Lessons from Fukushima


March 11, 2011, 2:46 pm a seismic earthquake set off a chain of events in Japan that led to the largest Nuclear Disaster in the world since Chernobyl. Determined to ensure that the ‘lessons learned’ found their way into classrooms of future medical professionals in Japan, I was invited to lead a curricular initiative in disaster medicine education.

On Tuesday April 21, 2015 at 7 pm I will share the work I have done to date with the courageous first medical responders at Fukushima Medical University.

Location: Faculty of Education, J.G. Althouse Building, 1137 Western Rd., in the Community Room.

Free Parking available.

Supporting children with disabilities at school: implications for the advocate role in professional practice and education

Ng, S. Lingard, L. Hibbert, K. Regan, S., Phelan, S., Stooke, R., Meston, C., Schryer, C. , Manamperi, M. and Friesen, F.

Purpose: School settings are a common practice context for rehabilitation professionals; health advocacy is a common and challenging practice role for professionals in this context. This study explored how pediatric practitioners advocate for children with disabilities at school. Specifically, we examined everyday advocacy in the context of school-based support for children with disabilities. Method: Our theoretical framework and methodological approach were informed by institutional ethnography, which maps and makes visible hidden social coordinators of work processes with a view to improving processes and outcomes. We included families, educators, and health/rehabilitation practitioners from Ontario. Of the 37 consented informants, 27 were interviewed and 15 observed. Documents and texts were collected from the micro-level (e.g. clinician reports) and the macro-level (e.g. policies). Results: Pediatric practitioners’ advocacy work included two main work processes: spotlighting invisible disabilities and orienteering the special education terrain. Practitioners advocated indirectly, by proxy, with common proxies being documents and parents. Unintended consequences of advocacy by proxy included conflict and inefficiency, which were often unknown to the practitioner. Conclusions: The findings of this study provide practice-based knowledge about advocacy for children with disabilities, which may be used to inform further development of competency frameworks and continuing education for pediatric practitioners. The findings also show how everyday practices are influenced by policies and social discourses and how rehabilitation professionals may enact change.Implications for Rehabilitation

  • Rehabilitation professionals frequently perform advocacy work. They may find it beneficial to perform advocacy work that is informed by overarching professional and ethical guidelines, and a nuanced understanding of local processes and structures.

  • Competency frameworks and education for pediatric rehabilitation professionals may be improved by: encouraging professionals to consider how their practices, including their written documents, may affect parental burden, (mis)interpretation by document recipients, and potential unintended consequences.

  • Policies and texts, e.g. privacy legislation and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), influence rehabilitation professionals’ actions and interactions when supporting children with disabilities at school.

  • An awareness of the influence of policies and texts may enable practitioners to work more effectively within current systems when supporting individuals with disabilities.

Read full article at:  http://informahealthcare.com/doi/full/10.3109/09638288.2015.1021021


Western study finds majority of Ontario school principals feel they don’t have necessary support

Western study finds majority of Ontario school principals feel they don’t have necessary support
(written by Cory Habermehl, MA, Senior Communications Officer, Faculty of Education)

A recent Western University-led study of the work of principals in Ontario’s school system has found that while 90 per cent of principals find their positions rewarding and fulfilling, only one third of them feel they have the support and training necessary to do the job to the best of their ability.

The study, led by Katina Pollock from Western’s Faculty of Education, examined the daily lives of principals in relation to all elements of their work duties, and involved feedback from more than 1,400 principals. According to Pollock, the results reflect the ways in which the daily work of school principals has evolved to include a number of additional tasks and responsibilities.

“We’ve found principals are now responsible for taking a greater role in areas such as engagement with increasingly diverse cultural communities, parental engagement, mental health support for teachers and students, and student health and well-being,” explains Pollock. “Some of the best instructional specialists in schools are being put into the role of principal, but they need support in these other areas in order to have the greatest likelihood for experiencing success.”

Principals identified four main areas of support and skill development in which they feel additional professional learning opportunities would be beneficial: relationship building, instructional leadership, communications skills and mental health and wellness.

Pollock hopes her findings will help provide a clearer understanding of the realities of the role of Ontario’s principals and lead to constructive discussions in the province about additional supports that may be implemented to help principals succeed.

“Increased supports for principals will help them to better fulfill their roles as leaders and ultimately lead to an improved education system in Ontario, benefiting the province now and in the future,” says Pollock.

The study, The Changing Nature of Principals’ Work, was funded by the Ontario Principals’ Council and is available in full here: http://www.edu.uwo.ca/faculty_profiles/cpels/pollock_katina/OPC-Principals-Work-Report.pdf
 Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, jrenaud9@uwo.ca, @jeffrenaud99

Western delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.

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The secret of ‘Will’ in new times: The affordances of a cloud curriculum.

In press!

The Secret of ‘Will’ in new times: The affordances of a cloud curriculum.

Hibbert, K.

One of outcomes of a ‘knowledge economy’ and its corresponding surveillance mechanisms is the competitive anxiety it spawns amongst governments intent on seeing their schools outperform the others on international testing regimes. The challenge is figuring out how to integrate accountability without systematically dismantling the very essence of teaching and learning. Teachers largely enact the culture they live, and they have been living in a culture in which “teacher proof” materials proliferate, and curricular prescription abounds (Lofty, 2006). The literature on Governmentality offers us one way to talk about this phenomenon. Yet within governmentality, teachers have both the privilege and the responsibility to practice freedom. How might we break away from reductionist modes of assessment and capture learning in situ? How might experiences from interdisciplinary educational settings inform thinking about what we do in schools? How might changing the way teachers and students interact with one another (space, resources, form) translate teaching and learning? Actor network theory helps explain how participation in activities or networks mobilizes practices in particular ways. In this chapter, I explore the notion of freedom in the context of a nascent ‘cloud curriculum’ for teaching Shakespeare, leveraging multimodal affordances made visible through the efforts of New Literacy scholars.

In Hamilton, M., Heydon, R., Hibbert, K. and Stooke, R. (Eds)., Negotiating spaces for literacy: Multimodality and governmentality. London, UK: Bloomsbury.

See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/negotiating-spaces-for-literacy-learning-9781472587480/#sthash.3e5hgI9c.dpuf

Negotiating spaces for literacy: Multimodality and governmentality

In Press!

Hamilton, M., Heydon, R., Hibbert, K. and Stooke, R. (Eds)., Negotiating spaces for literacy: Multimodality and governmentality. London, UK: Bloomsbury.

This volume addresses two strong currents that are sweeping through the contemporary educational field. The first is the opening up of possibilities for multimodal communication as a result of developments in digital technologies and the sensitivity to multiliteracies. The second is the increasing “governing” of their teaching and the imposition of inappropriate testing regimes, with the resulting narrowing of opportunities for diverse expressions of literacy; curricular and pedagogical practices are being pulled out of alignment with the everyday informal practices and the interests of teachers and learners within education.

Bringing together an international team of scholars to examine the tensions and struggles that result from the current educational climate, the book provides a much-needed discussion of the intersection of technologies of literacies, education and self. It does so through diverse approaches, including philosophical, theoretical and methodological treatments of multimodality and governmentality, and a range of literacies – early years, primary, workplace, digital, middle, secondary school, indigenous, adult and place. With a range of examples throughout education and in different parts of the world, the book allows readers to explore a range of multimodal practices and the ways in which governmentality plays out across domains.


“In Negotiating Spaces for Literacy Learning an all-star cast discusses the tensions between liberation and control in the digital age. This is the deepest discussion of multimodality and multiliteracies to date.” –  James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies and Regents’ Professor, Arizona State University, USA
Negotiating Spaces for Literacy Learning is an original book that investigates the intersection of technologies of literacies, education, and the self. Fully engaged with the pressures and struggles of education, and the ways in which its regulatory gaze is unfolding across an international landscape of education, the authors combine governmentality and multimodal theories in exciting ways to point to the potentials of expanding communicational repertoires, identity options and literacy for action in an increasingly constrained environment.” –  Carey Jewitt, Professor of Technology and Learning, Institute of Education, University College London, UK

“Deeply political and richly illustrated across different populations and varied settings, Negotiating Spaces for Literacy Learning is an engaging collection that features cutting-edge research by international scholars. By pushing and expanding fields in literacy studies like multimodality, the editors and chapter authors couple multimodal theory with theoretical frameworks like actor network theory to complicate the contemporary field of literacy education. Read this edited book and you will appreciate how much the field of multimodality and multiliteracies has moved on.” –  Jennifer Rowsell, Canada Research Chair, Brock University, Canada

“This thought-provoking book draws together a diverse group of international scholars who explore, question, critique and challenge thinking and practices relating to multimodality and governmentality. In foregrounding contradictory discourses, Negotiating Spaces for Literacy Learning encourages readers to move beyond accepting the taken-for-granted, and offers multiple ways of “thinking otherwise” about literacy education. It prompts deep thinking and challenges readers to think about literacy futures.” –  Robyn Henderson, Associate Professor of Literacies Education, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Negotiating Spaces for Literacy Learning is a refreshing analysis of an ‘unholy alliance’: the learning potential of digital communication and the restrictive nature of educational institutions. The chapters in this edited book explore the tension between multimodality and governance. Contradictions between everyday communication practices and educational standards have been obvious for some time. This book demonstrates the reality of that contradiction but rather than maintain polarization it offers new effective spaces and agency for literacy learning in the 21st century.
The chapters provide insights from international researchers across all spheres of education (pre-school, primary, secondary, tertiary, and adult and community education) as the authors document examples of learning within multimodal frameworks in their specific domain. Their insights demonstrate that a ‘regime change’ has already occurred in the theory and practice of literacy education. Within acknowledged complexities of assessment, accountability and governance there is the constant theme that a more creative and diverse curriculum is attainable and necessary for authentic learning.”
Maureen Walsh, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University and Honorary Professor, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney

See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/negotiating-spaces-for-literacy-learning-9781472587480/#sthash.3e5hgI9c.dpuf