In this episode, we speak with Dr. Phil McRae who is an Executive Staff Officer and Associate Coordinator, Government-Research with the Alberta Teachers’ Association and Adjunct Professor within the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta where he earned his Ph.D.
He was the Director of the internationally recognized Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI) at the University of Alberta from 2005-2009. Phil has worked in many secondary and post-secondary educational contexts while living and teaching in the Middle East (United Arab Emirates), Asia (Japan), Europe (Spain), and in Alberta with the Lethbridge Public School District and at Red Crow College with the Blood Tribe (Kainai First Nation). The Blackfoot honoured him with the name Áípapomm, which means lightning.
Phil is the past winner of the Alberta Excellence in Teaching Finalist Award, the University of Alberta’s Queen Elizabeth II Doctoral Scholar Award, Minister of Education’s Innovation Award, and the ATA Provincial Educational Research Award.
Despite all these accolades and achievements, when I asked Phil what I should say in this introduction, he said simply to say that he was a rancher from Southern Alberta.
We speak about a number of topics in this conversation with a focus on curriculum change, class sizes and dealing with technology. I think everyone will take something away from our discussion.
-Phil’s 3 recommendations for “dealing” with technology are:
- Consider the age at which technology is introduced
- Be present as relationships are important
-The article he reference about technology and education is Blended learning: The great new thing or the great new hype?
-Website recommendation is
-Some trends that Phil is following are:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Truth/Trust/Democracy (for an example see Timothy Snyder’s work)
- The Attention Economy
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