Program: Doctor of Education (EdD) in Child Study and Education
Expected year of graduation: 2026
What led you to apply to APHD at OISE?
I’ve always been interested in teaching, but I chose to apply to APHD at OISE because I wanted the opportunity to learn from leading professors in the field of education. Upon joining the MA-CSE program in 2013 I found myself immersed in the teaching and learning environment at UofT’s Institute of Child Study Laboratory School (ICS.) The approaches of exemplary teacher researchers at ICS are transformative in how children, and teacher-candidates, learn to learn. After graduation I was hired by the Laboratory School to teach Junior Kindergarten and eventually Grade Two. When the Doctorate of Education in Child Study and Education (EdD-CSE) degree program was introduced in 2020, I knew I wanted to apply once again to APHD at OISE. Instead of learning about evidence-based practice, the EdD-CSE program has given me the opportunity to take my practice-based evidence and critically analyze how pedagogy can be improved. Currently, I am investigating how Indigenous children’s literatures can support land-based inquiry and climate action education in the early years and elementary school settings.
What was your past experience like?
Over the course of my time teaching at ICS, I have been able to work with children and their profoundly human interest in how the natural world works. Whether we are learning about fungi in JK, learning from beavers, or raising salmon in the classroom as part of our habitat restoration work in grade two, I have found that the children learn best when it is clear I am learning alongside them. In this teaching position I have met many experts that have challenged me to expand my perspectives while supporting my students to do the same. Since I also mentor several MA-CSE teacher candidates at a time, I share thinking and the knowledge I have learned along the way in the hopes that they too will look at their own practice in ways that deviate from traditional forms of education. Working with adults and young children in this capacity is a rare opportunity that has shaped my professional and personal growth.
Are there any past accomplishments that you would like to highlight?
Recently I have begun conducting workshops for educators interested in how to incorporate different literatures and Indigenous perspectives into their own teaching practice. Collaborating with outstanding programs such as The Robertson Program for Inquiry-based Teaching in Mathematics and Science, as well as, Natural Curiosity, I have been able to share my learning at conferences such as EECOM, IALS, and The Knowledge Building Institute. I am excited to return to speak at these conferences in 2023 to share my evolving research in practice.
What is one thing you like most about your experience so far at OISE?
At OISE I appreciate the knowledgeable and supportive professors and the welcoming, close-knit community that the Child Study and Education programs create.
What is your favourite thing about Toronto?
The amazing hidden gems across the city that allow me to take in vibrant restaurants, live music, and the diverse arts scene.
What does your “weekend” typically look like?
Depending on the time of year, my weekends involve long-distance cycling, spending time up north on Chemong Lake, entertaining friends and family at home, and playing music.
What are some of your hobbies & interests?
Aside from my interest in Indigenous literatures, I collect vintage drum sets and have a deep passion for playing drums and percussion with a range of jazz musicians in Toronto.
What is your favourite type of cuisine?
Colombian food. My father is from Colombia and I have grown up eating some of the most flavourful food both in Colombia and in Toronto. There are many amazing Colombian empanada spots around the city, you just need to keep an eye out for them.
Where do you see yourself after you achieve your degree from APHD?
Supporting educators to push the boundaries of what meaningful elementary education looks like in Ontario.