Skip to main content Skip to local navigation

November 2020 issue of 'Innovatus' focuses on teaching, learning and the student experience in the Faculty of Education

November 2020 issue of 'Innovatus' focuses on teaching, learning and the student experience in the Faculty of Education

Welcome to the November 2020 issue of Innovatus, a special issue of YFile that is devoted to teaching and learning innovation at York University.

Will Gage

This issue of Innovatus focuses on teaching, learning and the student experience in the Faculty of Education. I am so pleased by the rich variety of stories offered in this issue because they showcase the expansive depth of the Faculty's approach to the "act of education" to quote Interim Dean Sharon Murphy.

Education is universal and the Faculty's work with refugees in the Dadaab Refugee Complex in Kenya, homeless youth and in re-envisioning early childhood education are displayed among the fine stories offered in this issue. As well, Dean Murphy's letter is a testament to the Faculty's commitment to excellence, and the story highlighting the innovation shown in moving the Faculty of Education's Summer Institute online and transforming it to a year-long effort is amazing. Encore!

Thank you again for the many wonderful comments about our September and October issues. I value each of your responses. Please continue to contact me with your ideas, classroom innovations and thoughts about teaching, learning and the student experience.

As I close, the snow is starting to fly and with it, the holidays are approaching. I would like to take a moment to wish each of you good health and happiness at home, which is especially important this year.

Featured in the November 2020 issue of Innovatus

Dean's letter: The act of education is an act of hope and imagination
In her letter to the community, Interim Dean Sharon Murphy writes about how the Faculty of Education is constantly working to enliven new visions of education and society, visions of possibility, equity and social justice. "Our work focuses not only inward on curriculum and pedagogy, but very much looks outward towards the idea of education being situated within a complex and seemingly evermore fragile world."

Summer Institute going strong all year
One of York University's hallowed traditions, the Faculty of Education Summer Institute (FESI), may have bowed to COVID-19 in terms of format, but it is unbowed in terms of mission and content. For 2020-2021, the institute has morphed into a series of five free webinars titled Up Close and Personal: Conversations on Anti-Oppression.

York lab explores solutions for youth homelessness
Stephen Gaetz, the York University Research Chair in Homelessness and Research Impact and a professor in the Faculty of Education, is using his excellent research and communications skills and grant-writing ability to attack the challenges within youth homelessness, which need broad solutions and a meeting of many perspectives.

Crisis: Only one of the experiences shared by students and faculty
Rachel Silver, an assistant professor of education at York, with the help of a team of her colleagues in both Toronto and Dadaab, has created a virtual colloquium series, Reciprocal Learning in Times of Crisis, for the Faculty's Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) program. The series considers the issues arising from the confluence of education, the COVID-19 pandemic and new waves of resistance to anti-Black racism.

Educators convene speaker series to address pressing questions in early childhood education and research in the 21st century
Lucy Angus and Cristina Delgado Vintimilla, assistant professors new to York and the Faculty of Education, have created a lecture series titled Disrupting Early Childhood: Inheritance, Pedagogy, Curriculum to explore new ideas about early childhood education (ECE) and create a space to bring together the innovative research conversations that are changing the field of ECE.

Innovatus is produced by the Office of the Associate Vice-President Teaching & Learning in partnership with Communications & Public Affairs.

I extend a personal invitation to you to share your experiences in teaching, learning, internationalization and the student experience through the Innovatus story form, which is available at

Will Gage
Associate Vice-President, Teaching & Learning