Dr. Debbie Donsky is currently a Student Achievement Officer at the Ministry of Education in Ontario supporting professional learning for leaders. She has been an elementary principal and teacher for 25 years, is a mother of two amazing teenagers and loves to read, blog and draw in her free time, as well as spend time with her very patient husband of almost 20 years. She has been sketchnoting for about two years and uses it as a way to document, reflect and share her thinking with others.
Debbie completed her EdD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto in 2006 where she focused on the dynamic created when Critical Pedagogy is infused into Knowledge Building. She investigates the role of power in pedagogy and how can we find spaces of possibility in the curriculum to honour student voice and social justice in a responsive and dynamic way. By examining patterns of participation and dialogue, whose knowledge is valued and whose is silenced and the various forms of resistance in the classroom and school that either promote or inhibit critical knowledge building, Debbie questions the role of the educator in creating these spaces. The application of this thinking through adult learning and social media is something that Debbie continues to play with in terms of power in learning spaces, dialogue and social constructions of self through storytelling and professional learning.
Debbie recently did a TEDx talk called Reclaiming Space at TEDxEDKitchener which focuses on the experiences of marginalization and discrimination faced by fat people. She has illustrated and co-authored Milo’s Adventures, a story about love through the lived experiences of a child (her godson) born to two daddies with the support of a surrogate and has published in other professional journals and books.