Skip to primary navigation.
Skip to secondary navigation.
Skip to page content.


Return to top of page.
Skip to secondary navigation.
Skip to page content.
Return to top of page.
Return to primary navigation.
Skip to secondary navigation.

Our team

micheleDr. Michele Tanaka, principal investigator, University of Victoria

Michele Tanaka is an assistant professor in the Teacher Education Program at the University of Victoria. In over 30 years as an educator, she has worked with a variety of people as learner%7eteacher%7eresearchers in pre-school, kindergarten, grade five, high school and parenting course contexts. Her current instructional work at UVic includes mentoring pre-service teachers as they explore Transformative Inquiry approach within their practice. Strongly overlapping with her approach to teaching, Michele's research looks at the complicated terrain of developing Transformative Inquiry within teacher education. She is particularly interested in clarifying and articulating the essential elements, intuitive processes and practical tensions inherent to Transformative Inquiry. To address these issues, she has been carefully attending to the process of mentoring, the rhythms of inquiry, and to the thoughts and opinions of course participants. Her related research interests include teacher reflexivity, indigenous education, cross-cultural understanding, and re-visioning educational culture for sustainability.  Contact her at mtanaka@uvic.ca

MaureenMaureen Farish, research collaborator

Maureen Farish completed her BEd at The University of Calgary with a focus on Secondary Social Studies. She moved to Cranbrook, B.C shortly after graduating and worked as an elementary school teacher for several years. She was then assigned an elementary Vice-Principal position at the Dual Track School followed by the position of Principal at two other elementary schools. Her MA Degree focused on Curriculum and Administration. For the past five years, Maureen has worked as a Sessional Instructor in the East Kootenay, UVic Teacher Education Program. She has also enjoyed supervising student teachers for six years. Her focus is on helping new teachers to understand the complexity of a teaching career and the need to avoid viewing teaching as simply a set of skills that can be compiled, learned and applied. She believes that Education in the 21st Century requires an open, flexible and inquiring mind-set. It also requires teachers to be comfortable without having all of the answers and to realize that it is the questions, not the answers, that are the key to learning.

DianaDr. Diana Nicholson, research collaborator

Diana Nicholson spent the first ten years of her research career investigating ways to support at-risk youth.  As a scholar of teaching and learning, her interests focus around teacher-student relationships and inquiry-based educational processes.  Her doctoral research focused on exploring conceptions of "knowledge" with youth with the intent to inform how teachers embody "knowledge" in teaching-learning encounters.

NickNicholas Stanger, research assistant

Nick Stanger currently shares his time between deep outdoor play and high-tech online multimedia projects.  This paradoxical interest has helped form his understanding and embodiment of the human-digital-nature conundrum we currently face in our westernized social fabric.  The main focus of his research is on the learning that occurs within childhood special places, and their lasting effects on our lives. With his background in natural resources, tree-canopy research, Masters in environmental education and communications, and significant work in conservation, indigenous education, and technical web-based learning systems, his PhD represents an interactive online video journey designed to combine his skills, expertise, and interests.  Additionally, many of the photos on this website were provided by him (nrgs).  He currently lives with his wife in a little yellow energy efficient 1906 house in Victoria, BC where they grow food, collect water, and live a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Lisa

Lisa J. Starr, research assistant

Lisa J. Starr is a former secondary school teacher currently completing a doctoral degree in Social, Cultural and Foundation studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UVic. She received a Master of Arts degree in administration and supervision while working overseas. Her teaching career led her from Canada to Pakistan, Kuwait and Mongolia and created a passion for the study of the relationship between identity and culture, particularly in relation to educational effectiveness and school leadership. Of critical importance to her practice as an educator is the facilitation of opportunities to challenge thinking around three questions: What are we doing? Why do we do what we do? How can we do the things that we do better? Lisa strives to facilitate experiences beyond simple show and tell to create transformative learning environments where individuals are inspired and empowered. Her current research focus is the use of autoethnography in the study of leadership philosophy and practice.

VanessaVanessa Tse, research assistant

Vanessa Tse is constantly learning as a teacher-on-call and research assistant.  She possesses Bachelor degrees in English and Education from UVic and came into education through a passion for reaching under-privileged children in all walks of life.  Vanessa is involved in humanitarian endeavors both globally and locally, which have taken her abroad to India and Mexico, and keeps her engaged with local NGOs, such as the Ledger Centre in Victoria.  She is excited to see growth in students' lives through Transformative Inquiry and looks forward to implementing TI in her practice as an educator.

MeaghanMeaghan Abra, research assistant

Meaghan Abra is an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Education and is currently completing her Bachelor of Education in Elementary Curriculum. Meaghan has been a part of the Education Students' Association as a workshop coordinator and co-organized the first annual students' conference "Moving Beyond the Curriculum" in October 2011. Meaghan is passionate about working with at-risk youth and is excited to move forward in to a teaching career in this area.


AliAllii Gator 

Allii Gator, an honorary research assistant, came to the TI project after being liberated from Wal-Mart in the winter of 2012. Also known as the Dragillator, Allii lives in the messy swamp of Transformative Inquiry. Allie self identifies as trans~gendered, trans~informed and trans~forming. Most days s~he lurks within heavily emotional terrain, and has a particular research interest in feelings of discomfort, including shame and the awkwardness of be~coming. S~he covets twinkies and hot sauce as favourite treats, and on days off can be found marinating in the Everglades or reading TI articles in the infamous and comfy white chair.



Return to top of page.
Return to primary navigation.
Skip to page content.
Return to top of page.
Return to primary navigation.
Return to secondary navigation.
Return to page content.