2012 Conference

Workshop Descriptions


Dr Martin Brokenleg PhD


The Circle of Courage Philosophy – Building on the Resiliency of Children

The Circle of Courage, is a model of youth empowerment supported by contemporary research, the heritage of early youth work pioneers and Native philosophies of child care. The model is encompassed in four core values: belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. The central theme of this model is that a set of shared values must exist in any community to create environments that ultimately benefit all.

In 1990, Dr. Larry Brendtro, Dr. Martin Brokenleg, and Dr. Steve Van Bockern, Augustana College faculty, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, published Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future. The authors suggested that children who are often referred to as "alienated", "troubled" or "difficult" are at risk because they live in an environment that is hazardous - one that breeds discouragement. By contrast, an environment that promotes courage is one that fosters changes to meet the needs of the young person and society and subsequently reclaims youth at risk.

The Circle of Courage is a philosophy that integrates the best of Western educational thought with the wisdom of indigenous cultures and emerging research on positive youth development. The circle suggests the importance of the shared values of belonging, generosity, independence, and mastery. While the four dimensions of the Circle of Courage can be described individually, they must be viewed as one.

Dr. Stuart Shanker

With Guest Moderator – Superintendent John Gaiptman


Self-Regulation – The Physiological and Emotional Levels

There is a growing awareness among developmental scientists that the better a child can self-regulate, the better she can rise to the challenge of mastering ever more complex skills and concepts. In the simplest terms, self-regulation can be defined as the ability to stay calmly focused and alert, which often involves – but cannot be reduced to – self-control. The better a child can stay calmly focused and alert, the better he integrates the diverse information coming in from his different senses, assimilates it, and sequences his thoughts and actions. For someone who thinks that self-regulation is really just a matter of a child’s getting in control of his negative emotions, there is very little difference between self-regulation and compliance. But, unlike compliance based on punishment, self-regulation nurtures the ability to cope with greater and greater challenges because it involves arousal states, emotions, behavior, and – as the child grows older – thinking skills.

This session will focus the ability to attain, maintain and change one’s level of arousal appropriately for a task or situation as well as the ability to control one’s emotions”.


Self-Regulation – The Cognitive and Social Levels

“The better a child can stay calmly focused and alert, the better he integrates the diverse information coming in from his different senses, assimilates it, and sequences his thoughts and actions.”  Dr. Stuart Shanker

Self-regulation serves as a lens for understanding a child, his individual strengths and the areas that need work, and thus as a lens for understanding what we hope to accomplish in our teaching practices

This session will focus on the ability to formulate a goal, monitor goal-progress, adjust one’s behaviors; the ability to manage social interactions, to co-regulate; as well as the ability to be aware of one’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and have a repertoire of strategies to tackle day-to-day challenges of academic tasks”

Jeff Hopkins


Personalizing Learning: “Coming in for a landing from 10,000 metres”

Personalized Learning has become a much-used term in education today.  This workshop will explore the details of what actions are associated with actually personalizing learning, based on what we now know about learning that we did not when our system was first created over 100 years ago. Examples of processes that help a community share grassroots ideas and reach consensus on these important issues are included in this session.  Jeff Hopkins is the Superintendent of Schools of the Gulf Islands school district.

ED Talk Panels

These sessions will each feature panelists who will share their successful practices engaging students in their learning.  After all panelists make their presentation, the audience will be able to ask questions and be engaged in dialogue to share knowledge and practices.

Sessions 7 - 10 follow the principle that student engagement is key to student success at all levels of education. We have collected some of the best examples of best practices that are happening right here, right now in the Victoria and Sooke School Districts.

These teachers have decades of experience in teaching students, and they know how to engage. Each panellist will speak briefly about some of the engaging activities they use in their classrooms. Then the floor will open up for discussion. Please bring your questions and ideas to these sessions.


Aboriginal Panel - Building Bridges in the Education System to reach New Destinations

The bridges we have built have served us for some time.  Enhancement agreements and other bridges have moved us along the path to success for many students.  But, have the these bridges reached their maximum capacity?  Are these bridges connecting to the destinations we need to get to in order for all our children to succeed?  This workshop will provide some history and context to this conversation.  We will then explore the destinations we have to get to and the type of bridges that will be required to reach these destinations.  Our panelists are; Butch Dick and Brad Dick of the Songhees Nation; Mark Albany, First Nations Counselor at Shoreline Middle School and Dr. Martin Brokenleg of the Lakota people.


What is Personalized Learning?

This session will feature four panelists who will each define and then debate the concept of personalized learning.  The audience will also get involved in the dialogue with a view to reaching some consensus on the key elements that define and generate personalized learning.  Our panelists are Rod Allen, Superintendent of Achievement with the Ministry of Education; Jim Cambridge, Superintendent of Schools for the Sooke School District; Alana Charlton, Principal of Reynolds Secondary School; and Sanjai Sundher; teacher at Reynolds Secondary School.


Engaging Students at Elementary School featuring:

  • Nadine Naughton, former Kindergarten teacher at Macaulay Elementary School
  • Deanna Brajcich, teacher at Wishart Elementary School
  • Rupert Gadd, teacher at Happy Valley Elementary


Engaging Students at Middle School featuring:

  • Lenore Clarke, teacher at Dunsmuir Middle School
  • Kristy Kilpatrick, teacher at Lansdowne Middle School
  • Chuck Simms, teacher at Dunsmuir Middle School
  • Laurie Gitzel, teacher at Journey Middle School


Engaging Students at Secondary School featuring:


Out of the Box Engagement – Programs of Choice featuring:



Presented by the School District Parent Advisory Councils of Sooke (SPEAC) and Victoria (VCPAC) with support from the Greater Victoria School District (#61). and the Sooke School District (#62)