Meet the Board: Dr. Leslie Robertson

cSPACE Welcomes Arts Champion and Educator Dr. Leslie Robertson to the Board of Directors

cSPACE’s latest board member, Dr. Leslie Robertson, holds a PhD in Curriculum Teaching and Learning, a MEd in Staff Development from the University of Calgary, and a BEd from the University of ManitobaShe is currently an Instructor in the Faculty of Education at Mount Royal University, teaching and mentoring aspiring teachers.

Inspired from an early age

The Arts have been an integral element of Leslie’s psyche from early days. She grew up in a house filled with music and creativity and so her deep appreciation of the Arts includes a wide range of artistic interests such as music, theatre and the visual arts.

A lifetime in education

As a career educator, Leslie has made significant contributions to several Calgary Board of Education initiatives incorporating the Arts. The results include innovations in administration, the classroom and the broader community.

Advocating arts-centred learning

Leslie’s passion for the Arts and Education culminated in more than 11 years as principal and instructional leader of an Arts-Centred Learning school here in Calgary. At Willow Park the focus is on cross-curricular, concept-based learning through the Arts. While there, her modelling, mentorship and leadership created opportunities for teachers to explore creative and effective teaching strategies involving inquiry and rich task design. Meanwhile, during her tenure, Leslie welcomed opportunities to invite local, national and international artists to share their artistic skills. Students and teachers are enriched through interaction with artists, and so through these opportunities, students at Willow Park developed a new understanding of the power and importance of the Arts in education and life.

The Arts create passionate and caring human beings 

Leslie believes the Arts are a catalyst for awareness and change. For instance, the Arts create a space where the unimaginable becomes imagined and the impossible becomes possible. 

The Arts chronicle the Ages. They impact every aspect of society, providing a critical eye to inequity and injustice. The Arts expose the human condition by giving voice to all members of society. Meanwhile, the power of the Arts lies in creating a social dialogue between what we experience through art and what we experience as a society. Therefore the effect is profound, and has the capacity to create passionate and caring human beings.

Leading by example

The spirit of collaboration is evident through Leslie’s great accomplishments. Throughout her career, Leslie has served on numerous educational committees. And so wherever she goes, she brings vast knowledge, experience and expertise with her. She has collaborated with various invested partners to facilitate best practises. The result is meaningful and successful learning opportunities for students. These include:

  • Designing and engaging in action research to further the work of Arts-Centred learning in the CBE – Alberta University of the Arts
  • Developing and implementing an aesthetic (arts-centred) framework to guide and inform teaching and learning for school and the CBE
  • Partnering and collaborating with Mount Royal University’s programming for teacher candidates to provide aesthetic/arts-centred professional learning opportunities for teacher candidates and instructors. 

Committed to community

Leslie demonstrates and values inclusion and adaptability as much as she shows initiative and innovative thinking. Therefore she continues to nurture a keen interest and commitment to the arts community in Calgary. In conclusion, we welcome her infectious energy and passion to the cSPACE Board of Directors and look forward to working together and learning from each other. 

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Wakefield Brewster
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