Kari-Lynn Winters, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, is being recognized for her commitment to engaging the St. Catharines community through arts education activities.
Winters was nominated for the Arts in Education Award by a group of Brock University students and her colleague Shelley Griffin, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education.
“I just feel honoured to be nominated,” said Winters. “It’s touching when your students think so highly of you that they’re willing to take the time to write the letters.”
For Winters, her work at Brock and in the community brings together her passion for education and her love of the arts.
“I think the arts are what make us human,” she said. “It’s our way to connect with each other.”
Winters teaches drama, language arts and dance in Brock’s Teacher Education programs and supervises graduate students in the Faculty of Education. As a graduate supervisor and researcher, she works with students and other faculty members to conduct research studies throughout St. Catharines.
In her classes at Brock, Winters helps teacher candidates learn the elements of an artform, such as dance or drama, and strategies for using these elements to teach other subjects. Teacher candidates might use movement and storytelling to design a math lesson, for example.
“I just try to create an artful space where students can explore with one another and actually learn together,” said Winters. “By the time they leave, they feel like they’re part of a bigger community. I think they’re just open to exploring new ways to teach.”
These new ways of teaching will help teacher candidates incorporate different ways of learning into their future classrooms. As well as new teaching strategies, Winters’ classes offer teacher candidates a safe space to take risks and make mistakes, helping them to be more fearless educators.
Outside of Brock, Winters works with local arts groups, children, parents, librarians and teachers as an artist and children’s book author.
In collaboration with the Carousel Players, Winters created the early years curriculum for the award-winning professional theatre in Niagara. As a workshop facilitator and educator, she inspires members of the community, including marginalized teens and adults, to create plays. Each year, Winters visits schools across Niagara and around the world to share her enthusiasm for creative writing and literacy education with thousands of K-12 students.
The St. Catharines Arts Awards ceremony, set to take place May 1 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, celebrates excellence in all areas of artistic creation in Niagara’s most populous city.
Two Brock graduates, Katherine Gottli (BA ’10, MEd ’13) and Colleen McTigue (ADEC ’15), have also been nominated for the Emerging Artist Award category, which celebrates the achievements and potential of an emerging artist in St. Catharines working to establish a career and become a recognized professional artist in their field.