MEET THE TEAM
Our general structure is that we have a board of advisors, five directors, a number of associate directors in various parts of the world, many associated members, and a further list of around +7,500 people who have made contact with us; they have, for example, sent inquiries about our work and perhaps expressed interest in collaborating with us, or have attended our conferences, bought things from our store, waved in passing as the train pulled away, etc.
Sean Blenkinsop his background is in philosophy of education. He is especially interested in imagination in teaching and learning; ecology; relational epistemologies; theories of place; existentialism; continental philosophy; educational theory and practice; experiential and outdoor education; care; gender theory; social/ecological justice; international issues; science education; drama education. He received his doctoral degree from Harvard University.
Kieran Egan is a professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. He is currently Director of the IERG. His interests include trying to sketch a somewhat new educational scheme based in part of Vygotskian ideas, and also working out ways to help students and teachers find the regular subjects of the curriculum more imaginatively engaging. He graduated from London University with a B.A. in History, and from Cornell University with a PhD in Education.
Mark Fettes his theoretical work is focused on understanding the dynamics, or “ecology”, of language, imagination and community, and its implications for educational policy and practice. This is interlinked with collaborative action research in various contexts, including First Nation communities and the Esperanto language community. He currently hold grants from the President’s Research fund, SSHRC, and the Esperantic Studies Foundation. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Toronto.
Gillian Judson completed her Ph.D. at SFU in 2009. She worked as a Research Assistant to IERG during much of her degree program, and has been a post-doctoral fellow since Jan. 2009, and was asked to take on a Director position in 2010. She has made significant contributions of both a theoretical and practical nature to our work. She has regularly taught in our M.Ed. programs, she has been responsible for revising and developing our planning frameworks, and she is much in demand as an impressive speaker and workshop leader.
Shawn Michael Bullock is an assistant professor of science education in the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada and a certified professional physicist (P.Phys.) with the Canadian Association of Physicists. He earned graduate degrees in the history and philosophy of science and technology and in science education after an initial undergraduate education in physics. Shawn is the author of Inside Teacher Education (Sense Publishers, 2011), which analyzed and interpreted the experiences of five future physics teachers during their teacher education program and the co-editor of Self-studies of science teacher education practices (Springer, 2012), which explored the intersection of science education, science teacher education, and self-study methodology. A former secondary school physics teacher, Shawn’s scholarship and practice have particularly focused on the pre-service and continuing education of science teachers. He is a passionate advocate of increasing the public understanding of and engagement with science; one current project is the development and implementation of a non-technical science course entitled Contemplating Modern Physics: Dark Matter, Superstrings, and Other Strange Things for SFU’s continuing studies program.
Gadi Alexander completed his PhD in curriculum development at UCLA at 1976 as a Fulbright graduate exchange student. Since then he has been a member of the department of education at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel. He served as the head of the teacher education program at BGU and was twice the head of the graduate program in curriculum and instruction. He has specialized in the cultivation of creative thinking and in educational technology. In the last ten years he co-headed an intervention project called School 2000 – building magnet schools for mindful integration of technology in Israeli high schools, and initiated and collaborated on a nine program TV series on creative thinking called Flights of Fancy. At SFU Gadi collaborated in 2005/6 with Prof. David Kaufman at the Learning and Instructional Development Centre and with Prof. Kieran Egan and his research group at IERG.
Dr Laurie Anderson is the Executive Director of SFU Vancouver, an Associate Member of the Faculty of Education, and an Associate with SFU’s Centre for Dialogue Program. Laurie has been a elementary teacher, principal, District Principal, Director of Curriculum, Associate Superintendent and Interim Superintendent of Schools for the Vancouver Board of Education. He has also been a consultant on education reform for the Ministry of Education, an Adjunct Professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC, a curriculum developer and instructor for Vancouver Community College, a mediation consultant for schools throughout BC, a facilitator of the VSB’s Leadership Development Program, and developer and instructor of the Instructor Training Program, a course taken by over 2,000 aspiring teachers of adults over the last 22 years. Laurie has presented at conferences in Canada and the US, taught leadership courses in Hong Kong, Bangkok and various cities in China, provided education reform consultation to educational authorities in Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Hong Kong, and facilitated planning and visioning sessions with various public and private sector organizations in Vancouver. Laurie obtained his BEd, MA and PhD at SFU, served as a Director on the Canadian Bureau of International Education for six years and completed the Certificate Program in Conflict Resolution at the Justice Institute. Laurie’s academic interests include the nature, meaning and intractability of educational reform, program implementation, leadership in general and archetypal leadership in particular, and contemplative education.
Annabella Cant recently defended successfully her PhD dissertation at Simon Fraser University in the Curriculum Theory and Implementation program under the supervision of Prof. Kieran Egan PhD. and Lynn Fels, PhD. She is a graduate sessional instructor at SFU and an ECCE instructor at Capilano University. She has been involved with Imaginative Education since 1999 when, upon completing her Master’s Degree at SFU, she has initiated and ran early childhood centers in Europe that applied Egan’s theory in practice. She has developed an ECCE practice stream of Imaginative Education that is described in her 2010 publication: A New Outlook on Preschool Education. The Annabella Method. Her newest publications include: Wonder-full Education – The centrality of wonder to science, mathematics, humanities, and arts teaching (2013); The LiDKit: Resources for Implementing the Learning in Depth Program (as part of the publishing IERG team) (2013); Dear Kindergarten Teacher. Thematic Teaching Projects with Narrative Integration of Curricular Content (2010).
Her main points of research interests are: Somatic Understanding and the transition to Mythic Understanding within the Imaginative Education philosophy, early childhood education, the development of divergent thinking in young children, and the employment of wonder in education. In 2010 Annabella has been awarded with the Arthur & Ancie Fouks Graduate Entrance Award in Public Service, in 2011 with a Graduate Fellowship (PhD), and in 2012 with the Dr. M. Sheila O’Connell Graduate Publication Scholarship.
Tone Cecilie Carlsten is a researcher at NIFU – The Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education. Carlsten holds a degree in 1-10 teaching, and has teaching experience from Norway, Spain and USA. She has a Cand. Polit degree in educational science from the University of Oslo, and is currently working on her PhD at the same institution. She has been a visiting researcher at the University of Illinois and Stanford University. Her academic work focuses on theoretical, methodological and didactical dilemmas in attempts to measure good and effective classroom instruction.
Sheri Dunton has been a committed advocate for Imaginative Education in a variety of settings from presentations in schools and conferences, to co-founding and co-directing a dedicated IE elementary program at Corbett Charter School in Corbett, Oregon. Sheri’s background includes teaching in single and multi-age classrooms and teaching and administering special programs such as Special Education. Having moved with her family to the high desert of El Paso, Texas, Sheri continues as a student of and advocate for Imaginative Education. Her interests lie in theory and practice, school design and development, individual development under IE, and the faithful dissemination Egan’s work. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yannis Hadzigeorgiou is a professor of education in the School of Education at the University of the Aegean, in Rhodes, Greece. He teaches curriculum theory, and science methods and activities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Aristotelian University in Greece (1981), a master’s degree in biomechanics/physical education (1986) and a master’s degree in education/applied didactics (1987) from Leeds University, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction (1994) from the University of Northern Iowa, USA. His research interests as well as his published work are in the area of science concept development, curriculum reform, imaginative learning and ecological education. He is author of 6 books, in the area of curriculum and instruction, one of which has been a standard textbook for undergraduate courses on curriculum at several universities in Greece. In 2003 he developed a theoretical framework for a holistic/ecological curriculum, while in 2005, as a Fulbright scholar, he did work on Inclusive Practices in Science Education. Since that time he has been involved, as a collaborator, in a major project on Inclusive Practices, at the university of N. Iowa. He has been also actively involved in empirical research in the context of imaginative education, and as member of the IERG.
Dr. Qing-yu Pan received BA, MA and PhD in Pedagogy at Shandong Normal University, Jinan, Shandong Province, PR China. He is now an Associate Professor at that institution. He spent six months as a Visiting Scholar with the IERG, and had a remarkably productive time. He has recently published a book called Imaginative Teaching that synthesizes his knowledge of IE with his own ideas about pedagogy. He also prepared the Chinese language section of our website.
Dr Stefan Popenici is an academic with extensive international experience in teaching, research and academic development with universities in Europe, North America, South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia. Stefan is currently working at The University of Melbourne, as Senior Lecturer in Higher Education at Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education. He is also Associate Director of the Imaginative Education Research Group at Simon Fraser University, Canada. Dr Popenici was senior advisor of the Minister of Education in Romania on educational reform and academic research, senior consultant of the President of De La Salle University Philippines on scholarship and research, and expert consultant for international institutions in education (e.g. Fulbright Commission, Council of Europe). For his work and strategic leadership in education the President of Romania awarded Stefan the National Order “Merit of Education” in rank of Knight.
Max Wyman, O.C. Max Wyman is one of Canada s leading cultural commentators. He is the author of a number of books on the arts, the latest of which, The Defiant Imagination: Why Culture Matters, is a passionate manifesto asserting the central importance of the arts and culture to modern society. He was for six years a member of the board of the Canada Council for the Arts, and in 2006 completed four years as President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCU). For his services to the arts, he was in 2001 made an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada s highest civilian honour, and in 2003 Simon Fraser University made him an honorary Doctor of Letters.
Dan Birch has experienced twenty-five years of university leadership experience, half of that as Vice President (Academic) and Provost at the University of British Columbia, prior to which he was Dean of Education at UBC. At Simon Fraser University, he served as Dean of Education, Associate Vice President (Academic), Acting Vice President (Academic) and Acting President. He also has twelve years of experience on the boards of three teaching hospitals, including three years as a Board Chair. He has provided leadership in international development, in multi-cultural agencies, and the United Way.
Ronna Chisholm is co-founder and president of dossiercreative inc., an award-winning branding and design innovation studio. [www.dossiercreative.com] Founded nearly two decades ago, dossiercreative has established itself as a leading innovative design firm serving a North American clientele including Coca-Cola Canada, Vincor International and AG Hair Cosmetics. dossiercreative is known for creating groundbreaking, internationally successful brands such as Mike‘s Hard Lemonade. dossiercreative’s work covers branding and design including brand naming, identities, packaging design and 3D design. In addition, the company is a trailblazer in the area of creative intelligence. Accolades from prestigious organizations, and features in prominent publications such as Communications Arts, Applied Arts and Packaging World, attest to the quality of the work of the dossier team. Ronna is a spirited entrepreneur with impressive financial training and a keen nose for emerging, leading-edge ideas. She is passionate about exploring and embracing differences in thinking styles, personalities, beliefs and cultures.
Bob Dunton is a retired teacher and administrator who serves on the IERG Advisory Board. From 2009 to 2015 he was the Co-Director and co-founder, with Sheri Dunton, of Corbett Charter School in Corbett, Oregon, USA. Corbett Charter operated what might have been the only all-Imaginative Education elementary program in the country. The K-12 school was recognized for several years as one of the top public school in the U.S., including four years among the top four public schools in America according to The Washington Post.
Bob retired from Oregon last year having worked in public education for 25 years. His teaching experience included eight years teaching K-12 in village schools up and down the Alaska Peninsula and his administrative experience spanned five years as a building principle and twelve years as superintendent of two Oregon school districts. Even as an administrator Bob found a way to teach at least part-time most years, and for the last two years of Corbett Charter School he taught full-time at the high school level.
Bob and Sheri have been engaged advocates for Imaginative Education in venues as diverse as the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, the National Charter School Conference, and regional and national Advanced Placement conferences, and the IERG Annual Conference in Vancouver (!) but his passion remains working with teachers and students. Bob is interested in educational theory, school design, and curriculum and instruction.
Having recently relocated to the high desert of West Texas (El Paso), the Duntons are busy nesting and contemplating ‘next things’.
Bob can be reached at email@example.com
Mark Frein is the Chief Executive Officer for The Refinery Leadership Partners, a leadership development consulting firm. Mark joined The Refinery seven years ago, taking responsibility for building the firm’s consulting practice. Over those seven years the firm has grown from a small local firm to an international enterprise, with personnel in four different countries serving a range of world-leading client organizations in three languages. Mark has held the positions of Consulting Practice Leader, Managing Director, and now CEO. He continues to practice in the field with clients, with a focus on creative program design and senior executive development. At The Refinery, Mark is committed to unlocking human potential in the firm and with clients. Similarly, he is committed to raising the bar on education in general and has held Board positions and provided volunteer service for community education organizations for years. He lives in Austin, Texas and works out of The Refinery’s office in Austin. Mark completed his PhD in Education at the University of British Columbia in 1997 and his thesis explored the concept of imagination in the history of educational thought. He first met Professor Egan while taking course-work for his Master’s degree. Kieran’s philosophy of education has had a profound impact on the educational design methods used by Mark’s firm.
Linda Kaser is a co-leader of the Network of Performance Based Schools and the Aboriginal Education School Network in British Columbia, Canada. She has served as an elementary and secondary principal, and a district leader. She has worked in senior policy roles with two provincial governments with special responsibilities for literacy, student achievement, and rural education. As a faculty member at two BC universities and an advisor at a third, Linda is committed to creating stronger links between the academy and practitioners.
Larry Kuehn is Director of Research and Technologyat the BC Teachers’ Federation. He has particular interests in education policy, technology, and social issues. His responsibilities include the BCTF International Solidarity Program. He has taught English in Kitimat, Kettle Valley, and Kamloops, and was president of the BCTF, 1981-84. He is the co-author of the book, Pandora’s Box: Free trade, corporate power, and Canadian education. He has written extensively on issues related to education and globalization, and trade agreements, and on the social impact of information technology in education. He has recently completed a Doctor of Education degree at UBC.
Dr. Kym Stewart has background in media studies and curriculum development. Between 1997 and 2004 she was a researcher at the SFU Media Analysis Laboratory and for the past five years she has coordinated and developed media education programs for elementary schools. These media education consultation experiences in Northern BC and the Lower Mainland have provided the basis for her current thesis research which focuses on the exploration of Imaginative Education as a foundation for media education. Specifically how IE can create a classroom experiences which focus on social and emotional engagement and how this process can re-awaken the importance of imagination in the lives of teachers and students.
Joeri Cant is part of the Imaginative Education Research Group at the Faculty of Education of Simon Fraser University since 2010. Prior to moving to Vancouver with his wife and 2 young sons, he had a varied career in the educational field, business world, and non-profit as CEO, all of which gave him valuable insight for his current role as IERG conference chair and IERG website consultant.
Joeri finds great joy in starting with an idea and turning it into something exceptional. He believes that attention to detail is what sets apart the ordinary from the extraordinary. He prefers hand-written to-do lists and always follows the path where he can get the best return for his time!