It all started in 2016 when the provincially mandated curriculum changed to a concept-based, competency-driven model. I had already established myself as a concept-based teacher and inquiry advocate, so I became a go-to resource for schools across the province, hosting hands-on, how-to workshops—“pop-up studios,” as I called them—on professional development days. Those teacher-to-teacher opportunities slowly grew into more complex projects and long-term contracts, helping teachers, administrators, and parents rethink how we teach to better honour how our students learn.
Today, Pop-Up Studio is known as an artful and responsive teaching process and platform. Students and teachers weave concept-based, play-based, and inquiry approaches together with compelling materials to create memorable learning. Whether it’s facilitated through a workshop, one-on-one coaching, a year-long consulting contract, or online resources, you can expect to be an active participant, a possibility-finder, and meaning-maker. We’ll bridge theory, research, and practice together, through insightful tips for your context, thus reducing the time, money, and energy you’d spend trying to navigate these pedagogies by yourself. And the best part? We internalize concepts and ignite motivation for sustainable change.
If your curriculum mandates you teach subject-specific content by the end of the school year, a playful, concept-based approach to inquiry is how you can make that content compelling. Relating topics (let’s say London) back to bigger-picture concepts (like capital cities), and connecting our students’ own meaningful, lived experiences to new, broader contexts, we help them contextualize and internalize the subject matter—all while being engaged with hands-on materials and play. Expect your students to walk away bursting with ideas and solutions they’ll remember and share, long after they leave your class!
Before there was Pop-Up Studio, it was just me: equal parts teacher and lifelong learner. I’ve taught in pre-school, elementary, and post-secondary classrooms, and embodied virtually every school stakeholder position you can think of: administrator, parent, IB PYP coordinator, parent council co-chair, consultant, and of course, student. I like to think these positions have made me more empathetic to the many ways our school curricula can improve—and the many blocks to achieving that.
With a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, a certification in Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction (CBCI), over 20 years of teaching experience, and a track record of turning schools around, it’s safe to say that education is more than my career—it’s my calling.
Today, I think of myself as a curriculum and pedagogy artist and the classroom as a studio. In fact, I’m pursuing a PhD on just that! I hope to inspire artistry in your own classroom, whether it’s at “school” or at home. Now, let’s pop it up!
I may be a go-to resource on playful, concept-based approaches to inquiry, but I’m always learning with you. I believe the best results come from collaborating. Together, we’ll co-create better ways of teaching for today’s learners by stepping into our artistry.
Want to experience Pop-Up Studio for yourself? You’re in good company. Join the hundreds of teachers, administrators, and parents who have integrated a playful, concept-based approach to inquiry in their classrooms after an enlivened day of hands-on learning.
When you invest in your practice through Pop-Up Studio, you also improve learning and living conditions for children who need it most. We donate a portion of the proceeds to charities that provide access to direct experiences that build a sense of hope, discovery, and possibility.
We’ve supported Backback Buddies, Hogan’s Alley Society, Harvest Project, and Kids Up Front.
This introductory guide equips you with a handful of content-neutral, research-based question stems and performance tasks you can use to help learners see relevancy in their work, build subject expertise, and evoke delight in learning.
Launch the process of actualizing your educational dreams today! Book a complementary conversation to clarify how I can help you via coaching, consulting, or workshops.
Pop-Up Studio is all about generating responsible relationships to the materials in our lives, to the ideas we’ve inherited, and ultimately, to each other and the natural world. Discover the philosophy, backstory, and inspiration behind the book now with this FREE introductory chapter.