About Me

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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Moving Trees: Social Change and Social Capital in Action

My research is largely focused on how social change happens in contexts such as Haiti. I have written extensively about how social change is often accomplished through the use of social capital, the ways in which humans form networks to accomplish a commonly beneficial goal.

Examples of this are all around us.

Someone sees a need in the community for a food program. They invite others to join them. Collectively, the group works to meet the need.

A person recognizes that children from the community have to travel a distance to get to a school. They establish a school. Parents and teachers join them to provide the financial capital and human resources to meet the need.

People recognize that others are being displaced from their homes due to a war. They join together to supply resources and means to meet the needs of the refugees.

A child thinks that a school could do a better job dealing with left-overs from student lunches. She talks with the principal, teachers, and students to organize a school organic waste program.

Teachers need training to more effectively meet student needs. Educators from Haiti, Canada, and the US join together to provide mentoring and resource-sharing (this last one may sound familiar).

Recently, I came across this video which provides a short (2+ minutes), but compelling, lesson on how change can happen when people join together to accomplish a task. Enjoy!

Lead India - The Tree (click here to watch the video - first 15 seconds will be an advertisement)

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