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Jean Kayira, PhD

Antioch University New England

I have a strong commitment to and passion for socio-ecological justice issues, community-based education, and collaborative inquiry. In engaging with these concerns, my work has focused on education as a sociocultural and critical practice, with an additional focus on epistemological and methodological issues of qualitative research. These foci draw on the practice of anti-oppressive education, social and cultural theory, postcolonial theory, and empirical research which engages directly with educators as well as students.

I have been engaged in a variety of research working with youth and teacher candidates on issues of sustainability, particularly examining Indigenous knowledge and sustainability, youth identity in relation to place and sustainability, and social and ecological justice pedagogies. For example, in my doctoral research, I have explored the possibilities of Indigenous knowledge in furthering student learning in relation to culturally appropriate environmental sustainability. I have drawn on the sub-Saharan African concept of Ubuntu/uMunthu[1] and postcolonial theory to enable a third space (Bhabha, 1994) centered on culturally appropriate Malawian ways of knowing, while at the same time, working in tandem with non-Indigenous knowledge and practice. In broad terms, this study sought to widen the space that meaningfully acknowledges both Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge and practice. The study employed aspects of participatory research (with youth) and Indigenous research methodologies.

I have also worked on a community-based action research project with youth (Aboriginal, new immigrant, and settler) to develop their digital media skills and through the process learn about their perspectives on place and the environmental sustainability issues important to them (http://www.seri.usask.ca/research/digital-media-project.php). Additionally, I have worked on a participatory research project studying beginning teachers’ experiences of learning to teach for social and ecological justice.

Educational History

  • PhD, University of Saskatchewan
  • MA, Environmental Science and Policy, Clark University
  • BEd Science, University of Malawi Chancellor College

Re-learning our Roots: Youth Participatory Research, Indigenous knowledge, and Sustainability through Agriculture (PhD research, 2010-2013, University of Saskatchewan, Canada)

A Qualitative Study Investigating Saskatchewan Organizations Working towards Violence Prevention, and/or Interventions, Regarding Youth Violence (December 2012 – May 2013)

Digital Media Project: Youth Making Place (2011-2013, University of Saskatchewan)

Participatory Action Research: Examining the Processes of Teaching and Learning for Socio-ecological Justice (2009, University of Saskatchewan)

Challenges for Sustainable Management of Solid Wastes in Lilongwe City, Malawi. A Master of Arts in Environmental Science and Policy Project (May 2004, Clark University, Worcester MA)

Anderson, A., Datta, R., Dyck, S., Kayira, J., & McVittie, J. (2016). Meanings of culture in sustainability education research. Journal Environmental Education, 47(1), 1-18, DOI: 10.1080/00958964.2015.1056077

Anderson, A., McKenzie, M., Allen, S., Hill, T., McLean, S., Kayira, J., Knorr, M., Stone, J., Murphy, J., & Butcher, K.(2015). Participatory action research as pedagogy: Investigating social and ecological justice learning within a teacher education program. Teaching Education. 26 (2), 179-195, DOI: 10.1080/10476210.2014.996740

Kayira, J. (2013). (Re)creating spaces for uMunthu: Postcolonial Theory and Environmental Education in Southern Africa. Environmental Education Research 21 (1), 106-128. DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2013.860428

Kayira, J. (accepted). Schooling for Sustainable Development in Canada and the United States, Book review. Journal of Education for Sustainable Development McKenzie, M., Butcher, K., Fruson, D., Knorr, M., Stone, J., Allan, S., Hill, T., Murphy, J., McLean, S., Anderson, V., & Kayira, J. (2013). Suited: Relational methodologies and critical eco pedagogies. In M. Brody, J. Dillon, R. B. Stevenson & A. E. J. Wals (Eds), International handbook for research on environmental education. London: Routledge.

Russel, J., White, P., Chung Tiam Fook, T., Kayira, J., Mueller, S., & Oakley, J. (2010). Graduate Students Lend their Voices: Reflections on the 10th Seminar in Health and Environmental Education Research. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education 15, 74-85.

Currotto, B., Dahl, T., Graham, A., Kayira, J., McCann, E. & Trapani, J. (2016).

Climate Justice and Community Resilience: An Interactive Dialogue. Presentation at the Education Summit at the Local Solutions: Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness Conference, Baltimore MD, April 6, 2016.

Kayira, J. (2015). Indigenous Knowledge and Biodiversity Conservation. Training conducted at the 8th Regional Network for Conservation Educators in the Albertine Rift (RNCEAR) Annual Workshop, University of Rwanda – Huye Campus, Rwanda, June 19-20.

Espinosa Marrero, C., Gerrior, J., Graham A., Kayira, J., & McCann. E. (2015). Climate Justice and EE: An Open Space Dialogue. Presentation at the New England Environmental Education Alliance Conference, Waterville Valley, NH, November 8-10.

Espinosa Marrero, C., Gerrior, J., Graham, A., Kayira, J., & McCann. E. (2015). Everyone Eats: Community Gardening as a Practice of Civic Ecology & Resilience. Presentation at the New England Environmental Education Alliance Conference, Waterville Valley, NH, November 8-10.

Dibenedetto, M., Espinosa-Marrero, C, Graham, A., Jenkins, P, Powell, S. Kayira, J., & McCann, E. (2014). Community Resilience and Food Security through Collaborative Gardening. Poster presentation at the North American Association for Environmental Education Annual Conference, Ottawa Canada, October 8-11

Kayira, J., Gebhard, A., & Gillies, C. (2013, May). Indigenous anti-racist responses to racialized violence: Community organizations and violence prevention with urban Indigenous youth. Paper presented at the Ninth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 15-18

Teacher Scholar Doctoral Fellowship, University of Saskatchewan, September 2012-August 2013

Graduate Student Association Fellowship, University of Saskatchewan, 2012

John Spencer Middleton & Jack Spencer Gordon Middleton Fellowship, University of Saskatchewan, 2012

Global Partners II, International Development Research Centre and University of Saskatchewan, 2010-2011

Graduate Fellowships, University of Saskatchewan, 2009-2011

Graduate Tuition, Clark University, 2002 – 2004

USAID Human Resource and Institutional Development Scholarship, University of Malawi – Chancellor College, 1989-1991

Reviewer:

Environmental Education Research

Australian Journal of Environmental Education

Environmental Education SIG, American Educational Research Association

Institute for Gender in Research and Development

Sustainability Science

Member:

New Hampshire Environmental Literacy Professional Development Collaborative (NH ELPRO) August 2014-Present

American Educational Research Association (AERA), 2010 – present

North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), 2013 – present

Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM), 2011-2013

Saskatchewan Outdoor and Environmental Education Association (SOEEA), 2011-2013

Saskatchewan Environmental Industry and Managers Association (SEIMA), 2011-2013

Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Inc. (DKG), 2012-2013

Committee on Community-based Pedagogies at the University of Saskatchewan 2013

 

Jean Kayira headshot

Core Faculty,

Environmental Studies & Sustainability

Program Director Environmental Studies PhD Program,

Environmental Studies

CONTACT INFORMATION

Courses Taught

ES 6050: Citizen Participation & Sustainable Communities

ESE 5470: Community and School-Based Food Systems

ES7760: Dissertation Seminar

ESE 5490: Environmental Education Field Techniques: Place-Based Environmental Education

ESE 5140: Program Planning & Design

ES 7280: Qualitative Research Strategies

ESE 5170: Urban Environmental Education

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