It has been said that, without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world.  At the same time, if you don’t engage the world, you’re missing out on an education.  I don’t mean that the only way to be educated is to circle the globe, although there is plenty to learn from such an experience.  What I mean is that ways of learning and knowing influence and are influenced by the world around us.  The world for one person may be their neighbourhood; for another, it’s the globe.  These worlds may grow or shrink.  Our settings change.  People move and change and interactions will create new knowledge.  With all the joys and pains of it, the world, no matter how it’s seen, is always in flux, which means learning and knowing  are also always in flux.  It is with this understanding of the world and of knowledge that I approach the work I do with RSEKN and with my own research.  My name is Mark Currie and I’m the RSEKN Eastern Ontario Communications Officer.

Mark Currie

I joined RSEKN and instantly felt a strong relationship.  My role shapes and re-shapes my perspectives on issues of equity in education, and I contribute what I can to solidify and expand the content and partnerships of the Equity Knowledge Network.  I am currently in the second year of my PhD in Education at the University of Ottawa where I focus my research on antiracist education, specifically looking to contribute to the development of antiracist historical consciousness.  This work will be based within Ontario, but my previous research and experiences come from a range of locations and issues with education.

Prior to moving to Ottawa, I completed my Master of Arts in Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island.  My research focused on Postcolonial Education in relation to cultural identity and migration on the Caribbean island of Dominica.  Before that, I achieved my Master of Teaching from Griffith University in Australia.  For this degree, I conducted my research in South Africa and focused on in-class student motivation.  In all of these experiences I was using my formal education to travel and encounter ways of knowing that were different from my own, which provided me with new knowledge to contemplate.

I engage the world through my travels and interactions with people who see and know things differently than I do.  My point, however, isn’t that travel is the only way to interact with other people and places.  Rather, what I’m suggesting is that everyone must find ways for connecting with their surroundings, whether in small or large range, in order to understand that people learn and know differently, but all ways of learning and knowing shape the world.  Knowledge doesn’t exist as a universal ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.  Knowledge is created and recreated in different contexts at different times, and we must gather the courage to examine the changes, change ourselves, and embrace the world and its people for all there is to offer.   

Take a look at the TED Talk “Different Ways of Knowing” by Daniel Tammet, a resource that helps me consider and develop my own positioning. 

Mark Currie

Mark Currie is a PhD Candidate and Teacher Educator in the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. He is a recipient of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Award and focuses his research around public pedagogies, sociohistorical space, and enacting antiracisms. He is also an Equity Knowledge Mobilizer at RSEKN.