Winter 2021 Events

A Winter Program to Sustain, Challenge & Inspire

The pandemic has exposed many critical areas that urgently need to be addressed as we hope for, and work towards, a more sustainable future for humans and other life on our beautiful planet. Becoming educators with the ability and willingness to continuously challenge our own assumptions about our selves, about others, and about the world around us, has never been more important.

Education can, and does, make a difference in the lives of students and out in the world. During the difficult months that lie ahead, let’s make an extra effort to support, but also to inspire, one another. As educators, we are being called upon to negotiate enormously difficult challenges, but there may also be opportunities for change. Dr. Ted Aoki believed that by dwelling in tension something new may emerge. Our commitment to global education and to activism may help to manifest the newness we so desperately need.With this in mind, we have put together a virtual program for the winter semester that we hope will exist as a space to support and inspire one another on our journey as global educators. These events offer regular opportunities for us to gather online as a cohort community to share, learn, and unlearn together.

Please note that you must be a student, staff, or professor at the University of Ottawa to attend and receive the link to an event. Therefore, the sign-up requires you to use your uOttawa email. If you use another email, you will not receive the link for the webinar platform. Please contact Diane Watt if you are an associate teacher or member of the community interested in participating in an event and do not have a UOttawa email address.

Thank you to the many individuals who have generously agreed to share their work and ideas with our cohort on Zoom in the coming weeks. Special thank you to Shyam Patel and the Education Graduate Students of Colour (EGSC) for your continuing support of the Global Education Cohort, towards a more equitable, just, and sustainable world.

Photo credit

A Journey through Teach for India: Love as a Practice of Equity & Justice, Shyam Patel

Wednesday, January 6th 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Shyam Patel is a former teacher candidate (2018-20) in the Global Cohort and current Master’s of Arts Education graduate student at the University of Ottawa. Prior to that, he worked as a teacher with Teach for India, where he taught Grades 1 to 4 for three years.

In this event, Shyam talks about how he focuses on love as a practice of equity and justice. More specifically, he delves into his experiences and stories within the classroom that remind him that love, as Paulo Freire argues, is an act of courage. Then, he considers how this transcends into different parts of the classroom, including lessons and workshops that have shaped his teaching journey. For example, he recounts how he worked with his students to address and challenge colourism, and, more importantly, how those conversations continue on to this day. By sharing a glimpse of his own journey through Teach for India, he shares insights into how other teachers can build communities with their students that centre love as a practice of equity and justice.

Decolonization 101 with Molly Swain * Tuesday, January 19th 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

*This event is being organized by Graduate Education Students of Colour. Mark the date on your calendar. More information and registration info coming soon.

Meet Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak, Inuit Storyteller & Children’s Author

Thursday, January 21st 7:00 p.m.

Michael Kusugak is a storyteller and a children’s writer, who tells stories about Arctic and Inuit culture.

He grew up in Repulse Bay, NWT (now Nunavut). During his childhood, his family travelled by dog sled, living a traditional Inuit lifestyle. He is the author of twelve children’s books, including: The Littlest Sled Dog, The Curse of the Shaman, T is for Territories, Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails, winner of the Ruth Schwartz Award; Hide and Seek; My Arctic 1, 2, 3; and Baseball Bats for Christmas; and was co-writer of A Promise Is a Promise (with Robert Munsch).

Michael Kusugak’s Website

Please note that you must be a student, staff, or professor at the University of Ottawa to attend and receive the link. Therefore, the sign-up requires you to use your uOttawa email. If you use another email, you will not receive the link for the webinar platform.

The Littlest Sled DogA Promise is a PromiseStories of Inuit Culture
The Littlest Sled DogA Promise is a PromiseStories of Inuit Culture

Bringing Global Perspectives into the Ontario Curriculum, Rola Tibshirani, OCSB

Tuesday, January 26th at 7:00 p.m.

Rola Tibshirani is a middle school French Immersion teacher at St. Francis Xavier Catholic High School. She is passionate about students taking ownership of their learning and applying Integrative Thinking and Design Thinking processes when embracing challenges. She helps students to connect by solving real-world problems and making a difference in their communities locally and globally. The teacher becomes a co-learner who learns with and from the students, by encouraging reflection on all learning tasks.

Learning is a design process that acquires students’ voices, knowledge building for valuing thinking. The global connection begins within the classroom community to co-create meaningful learning experiences while exploring empathy and compassion for action-taking. In this session we will explore problem-solving and developing students’ ownership through relevant cross-curricular experiences.Twitter account @rolat

Professional blog


Please note that you must be a student, staff, or professor at the University of Ottawa to attend and receive the link. Therefore, the sign-up requires you to use your uOttawa email. If you use another email, you will not receive the link for the webinar platform.

The Risks of Cultural Appropriation in Canadian Classrooms, Dr. Tasha Ausman

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

*This event is being organized by Education Graduate Students of Colour.
Dr. Tasha Ausman is a Part-Time Professor at the University of Ottawa, and a full-time mathematics and science teacher with the Western Quebec School Board. Her research employs decolonizing, psychoanalytic, and post-colonial frameworks in the areas of Curriculum Studies, Mathematics, and recently, Queer Studies. Her work appears in the Journal of the Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies, Multicultural Education Review, and Transnational Curriculum Inquiry. As well, her co-authored work appears in book collections including Disney, Culture and Curriculum (Routledge, 2016) and The Critical Youth Studies Reader (Peter Lang, 2014). She is presently working on research approaches to decolonize teaching in secondary science and mathematics classrooms, and is currently exploring the intersection between visual-arts-based pedagogies and biology.

Often part of the hidden curriculum of schooling, teachers sometimes unintentionally influence the attitudes and beliefs of students in ways that have longstanding cultural, social, and educational ramifications. In this talk and the discussion which follows, Dr. Tasha Ausman presents a recent case study about a school yoga program that occurred as part of a mindfulness curriculum in a school in the National Capital region during the Fall of 2020. The program was designed to help students cope with the new pressures of learning under the constraints of Covid-19. However, its ongoing implementation reveals how white supremacy still prevails in educational spaces when challenges to decolonizing the curriculum are ignored. How can we as educators continue to think through our curriculum-as-planned to ensure that we can become more attuned to historical and cultural inequities which comprise the hidden curriculum of schooling?

Please note that you must be a student, staff, or professor at the University of Ottawa to attend and receive the link. Therefore, the sign-up requires you to use your uOttawa email. If you use another email, you will not receive the link for the webinar platform.

February Events

Connections-Based Learning: Connect, Collaborate, Cultivate

Sean Robinson, Author & Global Educator

Thursday, February 4th at 7:00 p.m.

Sean Robinson is a Canadian educator from British Columbia with a passion for local and global connections. He is the creator of connections-based learning, an approach to teaching and learning that leverages the connected world. Sean’s students have participated in a range of real world endeavors: from collaborating with students in Uganda to create solar powered computers to delivering 3D printed solar lanterns to battle light poverty in the Dominican Republic. Sean is a founding TeachSDGs ambassador, igniting students around the globe to take action to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. He received the Premier’s Award for Excellence in Education for his work in the area of Technology and Innovation in October 2018, and was a Global Teacher Prize Top 50 Finalist for 2019.

Check out Sean’s website for more information and resources and his blog

A Global Perspective on Children’s Literature, Dr. Veena Balsawer

Thursday, February 11th at 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Veena Balsawar, OPL & Part-time Professor at U Ottawa

Veena Balsawer has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Ottawa. She works at the Ottawa Public library as a Children’s Storyteller and is also a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa. She is interested in Stories (Narratives) and story-telling as pedagogy, and believes that it is the thread of stories that binds people together. In this session Veena will introduce books that educators can use to bring global perspectives into the classroom.

Youth Homelessness in Ottawa, Elsbeth McKay


Thursday, February 18th at 3:00 p.m.

Elsbeth McKay, Executive Director, Operation Come Home

Elspeth McKay joined the Operation Come Home team in December 2007 with more than 25+ years of experience as a senior manager in the not-for-profit sector. Elspeth is a dedicated fund-raiser, an expert in community economic development and a leader in social innovation. She has years of experience in developing programs such as supported employment, entrepreneurship, education, and social enterprise. Working collaboratively with a number of private, public sector and social service partners, Elspeth provides leadership and social enterprise consultation to a number of not-for-profit organizations, as well as the federal and provincial governments. Elspeth has presented at numerous conferences on community economic development and has perfmored trainings on supported employment and social enterprise. Elspeth has devoted her career to improving the lives of those that are marginalized and economically disadvantaged.

Elspeth is a member of the National Community Economic Development Network and holds a seat on the policy committee. Elspeth is a member of the Alliance to End Homelessness, Ottawa Youth Justice Network, Housing First Steering Committee, Community Hub Ottawa and is engaged in various local networks and coalitions including A Way Home Ottawa.


Photo Credit: Trang Doan (Pexels)

Population Education Workshop

Wednesday, March 3rd at 7:00 p.m.

Registration information will be shared closer to the event.

A hands-on workshop that introduces how to teach topics related to population education in the K-12 classroom. Visit their website for more information & resources.

Population Education, a program of Population Connection, is the only national program (based in Washington, D.C.) with a strong emphasis on curriculum resources and professional development for K-12 educators that focuses on human population issues.

Stay Connected!

Global Ed on Twitter @GlobalEdUOttawa

Global Ed on Facebook @GlobalEdCohortUOttawa

Cohort Leaders:

Diane Watt

Saba Alvi


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