About Dr. Mahboubeh Asgari

Mahboubeh-website

“To have a dialogue with your children is to simply and genuinely listen to them and be truly open to what they are saying.”

~ Dr. Mahboubeh Asgari, the Founder/Owner of the School of Inquiry, Vancouver, BC

I am a Ph.D. graduate from the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University (SFU). I am currently doing my postdoctoral research in Philosophical Inquiry at the University of British Columbia (UBC). I am also a teacher at SelfDesign Learning Centre in Vancouver teaching Philosophical Inquiry, Philosophy and Art, and Digital Storytelling to homeschool children.

I have a passion for both research and teaching. I believe that teaching and research are inherently intertwined—research complements my teaching and my teaching has helped enlighten my research. During the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity of working on several research projects at SFU and UBC. In 2013, I did my first post-doctoral research funded by SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) on the impact of Philosophical Inquiry on children’s sense of ‘empathy’ and ‘perspective-taking’. In June 2015, I received Mitacs post-doctoral fellowship to study the use of philosophical inquiry in drug education for another two years.

Whether I am researching or teaching (or painting as my other passion), I always work with love and care. I believe that deep down in every one of us there exists the purest form of love that can be nurtured and developed. This love can flourish by giving it selflessly and abundantly to everyone and everything without prejudice. I draw inspiration from this belief and the theme of love is a common thread that runs through everything I do. I am a strong believer that one can see and feel love in everything around if given the opportunity. It is this belief that inspired me to found the School of Inquiry—a place where I hope I can convey this belief to all who participate in Inquiry programs and ultimately to everyone.

If you are interested to know more about my academic life, here is a detailed resume:

Teaching: I have developed my teaching experience and philosophy through my assistant professor position at the University of Tehran, Iran, sessional instructor positions at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, Canada (teaching in Teacher Education Program), as well as teaching assistantships at Simon Fraser University. In addition to my 11 years of teaching experience at post-secondary education, I have over 10 years of teaching experience with children. I have taught English to Farsi-speaking children as well as Korean-speaking children (children of Korean Embassy employees) in Tehran, Iran, and am now teaching Philosophical Inquiry to homeschool Children in Self-Design Learning Centre in Vancouver, Canada.

Research: My main research interest is in Philosophical Inquiry with Children, Youth, and Adults. My interest in philosophical inquiry has roots in my doctoral research on the theory of ‘recognition’ and the importance of recognition in childhood. By recognition in childhood, I mean acknowledging and accepting children for who they are. Here is a list of my research projects since my graduate studies—they range widely over topics of educational technology (such as online mentoring, using computer and video games for learning), educational and curriculum theory (in particular, the theory of recognition and multicultural education), and promoting social and emotional health among children and older adults.

  • .2015-2017: Post-doctoral Researcher and Project Coordinator, working on the project Using Engaged Philosophical Inquiry in Drug Education, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Canada (Principal Investigator: Dr. Barbara Weber)
  • 2013-2015: Post-doctoral Researcher and Project Coordinator, working on the project Engaged Philosophical Inquiry with Children: Fostering Empathy and Perspective-taking, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Canada (Principal Investigator: Dr. Barbara Weber)
  • 2014-2015: Research associate for David Kaufman, working on the project Digitizing the wisdom of our elders: from digital storytelling to life learning, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • 2010-2012: Research associate for Kieran Egan, working on the project Learning in Depth (LiD), Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • 2004 – 2008: Research assistant for David Kaufman, working on the project Simulation and Advanced Gaming Environments (SAGE) for Learning, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • 2002-2004: Research assistant for Kevin O’Neill, working on the project Telementoring Orchestrator, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, Canada.

 Workshops:

  • Asgari, M. (April, 2015). A series of 8 workshops on Digital Story Telling for Older Adults (Dr. David Kaufman’s project at SFU). Mount Pleasant Neighborhood House, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • Asgari, M. (Nov. 2014). A series of 4 workshops on Philosophical Inquiry with Children for early childhood educators. Creative Minds Child Care Society, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Asgari, M., & Weber, B. (Sep. 27, 2014). Fostering Children’s Critical Reasoning, Caring, and Creative Thinking through Engaged Philosophical Inquiry and Art (2-part workshop). The North Shore Early Childhood Conference. Capilano University, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • Asgari, M. (July 4, 2014). Engaged Philosophical Inquiry: A pedagogical approach to imaginative, caring, and critical thinking. The 9th International Conference on Imagination and Ed Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • Asgari, M. (May 9, 2014). Engaged Philosophical Inquiry with Children. Greater Vancouver Counselling and Education Society for Families. North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • Asgari, M. (May 5, 2013). Happiness and Resilience in Children and Youth. North Vancouver City Library, North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • Asgari, M. (March 9, 2013). Happiness and Resilience in Children and Youth. The University of British Columbia Continuing Studies, BC, Canada (One-day Course).

AWARDS 

June 2015-2017 Mitacs Elevate Post-doctoral Fellowship for the project “Using Engaged Philosophical Inquiry in Drug Education”, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada ($115,000). (The only award recipient in Education cohort among Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia)
January 2015 The Roshd Educational Book Award for my book “The Story of Stephen Hawking” in the 11th Festival of Roshd Educational Books in the category of Stories for Children, Ministry of Education, Tehran, Iran
September 2014 Postdoctoral Conference Travel Award, University of British Columbia ($1,000)
November 2009 Silver medal for the AAOU (Asian Association of Open Universities), Tehran, Iran. (Best Paper Award (for using technology in education)
Fall 2009 Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University ($6,250)
Spring 2009 Rotary Club of Burnaby Scholarship, Simon Fraser University ($1000)
Fall 2008 Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University ($6,250)
Fall 2007 Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University ($6,250)
Fall 2006 Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University ($6,250)
Fall 2005 Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University ($6,250)
Summer 2005 Honourable mention: the “runner-up” in the 2005 Elizabeth Patterson International Student of the Year Award, held by the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE)
Summer 2005 SSHRC Conference Travel Award, Simon Fraser University ($700)
August 2005 Student Conference Travel Award for the Children’s Learning in a Digital World Conference, Brock University ($1,000)
Fall 2004 Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University ($6,000)

  

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS: BOOKS & JOURNALS

Books

  • Asgari, M. (2013). The Story of Stephen Hawking, a translation from English to Farsi, based on The Stephen Hawking Story: The Boy Who Turned Disability into the Ability to Embrace the Stars by Chad Walker. Fatemi Publishing: Tehran, Iran (award-winning book, Jan. 2015).
  • Asgari, M. (2012). Curriculum Support Book: Student Book, English Language Learning 1 (Grade 9). Fatemi Publishing: Tehran, Iran.
  • Asgari, M. (2012). Curriculum Support Book: Workbook, English Language Learning 1 (Grade 9). Fatemi Publishing: Tehran, Iran.

Book Chapters

  • Asgari, M. & Kaufman, D. (2010). Does fantasy enhance learning in digital games? In D. Kaufman & L. Sauvé (Eds.), Educational Gameplay and Simulation Environments: Case Studies and Lessons Learned. IGI Global, Section 1: Foundations and Theory, Chapter 5, pp. 84-95.
  • Asgari, M. & Kaufman, D. (2008). Motivation, learning, and game design. Richard E. Ferdig (ed.), Handbook of Research on Effective Electronic Gaming in Education. Information Science Reference, New York. Volume III, Chapter LXVII, pp. 1166-1182.
  • Asgari, M. & Kaufman, D. (2007). Designing educational computer games: what can we learn from commercial games? Peter Tim and Lee Yang-Im (eds.), The International Simulation & Gaming Research Yearbook Volume 15: Effective Learning from Games and Simulations. Edinburgh: SAGSET, pp. 33-51.
  • Asgari, M. & O’Neill, K. (2005). What do they mean by “success”? Examining mentees’ perceptions of success in a curriculum-based telementoring program. Joseph Pascarelli and Frances Kochan (eds.), Creating Successful Telementoring Programs. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing, pp. 225-251.

Other Publications (Journal paper, Encyclopedia entry, etc.)

  • Asgari, M. & Weber, B. (2015). Say ‘what you really think’ about Drugs: Cultivating Drug Literacy through Engaged Philosophical Inquiry (EPI). The Journal of Childhood and Philosophy, international council for inquiry with children (ICPIC). Vol 11, No.22 (2015). http://www.e-publicacoes.uerj.br/index.php/childhood/article/view/20709
  • Asgari, M., Reist, D., Weber, B. (2015). Philosophical Inquiry and Drug Education. Article published in HelpingSchools.ca, Supporting Excellence in Teaching. http://www.uvic.ca/research/centres/carbc/assets/docs/hs-pp-epi.pdf
  • Asgari, M. (in press). World Famous Educators: Kieran Egan. Iranian Encyclopedia in Curriculum Studies. To be published by the Iranian Educational Research Institute.
  • Asgari, M. & Weber, B. (2015). Just say what you really think about drugs: Cultivating drug literacy through Engaged Philosophical Inquiry (EPI). Journal of Childhood and Philosophy. 11, No. 22, pp. 361-376.
  • O’Neill D. K., Asgari, M., & Dong, D. (2011). Trade-offs between perceptions of success and planned outcomes in an online mentoring program. Journal of Mentoring and Tutoring. Vol. 19, No. 1, February 2011, pp. 45-63.
  • Asgari, M. (2010). Students’ Evaluation of Success in an Online Mentoring Program. Journal of Asian Association of Open Universities. 5, No. 1, March 2010, pp. 1-9.
  • Asgari, M. (2009). Recognition as a Context for Multicultural Education: Meaning and Theory Unpacked. Journal of Iranian Curriculum Studies Association. September 2009, pp.7-27.
  • Asgari, M. (2008). Using computer and video games in education: the effects and features of a good game. Roshd, Educational Technology Magazine (in Farsi), No. 7, March 2008, pp: 6-11.

SELECTED CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS & PUBLICATIONS

  • Reist, D., Wilson, A., Asgari, M. (2016). Young People and Drugs: Engaging Families and Communities in the Conversation. (a group session). Presented at the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative Conference. Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Vancouver, BC. March 2 – 3, 2016.
  • Asgari, M., Weber, B., Schonert-Reichl, K.A., Wolf, A. (2015). Fostering empathy and perspective-taking in children through Engaged Philosophical Inquiry. Paper presented at the ICPCI (International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children) Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, June 25-27, 2015.
  • Asgari, M. (2015). Using philosophy for children in drug education. Paper presented at the ICPCI (International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children) Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, June 25-27, 2015.
  • Asgari, M., Bigdeli, S., & Kaufman, D. (2014, Nov.). Digital games and older adults’ health promotion. Paper presented and published in the proceedings of the 7Th Conference of E-Learning in Medical Education. Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Nov. 25-27, 2014.
  • Asgari, M. (2014, Sep.). Using Philosophy for Children in Mathematical Inquiry. Paper presented in the 13th Iranian Mathematics Education Conference (IMEC13), Tehran, Iran, Sep. 8-11.
  • Asgari, M. (2014, July). Engaged Philosophical Inquiry: A pedagogical approach to imaginative, caring, and critical thinking. The 9th International Conference on Imagination and Ed Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 2-4, 2014.
  • Asgari, M., Weber, B., Schonert-Reichl, K.A. (2014, June). Community of Philosophical Inquiry: Fostering Empathy in Schools. Poster presented at the NAACI (North American Association for the Community of Inquiry) Conference, Laval University, Québec City, Canada, June 25-27, 2014.
  • Asgari, M. (2009, Nov.). Students’ evaluation of “success” in an online mentoring program. Paper presented and published in the proceedings of the 23rd AAOU (Asian Association of Open Universities) Annual Conference. Tehran, Iran, November 3-5. (award-winning paper, silver medal)
  • O’Neill D. K., Asgari, M., & Dong, Y. (2009, April). “It wasn’t what I expected”: Examining trade-offs between planned outcomes and perceptions of success in a formal mentoring program. Paper presented to SIG-Mentorship and Mentoring Practices at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA, April 13-17.
  • Asgari, M. (2008). Multicultural curriculum in Canadian educational system: Theory of Recognition. Paper presented at the 8th conference of Iranian Curriculum Studies Association. Mazandaran University, Babolsar, Iran. October 29-30, 2008.
  • Asgari, M. & Kaufman, D. (2007, October). Mirroring and learning in Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). Paper presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the “SAGE for Learning” Pan-Canadian project. Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, October 13-14.
  • Asgari, M. & Kaufman, D. (2007, October). A conceptual framework for educational computer games. Poster presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the “SAGE for Learning” Pan-Canadian project. Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, October 13-14.
  • Asgari, M. & Kaufman, D. (2007, July). Using computer and video games to explore identity and support learning. Paper presented and published in the proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the International Simulation And Gaming Association (ISAGA), pp. 11-16, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, July 9-13.
  • Asgari, M. (2007, July). Recognizing students’ diverse identities in schools. Paper presented in the International Study association for Teachers and Teaching (ISATT) Conference, Brock University, Ontario, Canada, July 5-9.
  • Asgari, M. (2006, October). Computer games, motivation, and learning. Paper presented in the NASAGA (North American Simulation and Gaming Association) 2006 Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada, October 11-14.
  • Asgari, M. (2006, September). Identity exploration in computer and video games: Recognitive and socio-cultural paradigms. Paper presented and published in the proceedings of the International Digital Games Conference, pp. 241-246, Portalegre, Portugal, September 27-29.
  • Asgari, M. (2006, May). Innovation in curriculum: recognizing and valuing students’ identities. Paper presented at the CADE (Canadian Association for Distance Education) and AMTEC (Association for Media and Technology in Education in Canada) Joint International Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 23-26.
  • Asgari, M. & Kaufman, D. (2005, July). Virtual environments: Identity and learning. Paper presented and published in the proceedings of the Third International Conference on Imagination and Education, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, July 13-16. http://www.ierg.net/ierg2005/papers/215-Asgari_Kaufman.doc
  • Asgari, M. (2005, June). A three-factor model of motivation and game design. Paper presented in the International DiGRA (Digital Game Games Research Association) Conference, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, June 16-20.
  • Asgari, M. (2005, May). Students’ and mentors’ expectations in an on-line learning community: A study of a curriculum-based on-line mentoring program. Paper presented in the AMTEC (Association for Media and Technology in Education in Canada) Conference, Calgery, Alberta, Canada, May 24-27.
  • Asgari, M. & Kaufman, D. (2004, September). Motivation and computer games. Paper presented in the 35th Annual Conference of the International Simulation And Gaming Association (ISAGA), Munich, Germany, September 6-10.
  • O’Neill, D. K. & Asgari, M. (2004, August). What are “experts” good for? Students’ expectations and the determinants of perceived success in a telementoring program for adolescents. Paper presented at the Knowledge Forum Summer Institute, Toronto, Ontario, August 10-13.
  • Asgari, M. & Kaufman, D. (2004, July). Relationships among computer games, Fantasy, and Learning. Paper presented and published in the proceedings of the Second International Conference on Imagination and Education, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, July 14-18.
  • Polman, J. L., & Westhoff, L. (University of Missouri-St. Louis), O’Neill, D. K., Sohbat, E., & Asgari, M. (Simon Fraser University), Hong, N. (University of Michigan), McGee, S. (Wheeling Jesuit University), Bell, Ph. (University of Washington), (2004, June). Developing historical thinking practices through technology-supported inquiry. Paper presented and published in the proceedings of the Sixth International Conference of the Learning Sciences, pp. 19-22, Santa Monica, CA, U.S.A. June 22-26.
  • Asgari, M., & O’Neill, D. K. (2004, April). What do they mean by “success”? Contributors to perceived success in a telementoring program for adolescents. Paper presented in the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
  • O’Neill, D. K., Sohbat, E., Martin, A., Asgari, M., Lort, M., Sha, L. (2003, April). Sharing accountability through sharing our accounts: Piloting an on-line community for high school history learning. Paper presented in the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL, U.S.A.