Where can you find SFU teacher-researchers on a Saturday? In the classroom.
On Saturday, April 26, 2014, 60 educators gathered at SFU Burnaby campus for the 1st annual M.Ed. EP Alumni conference. This event brought together graduates of the Masters of Education in Educational Practice (M.Ed. EP) Program.
The focus of this year’s conference was Caring, Communicating and Connecting– common themes in much of the research conducted by teachers in the program. The themes were also of interest because they map on to many core aspects of the new BC Curriculum, including a focus on social emotional learning, connecting students’ learning more directly with the world outside of school, and facilitating communication and cross-cultural understanding.
The keynote address was delivered by Alumna Lynn Wainwright, whose talk was entitled “The Spirit of Education: Connecting through First Peoples Principles of Learning.” Wainwrights’ address will be part of a documentary produced by New Era Films exploring her work to support teachers and students in bringing First Nations perspectives and pedagogies into the classroom and forging a culture of decolonization in schools.
Other sessions at the conference included panels of alumni from different educational settings speaking on the conference themes related to their research. Participants noted ‘points of convergence’ across the diverse inquiries and explored implications for their own practice.
Dr. Robin Brayne, Director of Field Programs and Graduate Programs in the Faculty of Education, noted that graduates of the M.Ed. EP program, with their skills sets and dispositions, are well positioned to lead the way in implementing the new curriculum.
The event was hosted by SFU Faculty of Education’s Field Programs and was organized by Dr. Cher Hill, and Alumni Belinda Chi, Laura Epp, Yasmin Jiwa, Andrea MacInnes, Astrid Pedneault, and Ruth Townsend.
The organizing committee looks forward to planning a similar conference on a larger scale next year to mark the 10th anniversary of the M.Ed. EP program and in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Simon Fraser University.