- Director, Office of Internships and Student Affairs (ISA)
- Director Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership program
- Associate Member, Institute for Human Development and Well-Being (IHDW)
Philosophy of Education
Of critical importance to my practice is the facilitation of opportunities for students to challenge their own thinking about teaching and learning. My role is to provide experiences that will not simply show students how to teach but to create a transformative environment so that our future teachers enter into schools and classrooms confident, prepared and ready to inspire. Central to this is an understanding of an unprecedented pluralism in Canadian education. Over 5 million Canadian residents were born overseas and nearly half of the children entering Canadian classrooms do not speak English as their first language (Chambers, 2003). Diversity of this magnitude and importance requires attention to the moral and ethical implications of teaching and is paramount to the preparation of teachers. Experiential learning in student-centered classrooms, critical, compassionate reflexivity as well as spaces to interrogate the emerging identity of the teacher are featured in the theoretical and practical development and design of my courses.
The act of teaching is built upon praxis, action and reflection; as such pre-service teachers enter the university classroom with school experiences that have shaped their ideas of good teaching and learning. Those cognitive, social and experiential elements have important philosophical and practical implications for learning in the field of education. Strategies for effective teaching must be presented but more importantly experienced by the individual to allow them to constructively build upon past knowledge and beliefs about schooling, to critically reflect on them and ideally build new meaning. While much of teaching comes from preparation and practice, even more comes from the transition from abstract conceptualization to concrete knowing. Through reflexive journals and critical discourse, learners are able to examine their own preconceptions and beliefs in relevant situations. The use of problem-based learning and peer teaching are examples of strategies that enable students to develop good pedagogical practices in the context of today’s classroom settings.
My philosophy embraces the complex, ambiguous and uncertain and relies on “authentic, situated assessment” (p.49) that is contextualized for my own teaching environment (Slattery, 1995). Autobiography, narrative inquiry and hermeneutic dialogue have a strong presence in the structure of learning in my courses because they require the type of critical thinking characteristic of postmodern curricular theory. As such throughout tasks and assignments, students are requested to interpret and reflect upon concepts, use their background knowledge to form new meanings and explore the depth of relevant topics as opposed to the breadth of the topic. This constructivist approach emphasizes engagement both with the course material and with the other students in their shared journey towards becoming teachers.
2014 Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction. Faculty of Education, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia
Dissertation: We lead who we are: A collaborative inquiry to inform educational leadership praxis in contexts of diversity
2006 Master of Arts in Education, Administration and Supervision. Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona
Project: Improving the Application of Student Values in the Context of Academic Malpractice
1993 Bachelor of Education, Physical Education, English & Health. Faculty of Education, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan
- Sexual and Gender Based Violence
- Teacher Education
- Educational Leadership
- Collaborative inquiry
- Transformative inquiry
- Action research
- Teacher identity
- Teacher leadership
- School/institutional partnerships
- Women in education
Designing and implementing pedagogical strategies for addressing Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Agricultural Colleges in Ethiopia. Principal Investigator with C. Mitchell, K. sanford and S. Ballinger. Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant $259 166 (2018-2022)
PROBLEM: Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against women continues to be a significant barrier to meeting development target set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Failure to address SGBV will make meeting targets for gender equality including empowering girls and women almost impossible (WHO, 2001). SGBV links to a breadth of women’s health issues including sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy and miscarriage. Further, SGBV has strong correlation with HIV/AIDS (USAID, 2010). Women living with HIV more likely experience violence and woman who experiences violence more likely acquire HIV either direct risk of infection or creating an environment unable to adequately protect themselves (WHO, 2010). Ethiopia has one of the highest prevalence rates of SGBV among countries included in the WHO Multi Country Study of Violence Against Women (Gelaye, et al., 2009). Despite the fact that the government of Ethiopia ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1981, up to 71% of women in Ethiopia have experienced some form of SGBV (Central Statistical Agency, 2012; Semahegn & Mengistie, 2015). While there has been increased attention to documenting prevalence rates of SGBV in post-secondary institutions, to date, this work has had little impact on addressing sexual violence the Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) Colleges in Ethiopia (Kreuchauf, 2008).
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES: By studying the impact of the three pedagogical intervention tools on combatting SGBV, our overall goal is to contribute to a body of knowledge and evidence based research on combatting SGBV in educational institutions in the Global South ultimately to ensure safer learning environments for students. To address this goal, we have 3 objectives:
Objective 1: To determine how the three pedagogical tools could become the center of an SGBV Intervention Strategy with reach to instructors, staff and students at four ATVET colleges;
Objective 2: To study the efficacy of a participatory approach to implementing an intervention strategy contributes to combatting SGBV;
Objective 3: To deepen an understanding of the relationship between curricular intervention and institutional change in combatting SGBV.
NEXTSchool Summer Institute: Innovations in 21st century learning for Quebec English High Schools. Principal Investigator with J.Levitan, L. Butler-Kisber, M. Canuel and N. Burke.
Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connections Grant. $24 423 (2018)
Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Engage Grant. $24 400 [2018-19].
Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grant. $198 184 (2019-22)
DESCRIPTION: NEXTschool is an attempt to answer the call for schools to become more proactive in their approach to constantly changing needs of students and their communities. One of the leading proponents of 21st Century skills, Charles Fadel (2015) defined the 21st century skill set as a four-dimensional construct that includes knowledge, skills, and character; complemented by the proposal of a fourth element which he identifies as ‘meta-learning’, more commonly understood as metacognition or ‘learning to learn’. This concept strikes at the heart of the expectations of a future vision of school in which the singular skill for the 21st Century will be the capacity of adolescents, as emerging adults, to continually identify, understand, and situate themselves throughout their lifetime in an unchartered future world. The goal of this research is to create an in-depth study of the design and implementation of systems wide reform in the Anglophone sector of the secondary education system in Quebec.
- Understanding the Purpose and Meaning of Education in the 21st Century: Duoethnographies From Multiple Perspectives of Educational Learners and Leaders
- Setouch le Setouch: Investigating Ethiopian and South African Women’s Leadership Beliefs and Actions
- Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for 21st Century Teaching and Learning: A Learning Communities Model
Starr, L.J., & Mitchell, C. (2018). How can Canada’s feminist international assistance policy support a feminist agenda? Challenges in addressing sexual violence in four agricultural colleges in Ethiopia. Agenda Feminist Media Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/xCVHhqxNba9tFNpGfhJ5/full
Sanford, K., & Starr, L.J. (2017). Curriculum theory and teacher education: Reframing the Relationship. Professing Education, 16(1), 36-50. Retrieved from
Starr, L.J., & DeMartini, A.K. (2015). Addressing the needs of doctoral students as academic practitioners: A collaborative inquiry on teaching in higher education. Canadian Journal for Higher Education 45(3) 68-73. Retrieved from http://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/cjhe/article/view/187554/pdf_27
Sanford, K.S., Hopper, T.H., & Starr, L.J. (2015). Transforming Teacher Education Thinking: Complexity and Relational Ways of Knowing. Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, 12(2), 26-48. Retrieved from http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/complicity/article/view/2...
Sanford, K., Merkel, E., Starr, L.J., Bonsor Kurki, S. (2015). Serious Games: Videogames for Good? E-Learning and Digital Media, 12(1), 90-106.
Starr, L.J. (2014). Informing Education Research and the Praxis of Leadership through the use of Autoethnography and Phenomenology. Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education, 5(3), 71-81. Available at http://cjnse-rcjce.ca/ojs2/index.php/cjnse/article/viewFile/266/220
Stanger, N.R.G., Tanaka, M.T., Starr, L.J., & Tse, V.V. (2013). Winter Counts as transformative inquiry: The role of creative imagery as an expression of adaptive change. Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, 10(1//2), 87-110.
Starr, L.J. (July, 2010). The use of autoethnography in educational research: Locating who we are in what we do. Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education, 3(1).
Starr, L.J. (Fall, 2010). An examination of tension in the space between leadership philosophy and the cultural reality of schools. Academic Leadership. 8(4). Retrieved from http://www.academicleadership.org/884/an-examination-of-tension-in-the-s...
Starr, L.J. (Winter, 2009). A critique the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile as a curricular document: Context, hegemony, hermeneutics and the 4 Rs. Yonsei Journal of International Studies, 2(2), 115-124.
Starr, L.J. (2018, in press). Locating who (I am) in what (I) do: An autoethnography encounter with relational curriculum. In T. Strong-Wilson, C. Ehret, D. Lewkowish & S. Chang Kredl (Eds.), Making/Unmaking Curriculum through Provoking Curriculum Encounters. William Pinar/Routledge for the Studies in Curriculum Theory series.
Starr, L.J., Pillay, D., Raissadat, H., & El Muhammady, F. (2017). Objects as spaces for traversing self and other. In D. Pillay, K. Pitthouse-Morgan & I. Naicker (ED.), Object Medleys: Interpretive Possibilities for Educational Research. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Sense Publishers
Starr, L.J., & Bortolin, K.M. (2017). Going in and coming out: Understanding ourselves as Mama Scholars. In C. DeRoche & E. Berger (eds.), The Parent-Track: Timing, Balance and Choice within Academia. Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Laurier University Press
Starr, L.J., & Sanford, K. (2017, in press). Understanding conditions that enable transformational shifts in teacher education programs and practices. In Ann E. Lopez & Elsie L. Olan (eds.), Transformative Pedagogies for Teacher Education: Moving Towards Critical Praxis in an era of Change. University of Toronto Press.
Starr, L.J. (2018, in press). What my grandmother continues to teach me: Understanding teaching and learning as inherently relational. Book chapter accepted for publication in D.C. Young, W.L. Kraglund-Gauthoer & T.G. Ryan (Eds.), Readiness for the Field: Perspectives from within the Triangle of Teacher Education.
Sanford, K., Starr, L.J., & Mimick, K. (2018, in press). Opening learning spaces for collaboration, community and meaning in teacher education: New Approaches. In L. Thomas, (Ed.), E-book published by the Canadian Association for Teacher Education
Sanford, K.S., Starr, L.J., & Bonsor Kurki, S. (2015). Gender Issues in Initial Teacher Education in Canada: A Research Lens. In T. Falkenberg (Eds.), Handbook of Canadian Research in Initial Teacher Education (pp.261-276). Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3yy1OPnpomCbUwxS3BRdVpnTnc/view
Tanaka, M.T., Tse, V.V., Stanger, N.R.G., Piché, I., Starr, L.J., Farrish, M & Abra, M. (2014). The Edge of Counselling: Mindful Negotiation of Emotions Towards Transforming Learning~Teaching. In L. Thomas, (Ed.), Becoming teacher: Sites for development of Canadian Teacher Education (pp.469-502). E-book published by the Canadian Association for Teacher Education at https://sites.google.com/site/cssecate/fall-working-conference
Starr, L.J. (2015). Leadership for Change in Teacher Education: Voices of Canadian Deans of Education [Review of the book, Leadership for Change in Teacher Education: Voices of Canadian Deans of Education, edited by S. Elliott-Johns]. Canadian Journal of Education, 38(4), 1-4. Retrieved from http://www.cje-rce.ca/index.php/cje-rce/article/view/2175/1809
Starr, L.J., & Mitchell, C. (2017). Agricultural Transformation Through Stronger Vocational Education (ATTSVE) project: Report on Survey/Assessment on Gender Based Violence in four ATVET Colleges: Woreta, Nedjo, Wolaita Sodo and Maichew. Developed through the ATTSVE Project by Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture and McGill University, Faculty of Education.
Starr, L.J. Mitchell, C., Macentee, K., & Thompson, J. (2018). Participatory Visual Methodology and Gender Training for Teacher Training Institutes. Metodologia Visual Participativa e Formação em Gênero nos IFPs. BETTER Project Training Report.
Mitchell, C., & Starr, L.J. (2017). Gender Matters: Gender Concerns in the Ethiopian Occupational Standards (OS) and Guidelines for Gender Responsive Teaching. Developed through the ATTSVE Project by Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture and McGill University Faculty of Education.
Starr, L.J. (2017, April). Relational Leadership to Empower Female ATVET Leaders. Invited Presentation at the National Conference on Agricultural, Technical, Vocational Education Training (ATVET) Colleges. Conference theme: ATVETs -Door to Improving Agriculture, and Lives. Adama, Ethiopia. April 3-5, 2017.
Johnson, S., Starr, L.J., Pugh, H, Bos, L., (2017, May). Completing the global goals through integrated development projects and higher education programs. Panel Presentation at the Annual Colleges and Institutes Conference, Ottawa, ON. April 30-May 2, 2017.
Starr, L.J. (2017, February). Locating who (I am) in what (I) do: An autoethnography of a relational teacher educator. Single paper presented at the 8th Biennial Provoking Curriculum, McGill University, Montreal, QC. February 17-19, 2017.
Starr, L.J., & Riches, C.J. (2016, October). Acknowledging the Enabling Constraints in Program Renewal for Teacher Education. Single paper accepted to the Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE) for presentation at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON. May 27-31, 2017.
Starr, L.J., Sanford, K., & Kane, R. (2016, October). Blue skies and rolling seas: Being a change agent in the leadership of teacher education programs. Single paper accepted to the Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education (CASWE) for presentation at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON. May 27-31, 2017.
Starr, L.J., & Kraig, C. (2016, May). Both sides of the educational fence: Understanding 21st century leadership through duoethnography. Single paper presented at the Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education (CASWE) for presentation at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. May 29-June 2, 2016.
Starr, L.J. (2016, May). Locating who (I am) in what (I) do: An autoethnography of a teacher educator Single paper submitted to the Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE), Special Interest group for Self-Study in Teacher Education (SSTEP) for presentation at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. May 29-June 2, 2016.
Sanford, K., Starr, L.J., & Mimick, K. (December, 2015). Asking, telling, challenging, and listening: Curriculum theorizing of teacher education programs. Single paper submitted to the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies (CACS) for presentation at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. May 29-June 2, 2016.
Starr, L.J., DeLuca, C., Ng-A-Fook, N., Deer, F., & Kirk, J. (December, 2015). Insights into academia from multiple Canadian perspectives. Single paper submitted to the Canadian Committee for Graduate Students in Education (CCGSE) for presentation at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. May 29-June 2, 2016.
Starr, L.J. 4th International Cellphilm Festival. The use of cellphilms in exploring and exposing gender inequity in Ethiopia. December 2016
Starr, L.J. Networks 4 Change: International dialogue ‘From the Ground Up’ Policy Making Led by Girls and Young Women in Addressing Sexual Violence. Panel: Critical issues in addressing sexual violence with girls and young women: New directions. November 2016
Starr, L.J. Place High School, Lester B. Pearson High School. STEAM2 Learning & pedagogy. October 2016
Starr, L.J. ABCs of the PhD. Panel: How to transition from your PhD to post-Phd: Considering academic and non-academic job opportunities for the future. April 2016.
Dissertation Recognition Award Canadian Association for Teacher Education 2015
Faculty of Education Nominee for the Principal's Prize for Excellence in Teaching 2017
Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education (CASWE)
Past President 2016-18
Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE)
Graduate Student Representative 2012 to present
Canadian Association for Foundations in Education (CAFE)
Graduate Student Representative 2011-2012
Canadian Committee of Graduate Students in Education (CCGSE)
Mentorship Award Committee Chairperson 2010-2012
McGill Journal of Education 2013
Canadian Association for the Study of Educational Administration (CASEA) Conference 2012
Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education (CASWE) Conference 2012, 2013
Canadian Committee of Graduate Students in Education Mentorship Award 2009
Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education 2010 to present
Western Canadian Association of Student Teachers Conference 2009
Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education 2009 to present
Educate, The Journal of Doctoral Research in Education 2010 to present
Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) 2008 to present
Canadian Association for the Study of Educational Administration (CASEA)
Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE)
Canadian Association for Foundations in Education (CAFE) 2009 to present
Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education (CASWE) 2009 to present
Canadian Committee of Graduate Students in Education (CCGSE) 2008 to present
Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling (OACAC) 2008 to 09
Online Conference System, West CAST 2009
Faculty of Education Bicentennial Committee 2017-2019