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Research Spotlight: Mary Drinkwater 

PhD Candidate
Department of Theory and Policy Studies in Education


Why and how do teachers in Ontario, Canada and in Maasailand, Kenya utilize the arts/aesthetics to address issues of social and eco-justice?


In the wake of both neoliberal and neoconservative reforms and increasing global hegemony, the role of schools is being questioned by many as democratic principles and practices continue to be undermined locally, nationally and internationally.

Additionally, given the increasing obsession with production and consumption in developed nations and the consequent deterioration of our environment, the role of educational institutions to prepare our youth to become members of the global community must be revisited.

Mary’s research study will follow teachers and schools in the Maasai region of southern Kenya who use critical democratic pedagogy and the arts/aesthetics to address issues of social justice and eco-justice. The Maasai are a traditionally patriarchal society with strong community values and an ecocentric identity. Although many characteristics of the schools and school systems are different, students and teachers in both Canada and Kenya face social, political, educational, economic and environmental factors that contribute to social and eco-justice issues.

Mary works with Featured Research Celebration Professor Reva Joshee

Reva is a critical intellectual with a deep social conscience. She is an outstanding role model for research and policy work in equity, diversity and social justice because she demonstrates these values in all of her actions.


OISE is recognized internationally as an outstanding educational institution!

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