2022 Keynote Speaker – Dr. Sabre Cherkowski
Dr. Sabre Cherkowski is Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in the Okanagan School of Education at the University of British Columbia. She teaches and researches in the areas of organizational wellbeing, educational leadership, professional learning and collaboration, and mentoring and coaching. She is currently engaged in a pan-Canadian research project examining flourishing in schools from a positive organizational perspective, and was recently awarded UBC Okanagan’s Researcher of the Year award. Sabre brings her experiences as a teacher, coach, and parent to her passion for exploring what it means to flourish in work and life.
Dr. Cherkowski provided the keynote address titled: Research on, for, and, as wellbeing: Learning to flourish in our work. In the keynote, she outlined several principles of research that emerged from her multiple projects on flourishing in schools, and shared how these have influenced an understanding of what it means to engage in research for professional growth and development as an important “output” of a research life, alongside the more traditional outputs of knowledge contribution, influencing and informing policy, and mobilizing new findings to improve and grow education. Through a positive organizational orientation in research, she seeks to better understand the potential for generative and positive growth in her research communities, and in herself, as she engages in research on, for, and as wellbeing. This positioning of research assumes that the idea of professional flourishing lives at the heart of her research and teaching practices, a notion that is often countered by narratives of academia as an exhausting, depleting, and emotionally laborious career. Framed within the findings and research activities of her various projects on wellbeing in schools, the presentation unpacked the taken-for-granted elements that constitute the infrastructure of a question that became central to her research on wellbeing, and that prompts reflections on what it means to engage in a healthy, sustainable research and teaching career. In her interactive presentation she explores the question: What if my role, as a researcher, is to learn how to flourish?