Who I am
I am a media educator who, while completing my PhD, developed and implemented media education lessons using the educational theory of Imaginative Education as a means of providing student with the skills and confidence to critically examine the media.
I am currently working in the School of Communication at Capilano University as well as continuing sessional work in the Faculty of Education, Imaginative Education M.Ed program at Simon Fraser university.
I have been a consult for many schools and districts including Simon Fraser Elementary School in Vancouver, Armstrong Elementary School in Burnaby, North Vancouver Waldorf School and the North Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii school districts.
My Journey to become a media educator
While completing my Master of Arts in Communication Studies at Simon Fraser University, I had the pleasure of working extensively in the Media Analysis Laboratory with Dr. Stephen Kline and other amazing media researchers. During my time there I was part of various projects examining the increasingly media-saturated lives of families, media’s role in imaginative play and development and the potential of media education to mitigate negative implications of heavy media use.
The skill development and exposure to various research methods in the Media Analysis Lab allowed me to make connections overseas and engage in a yearlong study of the growing online gaming phenomenon in the early 2000s in South Korea. This research opportunity developed into my MA thesis: Informatization of a Nation; A Case Study of South Korea’s Computer Gaming and PC-Bang Culture. Little did I know at the time, this was one of the first gaming studies of what is now known as a thriving field: gaming research.
As I transitioned from my MA to my PhD, I connected with Dr. Mark Fettes as he embarked on a five-year project, the LUCID (Learning for Understanding through Culturally Inclusive Imaginative Education) Project which took place in Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii and Chilliwack. This new job involved a LOT of travel which allowed amazing chance meetings (on planes, trucks, ferries, forest paths…) with researchers, educators, students and philosophers all searching for deep, meaningful conversations about education, research and the potential of using a new education philosophy and framework: Imaginative Education.
All these connections, and my own journey to use Imaginative Education in classrooms, inspired my PhD thesis entitled Teaching the Media with Mouse Woman: Adventures in Imaginative Education, completed in the summer of 2014 with the incredible support and guidance of Dr. Mark Fettes, Dr. Kieran Egan, and Dr. Michael Ling.
Balance! I think we’ve arrived at a point where the idea of balance has emerged from the shadows and is something that we, and our students, are actively striving for. My work in IE and holistic models of education, like Rudolph Steiner’s work, reminds me that we need to seek balance in our abilities to think, feel, and do.
IE and Waldorf education have provided exceptional examples of imaginative teaching and a curriculum that connects with children at a deep and meaningful level. Developing our imaginations, our sense of focus and our will to engage critically in an ever-changing world is what I believe education can and should be. For me, media education can easily accomplish many of these goals. I am not adverse to using media, although I often advocate alternatives and a very balanced approach to its use. I do, however, know media literacy (including skills of decoding, analyzing, theorizing and creating) transcends the walls of the school and can provide students with what they will need to engage in the 21st Century.
- (2007-2009) Doctoral Fellowship Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
- (2009) Graduate Fellowship
- (2008) President’s PhD Research Stipend
- (2004) International Reading Scholarship
- (2003) Simon Fraser University Graduate Matching Fellowship
- (2001) Simon Fraser University Graduate Fellowship