Lee Beavington

"Where else could I examine my—at first glance, divergent—passions in science and ecology, arts and writing, growth and spirituality, and weave these into my role as an educator?"

Program/Degree: Curriculum Theory & Implementation: Philosophy of Education PhD

Alumnus of: Arts Education MEd

I am an artist and scientist, and teach ecology, cell biology and genetics in the biology lab at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. I explore the spaces between and within creativity, nature, storytelling and personal transformation. For my doctoral research I travelled to the Amazon, and I have also designed a field trip-based course integrating ecological principles and the creative process.

What attracted you to come to SFU?

Experiential, engaging, interdisciplinary—these terms are haphazardly thrown around by nearly every institution, yet wholly embraced by SFU's Arts Education MEd program. Where else could I examine my—at first glance, divergent—passions in science and ecology, arts and writing, growth and spirituality, and weave these into my role as an educator?

Who is a faculty member you have enjoyed working with and in what way?

Every instructor has offered me inspiration as a scholar, teacher and human being. Susan O'Neill explored multi-modal learning, technology and multimedia, and also made a five-hour class engaging. Carolyn Mamchur taught me how to weave scraps of life into succinct narratives that captured my life subject. Celeste Snowber danced our class beyond our conventional learning towards new and embodied inquiries.

During my second year, Vicki Kelly challenged me to be a wayfinder in my learning, and to cultivate a nascent talent through métissage. Lynn Fels encouraged me to embrace spontaneity and role-play while teaching in a science lab. Michael Ling took us on an anthropological journey of the origins and language and music, and had us present our life transformations through song.

What inspires you to learn and to continue your education?

The perfect symmetry of ferns. The clarity of words. The arms of octopuses. The creativity of science. The science of art. The unity in variety. The discovery that all departments and disciplines arise from the same root. We are all multidisciplinarians.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Ask the important questions, and choose to have the conversations that matter. I love collaborating, and can be reached at lbeaving@sfu.ca or via my website.