Geography conference looks at our world through diversity

This week, 150 geography teachers across Ontario will be at St. Andrew's College for the annual Fall Conference of the Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education (OAGEE). 
 
The November 11 and 12 event is the larger of two annual gatherings of teachers in the discipline and includes representatives from public, independent, private, and Catholic boards. There will be 46 presentations and workshop sessions, including a field trip to the Kortright Centre for Conservation’s archetype sustainable house.
 
Dr. David Joiner, SAC’s Head of Geography, is the event co-chair and has worked in the OAGEE planning committee to plan a program to supports this year’s theme, Geography: Embracing our World Through Diversity. Topics include inquiry-based and modern learning, global citizenship, equity and indigenous issues, geospatial technology and digital applications, and giant maps.
 
SAC geography teachers Trevor Biasi, Ben Kitagawa, Adam Kowaltschuk, Melissa Ramon, and Joe Commisso are also involved, and student volunteers will be assisting as well. The School last hosted the OAGEE conference in 2011.
 
“This is a great opportunity for St. Andrew's College both to contribute to the teaching of geography and global awareness and to benefit from the innovative ideas that will be shared at the conference,” says Dr. Joiner.
 
Three keynote speakers embody diversity through their careers and achievements.
 
Teddy Syrette, a queer-Indigenous activist, artist and storyteller, is up first Friday morning with his presentation “Walking in Rainbow Moccasins on Turtle Island.” On Friday evening, Richard Scott, a senior planner with Parks Canada, will speak on the new Rouge National Urban Park initiative. Saturday morning, Toronto Star investigative reporter and author Tanya Talaga will share insights gleaned from stories including the 2015 Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, and a series on murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
 
A Remembrance Day observance will take place in Memorial Chapel on Saturday morning.
 
“We look forward to two terrific days of sharing knowledge and sharing St. Andrew's College with our guests,” says Dr. Joiner.

Story by Cindy Veitch 
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St. Andrew's College
15800 Yonge Street, Aurora, ON L4G 3H7 Canada
Tel: 905-727-3178