DR. Lynn Bosetti
Okanagan School of Education
Growing up in rural Alberta as the daughter of an educator who strongly advocated for the rights of families and children, I became aware early on of my white, middle-class privilege and the many disparities in access to quality education and life opportunities. Moving around Alberta and meeting many inspiring people helped me to appreciate the importance of place, relationships and community. From these formative experiences, I developed a passion and commitment to equity, access, social justice and community. Now, I am the mother of two adult children, and in my spare time, I am learning to manage our family ranch in Southern Alberta with lots of help from elders and the local community.
My current research focuses on faculty incivility and the emotional labour of leadership in higher education, inspired by my experiences as a dean. As dean, you have a weighty moral responsibility for the career and working conditions of faculty, ensuring students receive high-quality programs, responding to government mandates and working with community and industry partners—all to ensure the long-term viability of your programs. I found that there is little preparation or support for professors moving into leadership positions and managing the emotional labour involved in leading change and creating positive workplaces amidst challenging circumstances. My research documents narrative accounts of the everyday experiences, struggles and vulnerabilities of Canadian deans leading in sometimes toxic cultures of incivility, and how these tensions influence how they execute their role mandates, their mindset, academic identity, and well-being. I hope to see the findings of this research inform the recruitment, preparation and support of leaders, as well as support the creation of policies to address workplace incivility.
“I strive to create a safe, brave space where students can share their experiences, investigate alternative perspectives, and form their own position on controversial issues.”
Teaching and mentoring graduate students are the absolute highlights of being a professor. Teaching keeps me current in the constantly-evolving world of education. Since joining the academe in 1990, I have experienced many different approaches to teaching and learning in teacher education. I am more interested in authentic forms of assessment, where students have more voice and choice in how they learn. I want students to engage in meaningful work, take risks and push boundaries in learning. One of my favourite courses to teach is on controversial issues in education. I strive to create a safe, brave space where students can share their experiences, investigate alternative perspectives, and form their own position on controversial issues. The aim is to create a scholarly community of practice to share knowledge, challenge our assumptions and broaden our perspectives. I also learn alongside my students—in a classroom shared by local, national and international students, we have the exciting opportunity to hear many different perspectives on important issues and challenge dominant western views.
There is something special about working at a regional campus, especially one located in the Okanagan. As a relatively new institution, we have the opportunity to create our own traditions, develop programs that respond to our region and have a real impact on our community. In the Okanagan School of Education, I appreciate our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in our curriculum, attention to Indigenous epistemology, and relationship with our land and community. This is particularly important in the preparation of teachers and leaders in education.
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