Holistic Educator Workshops 2009-2010

October 3, 2009  - Karen Csoli and Anne Dhir: Workshops based on their Doctoral Research  Room 5-280  10am - 12 noon

Karen Csoli: Understanding Spiritual Experiences
Karen's workshop will allow participants the opportunity to focus on their spiritual experiences and the meaning these have in their lives. The foundation of this workshop will be Karen's doctoral dissertation, in which young women discussed how during their own spiritual experiences, they connected with their selves, spirit, nature, others, and community.

Karen Csoli has just completed her PhD in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE. The title of her dissertation is Understanding the Spiritual Experiences of Young Women: A Qualitative Inquiry of Inner Knowing, which combined her interests in spirituality in the curriculum, female spirituality, and youth spirituality. Karen also teaches study strategies to university students with learning disabilities.

Anne Dhir: Perennial Pedagogy
The timeless and boundless perennial understanding, commonly known as ‘the perennial philosophy’ has been a part of the wisdom traditions for centuries.  This philosophy can significantly contribute towards deeper and meaningful lives if brought into the educational milieu.  Anne refers to such an education as ‘perennial pedagogy’.  Her passion lies in facilitating workshops and seminars on mental well being which she has been involved in since 2001. This workshop is an experiential approach to perennial understanding.

Anne Dhir completed her Ph.D in the area of Holistic Education at OISE/UT under the blessed guidance of Dr. Jack Miller in 2008. Her research explored the theoretical and practical foundation of an education and society at large that is grounded in the perennial understanding.

January 16, 2010 - Rina Cohen: Explorations with  Music-Based Meditation -   Room 5-280

Explorations with  Music-Based Meditation

We will explore various ways in which music can support meditative practice. Music is often used to enhance concentration, focus or relaxation, to improve our well being or to unleash creativity. We will experience several types of meditation with spiritual music from various cultures. Each meditation will have a different focus and purpose.  Participants will record and then share their experiences with partners. Whole group discussion about participants’ experiences, and about possible applications in one’s life and in the classroom will follow.

Rina Cohen is an Associate Professor in the CTL department at OISE/UT where she belongs to the Holistic and Aesthetic Education focus group. She has been utilizing various holistic learning approaches, such as integrated curriculum, meditation and guided visualizations, in her courses. Her current research focusses on helping elementary teachers overcome math anxiety using a variety of holistic approaches.

February 27, 2010 - Marni Binder & Sally Kotsopoulos: Creating Mindful Spaces: The Arts and Young Children  Room 5-260

Creating Mindful Spaces: The Arts and Young Children
How do educators create mindful spaces in the classroom? How can children be empowered through artistic engagements that provide opportunities to explore and understand self and others? These are some of the questions we will explore in this workshop. Participants will locate their own understanding of “mindful” spaces in learning environments and their journeys in understanding self and the children they work with. Activities and discussion will be based on a short research presentation and DVD that shows a project engaging children in the process of art-making through creating quilts and writing I AM poetry. It is our intention that this interactive session will provide the inspiration for participants to explore these ideas with the young people they work with.

Dr. Marni Binder is an Assistant Professor in The School of Early Childhood at Ryerson University, Toronto Canada. Twenty-three years of teaching in the inner city has shaped her passion for arts- based education.  Marni’s holistic philosophy of education is demonstrated in her research interests covering: early literacy, child art and literacy, arts-based inquiry and multimodal forms of expression as transformative literacy practices.

Sally Kotsopoulos has an Early Childhood Degree from Ryerson University and a Masters in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She is the Manager of the Early Learning Centre at Ryerson University, Toronto Canada, where she leads a team of eight full-time teachers in four classrooms from Toddlers- Kindergarten. She has 30 years of experience in the early childhood profession in the greater Toronto area.

April 17, 2010 -  Room 5-260

Featured Speaker: Dr. Njoki Wane, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education (SESE), OISE

Topic: Making Spirituality Visible in Research, Learning and Praxis
There are many ways of defining, interpreting, applying and practicing spirituality.  By weaving spirituality into learning and knowledge creation discourse, educators as well as learners can foster spiritual growth while strengthening the connections between the learner, knowledge and the process of schooling.
In this presentation, we will discuss the following questions:
1.  What is spirituality?
2. What has been the impact of separating the spiritual aspect of our research, teaching and learning from the intellectual development?
3. How can we make spirituality visible in our research, learning and practice?
4. Why has spirituality been silenced and marginalized?
5. Is spirituality necessary in the Academy and if yes, what is its role?
6. In higher education, we are trained to distance ourselves from our research subjects to avoid subjectivity, please share your views?

I start my presentation by sharing with participants some of my experiences of evoking spirituality in my research, teaching and learning. This will be interactive workshop where participants will be encouraged to share their experiences in making spirituality more visible in their research, teaching or learning or their work.

Njoki Wane is a professor in the department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education at OISE/UT.  She has recently been appointed Head of the Office of Teaching Support at OISE.  She has written articles and books in the following areas: gender, indigenous knowledge practices, black feminism and anti-racist education.  She teaches courses in these areas as well as a course on Spirituality and Schooling.

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