer and PhD Student in the Faculty of Education at SFU. She was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Belize in 2003. She now lives in Vancouver, the unceded Territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) peoples. Jade was a community-based researcher at the Maple Ridge Environmental School Project, BC. She is an organizer with Chinatown Concern Group, an anti-gentrification and anti-racism grassroots organization based in Vancouver’s Chinatown. She works in community and movement outreach for the Teaching Support Staff Union at SFU. Her doctoral research centers on decolonization in cross-cultural contexts and the connection between place, land and identity in marginalized communities in Taiwan and in Vancouver.
Kavita Hoonjan is a passionate, imperfect teacher always striving to make the teaching/learning dynamic meaningful, engaging and authentic, and a proud believer and practitioner of Imaginative Education pedagogy. Kavita has been a K-7 French Immersion Teacher, a Faculty Associate at SFU and is currently a Program Coordinator in the Professional Development Program at SFU. Her passions include Learning in Depth as a form of inquiry, but also to further develop and enhance language acquisition in additional language learning settings. Currently in teacher education and unable to actively implement IE pedagogy in her role, her hope is to spread the work of CIRCE and to engage the teacher education community in innovative practice with adults.
Dr. Gillian Judson teaches in the Faculty of Education at SFU and supervises all programs in Imaginative Education. Her scholarship focuses on the role of imagination in all learning, imaginative and ecological teaching, educational program design, educational change, educational leadership, online learning, and museum education. Her latest books include Imagination and the Engaged Learner: Cognitive Tools for the Classroom(2016), Engaging Imagination in Ecological Education: Practical Strategies For Teaching(2015), and A Walking Curriculum(2018). Gillian is the Executive Director for the Centre For Imagination In Research, Culture And Education (CIRCE).
Andrea Leveille is a lifelong learner, mother, educator, performer, and enthusiastic researcher. Her current research focuses on offering collaborative meaning-making opportunities to audiences and artists by integrating digital technologies into talkback sessions at arts events. On a larger scale, she wants to understand why so many Canadians value the arts and yet so few regularly attend arts events. She believes that the answer to this question will be as complex, imaginative, varied, and exciting as our Canadian community. Her hope is that facilitating unexpected and diverse collaborations will lead to strategies that increase opportunities for all Canadians to have meaningful arts experiences.
Dr Jailson Lima has a background in both Chemistry (B.S., M.S., Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry) and Education (high-school teaching certificate, M.Ed. in College Teaching). Before joining the Chemistry Department of CEGEP Vanier College in 2000, he taught in Brazilian high schools and universities for ten years. Since 2009, he has been involved with curriculum development with the aim of exploring the visual arts to enhance the learning of scientific concepts while promoting disciplinary integration. Jailson is leading CIRCE’s STEAM initiative.
Carolina Lopez teaches English as a Second/Foreign Language and is a lecturer in education and pedagogy for undergraduate programs at the National Pedagogic University in México. She mentors pre-service teachers at the Teachers College of Sonora, where IE is offered as a line of research. She supports students with their understanding and initial implementation of IE within their selected topics for their thesis projects.Carolina graduated from the MEd in IE program in 2015 and has been actively involved in sharing about IE in Mexico since then. She is also part of the IE Mentor program and is always interested in learning more about giving imagination and emotion their place in classrooms.
James Johnson has served as a school teacher in the Surrey School District for thirty years, has worked as a Faculty Associate in the Professional Development Program and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Simon Fraser University. He is working with youth who have left mainstream schooling and have chosen to pursue graduation in an alternate school setting. His current focus is the integration of hermeneutical enquiry and Imaginative Education with trauma-informed theory and practice.
Dr. Petra Mikulan currently holds a SSHRC-funded and a Killam funded postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Educational studies at UBC, and her aim is to develop concepts for educational governance and policy that emanate from new modes of knowing life, and specifically, the advancements in neuroscience. Her research is focused on concept development and its relationships to ideas of vitalism and life as they pertain to curriculum theory. The objectives of her research are to a) examine the policy and governance effects of the life sciences on school operation; and b) facilitate new partnerships (e.g., neurologists, geneticists, educators, teacher educators) in order to develop new modes of interdisciplinary research to better understand the augmentations and optimizations of life, genes, and neurological functioning when applied in school settings.
Dr. Laura Piersol is ever grateful to be living and learning on Coast Salish territory in British Columbia, Canada. She currently works for Simon Fraser University helping in-service teachers (K-12) find ways to include the local land, Nations and community as co-teachers within their practice. In addition, Laura helped to start two ecologically focused public elementary schools, the Maple Ridge Environmental School and NEST (Nature Education for Sustainable Todays and Tomorrows), where she continues to work as an educational researcher. Her main teaching and research interest lies in finding educational responses to current ecological crises and injustices.
Michael De Danann Sitka-Sage is a humanities teacher, a doctoral candidate and occasionally a poet. He is a member of the Academic Council for the Center for Imagination in Research, Culture and Education (CIRCE) and assistant director of Imaginative Ecological Education. His research draws on lyric philosophy and the hermeneutic tradition to examine place-based education, indigenous ways of knowing, and ecological ethics in the context of settler colonialism and the sixth extinction. His work aims at cultivating an ecosophic disposition in order to recognize the significance of wisdom traditions, contemplative practices and critical reflexivity in a more-than-human world. He also likes long walks in the forest.
Dr. Poh Tan is a scientist with a PhD in stem cell biology, who is also pursuing a second PhD in science education at Simon Fraser University. Her research is focused on understanding and developing scientific literacy in young children. She developed a scientific theoretical framework through which she seeks to understand the context necessary to nurture scientific dispositions in young children. More importantly, she seeks to understand what is required to combine the dispositions of observing, listening, evaluating, and questioning with inclinations of the heart. Poh believes that, integrating interpretations of the heart with objective views of science through imagination, will help us appreciate the world and each other more.
After 20+ years living and teaching in 5 countries, Robin Ulster and James Denby returned to Canada and decided to work on all those ideas that came to them over the years (“Hey, we should write a book about…”) but never had the time to complete. They create educational experiences designed to immerse students in the large questions that shape their past, present, and future and ask them to imagine new paths. And they work with teachers, students, and schools to tie technology and design learning to students’ ability to imagine a better future.
Dr. Tim Waddington possesses over 25 years of experience as a public school educator and advocate for children and youth. With advanced degrees in Education Leadership and the Philosophy of Education, Tim infuses a rich and creative understanding of Imaginative Education into both his teaching and research. In addition to his work with CIRCE and imaginED, Dr. Waddington currently holds a position of Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at UBC. For CIRCE Tim leads work on Imaginative Historical Inquiry, with particular interest in Philosophic and Ironic Understandings. His ongoing research is centered upon theories of imagination, irony, ethics in curriculum, and possible existential outcomes for both teachers and learners alike.
Dr. Christine Younghusband is a Lecturer at UNBC in the School of Education. She is a former secondary math teacher and taught in BC public schools for 16 years. Christine completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership at SFU and during this time she served as a school trustee, educational consultant, curriculum developer, and sessional instructor at SFU and St. Mark’s College. She is an Affiliated Scholar at CSELP at SFU, #bcedchat co-moderator on Twitter, and BCAMT committee member. Christine’s research interests include mathematics education, professional learning experiences, subject matter acquisition, policy and practice, formative assessment, and teacher mentorship.