Developing Minds 2021

Keynote Speaker

Keynote will be delivered live.

Simona Capisani

Simona Capisani

Bio: Simona Capisani is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University researching climate change-induced displacement. Affiliated with the Mahindra Humanities Center , she’s part of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation research seminar on Migration and the Humanities. Simona earned her PhD in Philosophy from the University of California, Irvine in 2018 and her MA in Philosophy from San Francisco State University in 2012.

Her areas of research and teaching specialty are in Political Philosophy and Ethics (Normative and Applied) with a focus on issues that intersect matters of climate equity, gender, environmental justice, and global and social justice.

Keynote Presentation: Philosophy and Inclusive Pedagogy

The talk will focus on two central components involved with building an inclusive classroom. Firstly, working towards inclusivity involves both integrating and amplifying experiential knowledge. A second important aspect of inclusive pedagogy is a deliberate and transparent reinforcement and focus on skill-based development and growth. We will explore why these elements are important for addressing obstacles that often contribute to the exclusion of members of marginalized groups in the context of teaching Philosophy. We will also discuss concrete examples of learner-centered practices, strategies, assignments, and classroom exercises. These can be used in the development of inclusive Philosophy curricula but can also be adapted and incorporated into curricula that wishes to integrate philosophical inquiry to develop both critical thinking and imaginative processes.

Power Talks for Breakout Sessions

Power Talks will be delivered ahead of conference so delegates can read ahead at their own pace.
Delegates will explore further in small breakout groups during live interactive sessions guided by speakers and moderators.

Gillian Judson

Bio: Gillian Judson, a Developing Minds alum from 2019 and 2020, is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She teaches in Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction programs. Her scholarship looks at imagination’s role in leadership and learning (K-post-secondary). As a former Executive Director of the Centre For Imagination In Research, Culture, & Education (CIRCE), Gillian brought together the panel of PowerTalk speakers for Developing Minds 2020. 

Session Overview: The Walking Curriculum
This interactive break-out session will look at the Walking Curriculum as an example of Imaginative Ecological Education teaching practices. We will collaboratively explore how Feeling, Activeness and Place principles can be combined through inquiry-based outdoor activities to engage students with the mystery and wonder of the world around them as they meet curricular objectives.

Format: We will begin online in a large group and then we will break to sample the walks outdoors. We will return online to debrief and discussion in small groups.

Resources: Check these media clips for more details: Getting students thinking on their feet: "Walking curriculum" connects students with natural world  (CBC Listen - November 25, 2020) and A walking curriculum could be an important part of the future of education in BC (CFAX 1070 - November 24, 2020).

Tiffany Muller Myrdahl 

Bio: Tiffany Muller Myrdahl is a Senior Lecturer in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. Her research examines urban inequalities and inclusion strategies, especially those targeting women and LGBTQ2S communities. Tiffany is currently a Teaching Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and is exploring the role that experiential learning can play in pedagogies that promote student resilience.

Session Overview: This interactive session explores sense of place, safety, and belonging through mental mapping. This participatory method, which can be done individually and collaboratively, can be used to examine experiences of our everyday lives and movements to develop an understanding for sites of (dis)connection.

Calder Cheverie

Bio: Calder Cheverie is an independent media artist and inter-arts practitioner with a focus on filmmaking, lands-based education and maker-pedagogy. He is a graduate of the Indigenous Education: Education for Reconciliation Graduate Diploma in Education, and the Masters of Education: Place-Conscious and Nature-Based Practices program.

Calder is the co-founder of Mayfly: Land & Arts Society, which operates a 25-day artist residency that travels by canoe down the Yukon River. And he is a co-teacher with Indig Sk8, a program supporting students to design and build their own skateboards from scratch.

Session Overview: This session will explore story-telling in maker-pedagogy. We will look at tools and practices for honouring our own stories and the stories of our students, finding resonance in/with the land and place, and the importance of adult-led vulnerability in this work.

Format: Part reflective, part interactive, and part discussion. Bring pens, paper and your openness. (Possibility of going outside, have shoes ready).


Lori Villeneuve

Bio: Lori Villeneuve is a graduate of the Indigenous Education: Education for Reconciliation Graduate Diploma in Education and the Masters in Indigenous Education: Reconciliation and Resurgence program.

She teaches middle school in Langley and is also the Aboriginal Worldview and Perspectives Team Leader.  Lori developed a unique and transformative program at her school titled: OACES (Outdoor Aboriginal Community and Environmental Studies). The focus of the program is Indigenous pedagogies and perspectives and place -land-based teaching.  She works closely with Coast Salish Nations in the delivery of the program and continues to foster reciprocal relationships with local communities.

Session Overview: In this session Lori will share her story of how the exploration of her connection to land has allowed for a more authentic journey towards Reconciliation. She will share how she involves land based, nature responsive practices and Indigenous pedagogies to guide her students to re-member themselves as sacred interbeings of the Earth.

Format: We will begin in circle (virtually) for sharing then head to the outdoors for a reflective walk followed by a small sharing circle. Please have your journal and outdoor wear at hand.


  • Robin Wall Kimmerer — The Intelligence of Plants (podcast)
  • Robin Kimmerer - Mishkos Kenomagwen: The Teachings of Grass (YouTube)  

David Barnum

Bio: David (MEd at SFU) has worked in elementary classrooms, in a blended home-school/community framework, as a Curriculum Coordinator, with UBCO's Teacher Education and now in SFU's Faculty of Education: Advanced Professional Studies (GDE).

Translating research into practice, David co-developed and implemented the BC Children's Hospital Healthy Buddies Program. The team's study was published in the American Academy of Pediatrics & Canadian Journal of Diabetes; twice shortlisted twice for SFU's Cmolik Prize. He has authored a variety of educational resources and developed curriculum for the BC Ministry of Education.

Session Overview: Rethinking Learning Environments: Community as Classroom
The future of learning is a blend of traditional school structures and community-based environments. The Community as Classroom Framework is a compelling vision for connecting classrooms to local environments. Students of all ages find engagement through cross-curricular learning, based in place, exploring relevant topics and issues through using the communities as "the textbook".


  • Learn more from David's presentation for TEDxLangleyED
  • Place-based Education during the COVID-19 Crisis (podcast
  • Community as Classroom (CIRCE


In addition to our Keynote and Power Talk speakers, we have an additional three moderators who will guide interactive break out sessions around the themes presented above.

Lara Campbell

Bio: Lara Campbell is the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programming, Learning and Teaching, Student Experience. She is a Professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and an Associate Member of the Department of History.

She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Canadian women’s history, the history of social protest, the history of the 1960s, feminist theory, and gender studies. Her research on gender and women's history in North America is focused on the gendered history of the Canadian welfare state, the politics of social movements, and the history of women's political activism. 

Session Details: Lara will be facilitating discussion generated by keynote Simona Capisani's presentation.

Jessie Williams

Bio: Jessie Williams, of the Squamish Nation, is the Director of Indigenous Relations for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She holds a Master of Educational Administration and Leadership in Indigenous Education from the University of British Columbia. 

Jessie has eight years of experience in educational services, policy development and assessment, and in language revitalization. She has chaired the post-secondary subcommittee on the boards of the First Nations’ Educational Steering Committee; Capilano University’s Board of Governor’s Academic Review Committee; and the North Vancouver School District Aboriginal Planning Committee.

In 2010 Jessie was the special project lead for the Four Host Nations Society. This group was responsible for witnessing, naming and community celebrations for cultural and sports events, including protocol training for the City of Vancouver.

Session Details: Jessie will be facilitating an open discussion session. (to be confirmed)

Paula Rosehart

Bio: Paula Rosehart is the Associate Director, Advanced Professional Studies in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts Education, a Masters in Arts Education, and a PhD in Arts Education with a focus on somatic forms of knowing, being and doing in teacher education and classroom education.

Her primary areas of research include practitioner inquiry, in-service teacher education, interdisciplinary arts-based education, 'two-eyed seeing', and holistic approaches to learning and teaching.

Session Details: Paula will be facilitating an open discussion session generated on the topics of Lori, David and Calder's presentations. (to be confirmed)

Sean Zwagerman

Bio: Sean Zwagerman is an Associate Professor in the Department of English, and an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  He is interested broadly in rhetoric and writing, in the compositional relationship among the word, the self, and the world. His particular interests include the intersections of rhetorical theory and speech-act theory, the rhetoric of humour, and public outrage about plagiarism and student literacy. Sean presented on critical writing at Developing Minds 2019.

Session Details: Sean will draw on his Developing Minds experience and facilitate discussion on forming practical strateges for the classroom from our conference materials.