Research in Focus Podcast

Research in Focus Podcast series features in-depth interviews and discussions with faculty members on their research activities and the impacts of their work locally and worldwide. Available on SoundCloud and iTunes

Episode 15: Dr. Rina Zazkis

Lesson Play in Mathematics Education

In this episode, Dr. Rina Zazkis, Canada Research Chair in STEM Teaching and Learning, shares insights from her book Lesson Play in Mathematics Education: A Tool for Research and Professional Development, co-authored with Dr. Peter Liljedahl and Dr. Nathalie Sinclair. The book outlines how play-writing engages teachers in considering vital issues in instruction, with an aim of enhancing learning experiences of students. This conversation also helps listeners understand Dr. Zazkis’ research into undergraduate mathematics education, focusing on mathematical content-knowledge of preservice teachers and ways this knowledge is acquired and modified.

Episode 14: Dr. David Zandvliet and Dr. Shannon Leddy

Marking Year 10 of the Institute for Environmental Learning

Join Josh Coward in conversation with Dr. David Zandvliet and Dr. Shannon Leddy, co-chairs of the Institute for Environmental Learning (IEL). Dr. Zandvliet describes his new role as a UNESCO Chair in Bio-Cultural Diversity and elaborates on the IEL’s award-winning work with the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association. Dr. Leddy notes how Indigenous approaches to knowledge and the voices of Indigenous and BIPOC people have been missing. As Drs. Zandvliet and Leddy both agree, the work must continue.

Episode 13: Dr. Kris Magnusson

Connecting Career Development and Mental Health in Schools

In this episode, Dr. Kris Magnusson, Professor and former Dean of the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, reflects on the connections between career development and mental health. Dr. Magnusson's research interest lies in career development, and in particular, understanding models of career development and the application of research to career counselling practice. As a recipient of a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, Dr. Magnusson and his team are working towards understanding the relationship between the outcomes of effective career development practices and the determinants of adolescent mental health.

Episode 12: Dr. Sean Chorney

Gerrymandering, Demonstrating How Mathematicians Raise Awareness and Imagination

In this episode, Dr. Sean Chorney, an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, proposes that mathematising aspects of our social world can help us to not only identify hidden problems, but to also formulate alternative conceptions of their causes and possible solutions. Dr. Chorney discusses the concept of gerrymandering, as a demonstration of how mathematics can raise awareness and imagination.

Episode 11: Dr. Joel Heng Hartse and Dr. Ismaeil Fazel

Remote Learning and Predatory Academic Publishers

In this episode, Dr. Joel Heng Hartse and Dr. Ismaeil Fazel speak about two projects related to academic literacy, remote learning experiences and learning to identify and understand predatory academic publishers. Remote learning has become the norm during this particular time in our history and both researchers are seeking to understand and learn more about how stakeholders are taking on the new realities of higher education. Also aligning with their research interest in academic literacy, Dr. Heng Hartse and Dr. Fazel advocate for educating students and scholars about predatory academic publishers.

Episode 10: Dr. Carolyn Mamchur

Writing, Engagement and Meaningful Learning

In this episode, Dr. Carolyn Mamchur, professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, discusses the process of writing.  To write well at the university level, Dr. Mamchur advises knowing what the question you’re responding to is really asking, finding yourself and your particular interest in that question, doing your research and finding the connections amongst the ideas. She shares that writing is telling a story that creates a meaningful relationship with the readers or other researchers.

Episode 9: Dr. Heesoon Bai

Teacher Education, the Soil of Our Soul and Cultivating a Contemplative Practice

This past spring, Dr. Heesoon Bai delivered a research seminar at UBC on Soil, Soul, Society: Regeneration from the Vital-Core. Many of the ideas covered in that seminar came out of the collective experience of a group of educators formed by Dr. Bai that met continuously over 12 years. In this episode, we interview Dr. Bai to discuss some of the concepts that were covered in her seminar, including a proposal that all teachers should take what is akin to a Hippocratic Oath and the importance of cultivating a contemplative practice. Dr. Bai shares why self-reflection, self-awareness, self-knowledge and self-cultivation is an important part of being a teacher.

Episode 8: Dr. Huamei Han

The Intersection of Language, Religion, Identity and Migration

In this episode, Dr. Huamei Han shares her research in 1) language, religion and immigrant settlement; 2) youth and multilingual study and 3) multilingualism in Africa-China trade migration. Dr. Han also provides an exciting overview of an issue of Language Ideology, Christianity, and Identity: Critical Empirical Examinations of Christian Institutions as Alternative Spaces which features five articles by scholars from around the world.

Episode 7: Dr. Michelle Pidgeon

Indigenous Research Ethics and Indigenous Student Success

In this episode, Dr. Pidgeon introduces herself and her work studying higher education, which includes her look at research ethics and her work studying Indigenous student experiences in higher education. Dr. Pidgeon describes some of her international and inter-university collaborations, as well the holistic methodological approach that informs her choices in research. She also speaks to SFU Education's recent five-year plan and how we might respond to the Faculty's new calls for Indigenous initiatives within the university.

Episode 6: Dr. Natalia Gajdamaschko

Vygotsky and His Theories of Learning and Development

In this episode, Dr. Natalia Gajdamaschko describes the context and tradition of cultural historical activity theory, a school of thought in developmental psychology based on the early work of Lev Vygotsky and Alexander Luria. Dr. Gajdamaschko describes some of the basic ideas of and differences between play activity theory and learning activity theory. She also shares highlights of her recent work with the new BC curriculum as well as some of her hopes for the future.

Episode 5: Dr. Sharalyn Jordan

Re-Mapping Identities: Mitigating Harm with Conceptual Interventions

Working at the intersections of mental health and social justice, Dr. Sharalyn Jordan is using community-based research to advocate for access to refugee protection and psychosocial supports for people fleeing persecution related to sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (SOGIE). In this podcast, Dr. Jordan describes how the narrative accounts of LGBTQ+ refugees in Canada have impacted training in local settlement agencies, Federal Court decisions and new Federal guidelines on SOGIE refugee decisions.

Episode 4: Dr. Peter Liljedahl

Breaking out of Passivity: The Thinking Classroom

This episodes features 2017 Cmolik Prize Winner, Dr. Peter Liljedahl, and his research on vertical non-permanent surfaces (VNPS) and visibly random groupings as effective teaching practices in mathematics classrooms. Dr. Liljedahl describes how Building Thinking Classrooms, a mathematics teaching practice framework, was developed with, and for, mathematics teachers in British Columbia.

Episode 3: Dr. Engida Gebre

Critical Data Literacy of Young Adults: Learning and Making Sense of Online Data Sources

How do students learn, critique and understand online data sources? How do they make sense of the knowledge available in online representations? This episode focuses on Dr. Engida Gebre, who is the primary investigator of the Learning Design for Developing Young Adults Data Literacy and Representation Competences project. Dr. Gebre explores the questions: how do students learn, critique and understand online data sources? How do they make sense of the knowledge available in online representation?

Episode 2: Dr. Suzanne Smythe

New Cartographies: Troubling Academic Divisions

In this episode, Dr. Suzanne Smythe, associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, discusses her new collectively co-written book: Disrupting the Boundaries in Education and Research. The book, collaboratively composed by an interdisciplinary group of professors at Simon Fraser University, explores the question: “How can we work together in new ways across our scholarly locations of early childhood education, mathematics, language, adult learning, and teacher education?”

Episode 1: Dr. Charles Bingham

STEPS Forward Project: Providing Inclusive Support for Students with Developmental Disabilities

In this episode, Dr. Charles Bingham, a professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, discusses the STEPS Forward program, and in particular, discusses his project’s focus on post-secondary inclusion and providing support for students with developmental disabilities.