About us

Aaron Johannes

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”  Rabindranath Tagore

I am a lifelong learner and teacher in various ways, specializing in curriculum development for adults who support and care about people with intellectual disabilities as family members or staff, and for people with disabilities.  I teach in the Disability and Community Studies faculty of Douglas College’s Child, Family and Community Studies.  More recently I have been teaching, and acting as coordinator, in the CFCS Aboriginal Stream, which is an amazing little program that links up a number of programs by offering five alternative courses taught through an indigenous lens.  While I am investigating our family’s hidden Metis heritage I am still thinking that through, so do not identify as indigenous.  Instead, we bring in elders and other instructors so that most of the learning is through that pedagogical lens.  It is a gift to be part of this and as one of the field’s experts said, indigenous pedagogy is good for indigenous students, but it is also good for all students.  Indeed.  And for their teachers.

For thirty years I have been a Director at Spectrum Society  where I got to do a lot of very interesting things and work with some wonderful folks – families, people who received supports, friends, staff, managers, colleagues and consultants.  All I ever wanted was a job that held my interest and it did that, and so much more.   I have been a board member for PLAN, TLC in Kent Washington and a provincial advisor for B.C. People First.  I currently volunteer in various ways for the Family Support Institute of B.C., which does amazing work by supporting peer families to support others who support people with disabilities.

I work as a consultant, facilitator, researcher and graphic facilitator sometimes, if the project interests me.  This ranges from longer term work around organizational mission and meaning to day long workshops and graphic recording.  I have had the joy and good luck of getting to meet people and facilitate workshops from the far North of B.C. to California and from Victoria to New York State, and all kinds of places in between.

At Douglas College and in my community based research and education my focus is on leadership, adult roles in community, social constructionism, communication, networks and belonging, teaching and creativity.   My initial training was in Fine Arts at Capilano University, and then I studied Education and English Literature (focused on minority and marginalised lit) at Simon Fraser University.   At Athabasca University I did a M.A. (Master of Arts in Integrated Studies) at one of what I think is the best interdisciplinary departments in Canada, focussed on Equity Studies and Education.   I went on to my PhD studies within a partnership with the Taos Institute and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.  In both degrees I got to work with wonderful instructors and project supervisors – given that neither degree is something I thought I’d ever do, both experiences were phenomenal.

I really like the ideas of c0-learning, particularly as Paolo Freire  talks about it, creating opportunities for dialogue and collaborative partnerships.   This is what the Taos Institute, of which I am proud to be an Associate, is all about, and it is what VUB has stood for since 1834.

email me at aaron@imaginecircle.com

my twitter account is @imagineacircle


I love facebook – search for aaron johannes – and let me know who you are and what our mutual interests might be.

Barb Goode – emeritus

Liz Etmanski

Nova MacLeod

Rhona Segarra


6 thoughts on “About us

  1. grosenberg says:

    Congratulations your blog has just won the Liebster award. 🙂

  2. What an inspiring story! As a fellow educator and visual storyteller I resonate with your journey. Thank you for this!

  3. Wendy Newbery says:

    Hi Aaron,
    I loved reading your story and have recently bought 101 Ways to Make Friends. I am an Independent Facilitator working in Kitchener, Ontario. I am also a Connector with a PLAN affiliate, a mother of two daughters (one who is 20 and has several labels), visual art educated and working on becoming a better graphic facilitator. I’ll be checking in with you from time to time to learn more about what you do and how I can grow in my craft(s). Thanks for doing what you do.

  4. Nancy Ford says:

    Lovely Aaron, thank you.

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