Carolina Lopez

"I was looking for a program which could help me deepen my understanding of how we learn and this program was just what I was looking for."

Year Graduated: 2015
Program/Degree: C&I Imaginative Education MEd

I was born and grew up in Mexico. I lived here until I was 23 and decided it was about time to have an international experience. That's one of the reasons why I was looking for a master's program outside of Mexico. I studied Education at a university in Mexico and I've had experience teaching in kindergarten, in special education institutions, and ESL to children and adults. I treasure our human capacity of learning, and this process intrigues me and amazes me more each time.

Please tell us how you first discovered your program.

I was looking for M.Ed. programs around Vancouver and found the Imaginative Education program very interesting. I started reading about it and I decided to apply because it is a theory that was born at SFU. I was looking for a program which could help me deepen my understanding of how we learn and this program was just what I was looking for.

Please tell us why you chose the Faculty of Education at SFU for your studies.

I chose the Faculty of Education at SFU because of the Imaginative Education program. As I mentioned above, I considered it a good opportunity because it is a theory that was born at SFU and our instructors are the pioneers of implementing it within the education system.

Who is a faculty member you have enjoyed working with and why?

I enjoyed working with all of my instructors, cohort and the EGSA executive committee, but mainly I would say with Dr. Gillian Judson and Dr. Kieran Egan. They both provided me with insightful guidance and constructive feedback on my work as a research assistant and as a graduate student. They also encouraged me to pursue my career goals and have been supporting me in my current work in Mexico, adding Dr. Mark Fettes support and guidance as a new IERG Director.

What do you miss most about your graduate studies in the Faculty of Education?

I miss learning from my cohort and our conversations that enriched our courses.

What would you say to prospective students who are considering graduate school in the Faculty of Education?

Your experience will be as rich as you are willing to live it. You'll have wonderful people around to guide and support you. Be kind and patient with yourself throughout your learning process. It is not always rainbows and butterflies but it is definitely worth it.

Is there anything else you wish to share?

During my studies, I started working as a research assistant with the Imaginative Education Research Group (IERG). I started reconnecting IERG’s contacts mostly from Mexico, made some new ones, and assisted with all our Spanish-speaking contacts. I continued working more closely with the Imaginative Literacy Program and Learning in Depth program, and found an increasing interest with Mexican educators.

After I finished the M.Ed. program, I decided to go back to Mexico and strengthen the relationships we had made. Since the first opportunity I had sharing what I was learning (and continue to learn) to educators from my home country, I knew that it was what I wanted to do. So, in May 2017, I officially constituted an educational consulting company called “Educación Imaginativa de México S.C.”. The purpose  of this company is to make Imaginative Education’s principles and practices available to Mexican educators from all disciplines and levels.

I have been working with a business partner in Mexico and with the Imaginative Education Chilean team. We have been teaching workshops and courses in some cities around the country. We have many projects we are aiming to run within the next months, but the key has been opening up to people who are committed to education regardless of their field of study or work. Many doors have been opening and I hope they continue to open as long as they lead us to real and sustainable change in the Mexican education system.