Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. – John Dewey
Unlike Mark Twain who famously mused “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”, I prefer to let my education inform my schooling. I use the term education here in the broadest sense of its meaning – as an enlightening experience – necessarily unbundling it from schooling to grow its meaning from the seeds of life experience. My interdisciplinary philosophy of education stems my scholarship of translational research, applied design and learning technology. My teaching and research emerge from the principle that personal, social and collective agency is enacted upon through learning. As such, I value and place a particular emphasis on pedagogical approaches to:
- Learner agency and choice, particularly as it relates to learning context, subject content and assessment strategies;
- Co-creation of learning from and through lived experiences;
- Media literacy and the democratization of knowledge structures through learning technology;
- Learning environments and the psychosocial impact across physical and virtual spaces; and
- Critical application of technology in applied design, STEM, health and medical education.
As a reflexive capability, individuals as agents consciously choose, influence, and reflect on their actions in order to intentionally change a course of action. Empowering individuals to actively engage in the learning process makes my courses, my mentorship, my community engagement a lived experience and is thus more responsive, reflexive, dynamic and collaborative. As a teacher educator I engage with my students as they transition from a mindset of a student to one as a teacher and educator. We work together through a cycle of inquiry that brings together their own lived experiences from their various backgrounds and professions, and as they engage with topics within the broader teacher education program, and on their practicum. I approach my work with them as a mentor and colleague providing leadership and guidance as they discover what they value and how they develop as future teachers. As a graduate educator I engage with my graduate mentees in a similar way, coaching them through their program of studies, encouraging them to develop a range of competencies in research methodologies and ways of knowing through which they engage as developing and future scholars. As a community educator I endeavour to share with a broad audience my lived experience as a researcher, educator, woman and person with a medical disability. I aim to engage in difficult conversations around the status quo especially when it comes to the representation of women and people with medical disabilities in the domains of applied design, STEM, health and medical education.
My scholarship of teaching and learning includes projects such as Factors affecting student success in online learning environments and Technology education during emergency remote teaching. The former project examines factors that enabling or inhibit the development of self-efficacy and student agency in online learning contexts. My article, “Academic success online: Mediating the effects of personality and self-efficacy in online learning”, will appear in a forthcoming issue of International Journal on E-Learning. The latter project aims to examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the teaching experiences and self-efficacy of technology educators in the secondary setting. The first article from this project, “Pandemic designs for the future: Perspectives of technology education teachers during COVID-19” is scheduled for publication in a special issue of Information and Learning Science in the summer of 2020.