UBC Instructors & Course Development

Seventeen UBC courses will be implemented online and/or face to face in Dadaab with Year 1 (Yr1) courses that began in August 2014, in conjunction with courses being offered through Moi University. Dr. Graham Lea and UBC graduate student Hezron Onditi successfully taught the first two UBC courses on the ground in Dadaab in August of 2014. Dr. Kedrick James taught in Dadaab from a distance through online technology.  In late November of 2014, Dr. Cynthia Nicol, Dr. Karen Meyer, and Bruce Gurney travelled there to teach. Others from UBC have gone to teach in Dadaab since then we we continue our research and educational programming. We hope to share their stories and photos with you soon! All instructors are preparing their courses for delivery over the next three years.

Note: +Denotes members of SSHRC Insight Grant Research Team investigating living, learning, and teaching in Dadaab. All students take courses marked (*) from UBC plus 2 teaching methods in Yr 1 and 1 teaching method in a subject area. 24+4+2=30 total credits. Some courses are still being developed and assigned to instructors. 


UBC Instructors & Faculty Supporting the Dadaab Teacher Education Program:

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Dr. Rita Irwin | Practicum & Program Coordinator

Rita L. Irwin is Professor of Art Education and the Associate Dean of Teacher Education at the University of British Columbia.  Her research interests include teacher education, arts education, international education, and socio-cultural issues.  She has been very active with UNESCO over the last decade working to increase the visibility of arts education world-wide. She is also very committed to teacher education and especially ongoing teacher development, and has been pivotal to a provincial-wide mentoring program for early career teachers. In relation to the Dadaab project, she is one of three UBC program coordinators responsible for the design and implementation of the Secondary Teacher Education Program.  As one of the co-investigators of the research project, she is committed to studying teaching, learning and living in the Dadaab Refugee Camp. | Contact email: rita.irwin@ubc.ca

Dr. Samson Nashon | Practicum & Program Coordinator

Samson Nashon is a science educator whose research focuses on ways of teaching and learning including African students’ ways of knowing and kinds of science in Kenyan “Harambee” schools. Dr. Nashon is very involved in Kenya and provides cultural knowledge/context to the research team as well as a crucial cultural liaison between the UBC and Kenyan researchers. | Contact email: samson.nashon@ubc.ca

Dr. Karen Meyer+ | EDUC 170

Karen Meyer has expertise in narrative inquiry and teacher education in urban and inner-city contexts. She has worked with practicing teacher-researchers for 12 years (9 MEd cohorts, 225 teachers), supervising over 75 major research papers related to teachers’ research. Many of the graduate students Dr. Meyer supervises are teachers in classrooms that include immigrated and refugee children and their families. | Contact email: karen.meyer@ubc.ca

Dr. Cynthia Nicol+ | EDUC 176 & EDUC 276

Cynthia Nicol has research projects focusing in the areas of teacher education, mathematics education, Aboriginal education, and culturally responsive research ethics and teaching practices. She has vast expertise in the use of participatory action research approaches, teacher inquiry, and culturally responsive research. Dr. Nicol is responsible for the overall coordination of the SSHRC project. She has experience managing research collaboratives and was lead investigator on five major funded projects. | Contact email: cynthia.nicol@ubc.ca



Dr. George Belliveau | Course TBD

George Belliveau, Professor of Theatre/Drama Education at UBC, has interests and expertise in teacher education, research-based theatre, drama and social justice, drama and L2 learning, arts across the curriculum, and arts and health research.  His scholarly and creative writing can found in various arts-based and theatre education journals, along with chapters in edited books.  His most recent book Stepping into Drama (2014) is published by Pacific Educational Press. | Contact email: george.belliveau@ubc.ca


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Dr. Graham Lea | EDUC 172 (TA for Dr. Kedrick James)

Graham W. Lea holds a PhD in Language and Literacy Education focusing on theatre research methodology.  Previously he taught high school computer science, mathematics, and English primarily in Canada but also in Kenya, Japan, and South Korea.  At the university level he has taught courses and given workshops in language across the curriculum, role dramas, and monologue building as self-reflection. | Contact email: grahamwlea@yahoo.ca


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Hezron Onditi | EPSE 171 (TA for Dr. Jennifer Vadeboncoeur)

Hezron Z. Onditi is a PhD student in Human Development, Learning and Culture in the Department of Educational Psychology, Counselling, and Special Education at the University of British Columbia. Before joining his PhD, he has worked for five years as a faculty member at Dar es Salaam University College of Education in Tanzania. His research interests are in life skills development, cyberbullying, school bullying, and coping strategies in children and adolescents. | Contact email: hezndit@yahoo.com

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Dr. Jennifer Vadeboncoeur | EPSE 171 

Jennifer Vadeboncoeur is Associate Professor of Human Development, Learning and Culture at the University of British Columbia. Her research focus is on the creation of flexible learning contexts with young people and spans programs across the US, Australia, and Canada. Recent work includes editing and contributing to the NSSE Yearbook, Learning In and Across Contexts: Reimagining Education (2014). | Contact email: j.vadeboncoeur@ubc.ca


Dr. Kedrick James | EDUC 172 & EDUC 175

Bio coming soon. His website is: http://kedrickjames.net. | Contact email: kedrick.james@ubc.ca


Bathseba Opini | EDUC 173 & EDUC 273

Bathseba Opini holds a PhD in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her research and teaching focuses on issues of equity and inclusion, teacher education, social studies, disability and international education. Previously, she taught at the Universities of Toronto and Ryerson. She also taught Socials and Kiswahili in elementary and high schools in Kenya. | Contact email: bathseba.opini@ubc.ca

Instructor TBD| EDUC 275 

Bio coming soon | Contact email: coming soon

Instructor TBD | EDUC 490

Bio coming soon | Contact email: coming soon


Instructor TBD | EDUC 174 & EDUC 274

Bio coming soon | Contact email: coming soon

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Bruce Gurney | EDUC 177

Bruce Gurney has been a secondary science teacher in BC schools for 36 years and an instructor of science education methodology at UBC since 1985. The simultaneous instruction has afforded him a unique perspective of both teaching and teacher education. He has been awarded teaching prizes in both contexts, and has been a contributor to projects in curriculum development and assessment at the provincial level as well as a co-author of two BC science textbooks. His interests include motorcycle touring, the great outdoors, and the joys of being a grandfather. | Contact email: gurneyb@gmail.com


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Dr. Elizabeth Jordan | EPSE 271 & EDUC 278

Dr. Elizabeth Jordan is a Senior Tenured Instructor in the Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology & Special Education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Her areas of particular interest are Problem-Based Learning (PBL), Gifted Education and classroom environments that supports creativity. Along with numerous articles, she has co-authored two textbooks for pre-service teachers using PBL: Educational psychology: A problem-based approach (2006) and Problem-based learning in inclusive education (2000). | Contact email: elizabeth.jordan@ubc.ca


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Dr. Marina Milner-Bolotin | Course TBD

Dr. Marina Milner-Bolotin is a science educator and an educational researcher. She has been teaching mathematics and physics for more than 20 years in Europe and North America. Currently she investigates how technology can be used to promote the learning of physics and mathematics and to improve science teacher education. Her blog with updated information can be found here: http://blogs.ubc.ca/mmilner/ | Contact email: marina.milner-bolotin@ubc.ca


Joanne Melville | EDUC 272

Joanne Melville has been a teacher  in the Vancouver School system and a Faculty associate at UBC. At the VSB  she taught General Science as well as Physics 11 and Chemistry  11 and 12. At UBC she taught Principles of Teaching, Communications, General Science Methods and Chemistry Methods. Her areas of interest include the Development of Critical Thinking Skills, Science Access (Founding member of the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology and the BC Science Fair Foundation), and Curriculum Development (Member of the Science and Technology 11 curriculum committee and Chair of the Career Preparation in Science and Technology Committee 12). She was awarded the National Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Science Technology and Mathematics, the BC Science Teacher’s Association Award for Outstanding Science Teaching and the BC Science Council Award for Innovation in Education. | Contact email: jmmelville@gmail.com


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Dr. Theresa Rogers | EDUC 280

Theresa Rogers is a Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia.  Her research interests include Adolescent/Youth Literacy Practices, Community Arts, Media and Digital Literacy Practices among Adults and Youth, Teacher Education in English/Literacy, and Critical Perspectives on Young Adult Literature.  She has conducted research in classrooms and communities in Columbus, Ohio, Vancouver and Botswana, with a particular focus on supporting participants as they develop critical literacy practices and skills.  Her website is theresarogers.ca | Contact email: theresa.rogers@ubc.ca



Dr. Natasha Boskic | Educational Technology Support

Natasha Boskic works as a Senior Manager, Learning Design in the office of Educational Technology Support (ETS) in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Her main work is around technology enhanced learning,  instructional design and faculty training. Natasha’s  specific focus is on online collaborative and communication strategies, student engagement, different delivery models and culturally-responsive instruction. She has managed various projects in the area of eLearning, locally in Canada and internationally, such as ePortfolio implementation, accessibility issues, Aboriginal education, Faculty development and training, Mobile technologies, and others. She is a sessional instructor in the Master’s of Educational Technology Program at UBC. Natasha obtained her undergraduate degree in English Language and Literacy at the University of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia (now Serbia), her Masters in Distance Education from Athabasca University, Canada and a Ph.D. degree in Language and Literacy Education at UBC, focusing on ethics in game worlds. Full CV available at: http://onlywords.ca/cv. | Contact email: nboskic@mail.ubc.ca


Dr. Lorrie Miller | Program Coordinator for Student Services, Teacher Education Office (TEO)

Lorrie Miller holds a Ph.D from UBC in Curriculum Studies in the area of Art Education. Her primary roles in the TEO are to support teacher candidates in the B.Ed program along with advising practicing teachers as they pursue their professional development through Diplomas and Certificates in Education. She previously taught in Vancouver public adult education programs in the subjects of Art, Communication, and English. Recognizing the challenges that adult learners face as they seek to complete a basic education, her focus had been to support learners through providing flexible learning environments and individually meaningful content. She presently supports the coordination of the Dadaab project. Her experience in this project links to her earlier career in teaching at-risk adult learners and her current work in teacher education. | Contact email: lorrie.miller@ubc.ca


Blake Smith | PhD Candidate, Curriculum Studies & Art Education

Dadaab GRA UBC/BHER | Blake Smith is a Liu Scholar at UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues, co-curator of the Liu’s Lobby Art Gallery, and an instructor/Faculty Advisor in Teacher Education. She is a former high school photography teacher from Atlanta, GA, USA. Her current arts-based research interests focus on memory, loss, photography, creative writing, and art teacher education. Committed to the work of social justice via education and the arts, Blake is involved in the Dadaab project as a believer in education as a human right. Recent publication: What Remains: Photography & The Poetics of Loss (Visual Inquiry 3(2), 2014) | Contact email: blakesmith.ubc@gmail.com for any comments or questions about content on this website.

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Kimberly Baker | PhD Student, Curriculum Studies & Art Education 

Kimberly Baker is a PhD student in Art Education within the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver Canada. Her research aims to explore the impacts of peace education through the expressive arts within Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya. | Contact email: info@kimberlybaker.ca


Samira Thomas | Masters Student

Bio coming soon | Contact email: samira.thomas@gmail.com