About me

Hi! I’m Lissa –
Teacher, researcher, theorist, mother, woman…

I live in Cobourg, ON – minutes from this scene.

Officially I am

  • Independent Scholar in Curriculum Studies
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Werklund School of Education, Calgary, AB
  • School consultant in math learning & anxiety in schooling
  • Occasional teacher, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board

I grew up as an Ontario gal. After high school at École Secondaire Thériault (Timmins), I attended Waterloo for my BSc and then moved to Alberta for a BEd and 25 years a school-teacher. With sons raised, I then turned to grad school to find answers to questions about why things were the way they were in teaching and learning.

My MEd in Lethbridge focused on the public understanding of science, critical thinking, and why we believe what we believe. The PhD (UBC) dug into sense-making as essentially a creative act and anxiety as its nemesis. As Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary, I directed research projects – first in early mathematics learning and then in the interplay between the familial and educational experiences of middle school teachers’ and their identities with respect to teaching, including especially the teaching preferences that in turn shaped their relationships with students and curriculum.

Four years ago, in January 2018, I retired from the Werklund School of Education (Calgary) and moved back home to Ontario and to family. Nestled in Cobourg, I was able to continue my studies whilst focusing on writing a book to capture what I had learned. That book emerged two years later. It describes schooling trends today, situating them in conversation with the politics of schooling as navigated by the academy, stakeholders in education, and ideologically divided publics.

In answer, the book offers a more informed understanding of the nature of learning – one grounded in paradigm-shifting convergences in research on the very nature of what it means to be human. These convergences can be abbreviated as being between contemporary studies of conscious and unconscious experience and fast evolving understandings of physical bodies (individual and collective) as dynamic systems.

The result is a coherency to better explain what we often intuitively know about teaching and learning. A simpler model for making sense of what’s going on expands what we can do with what we know. At the same time, it makes for exciting opportunities for growth and ever-deepening connections between what we knew before and what we can make of it now.

I continue to stay abreast of current research, both through individual work and as member of several cutting-edge international organizations and study groups beyond the scope of education proper, most notably in psychoanalytic psychology and affective neuroscience.

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