Distinguished Award Recipients - 2018

Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Sandra Bruneau

The recipient of the Distinguished Service Award is presented to Dr. Sandra Bruneau for her many years of work on behalf of the Canadian Association of Foundations of Education and the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society for the last many years and for her work on behalf of teacher education although she has not formally been in the field for many years. She invested much time and energy in the long and complex campaign to determine the place of philosophy in the education programs at Canadian universities many years ago. She and others lobbied to keep philosophy prominent in teacher education. In her role as Executive Director of the Deans Association of British Columbia she worked on our behalf. She has organized sessions for CSSE discussing the works of various philosophers: Harold Entwistle and R.S. Peters come to mind immediately. Sandra has campaigned for donations for CPES to ensure that the funds are there when needed. She has received CPES Service Award and now receive CAFÉ’s Distinguished Service Award.

Canadian Association of Foundations in Education (CAFE) Outstanding Advising and Mentoring Award

Dr. Gerald Walton

The recipient of this year’s Canadian Association of Foundations in Education (CAFE) Outstanding Advising and Mentoring Award is Dr. Gerald Walton from Lakehead University. Dr. Walton is found to be an exemplary teacher, mentor, researcher, and in at least one case colleague. His course materials are relevant, engaging, and challenge students to think critically about education and the world around them. He creates thoughtful activities and lessons for students to engage with the course materials and each other. He has high expectations of students in terms of classroom participation and readiness as well as rigorous writing standards. He facilitates workshops for students on writing research scholarship proposals. In all of his graduate courses, he mentors students on building their writing and presentation skills through experiential learning activities. Gerald has written reference letters and reviewed students’ applications to ensure their success as acquiring scholarships in order to continue with their studies. Dr. Walton is described as a very supportive task-master, even keeping dissertation committee members on task, a dedicated and approachable mentor, a tireless advocate for his students who helped his students find their voice in their research and coaches them to make their own decisions as a researcher. Our congratulations go to Dr. Gerald Walton.

The Canadian Association of Foundations of Education (CAFE) Publication Award for Multi-Authored Edited Books

Dr. Awad Ibrahim & Dr. Ali Abdi - The Education of African Canadian Children (2018)

The Canadian Association of Foundations of Education (CAFE) Publication Award for Multi-Authored Edited Books this year selects The Education of African Canadian Children (Critical Perspectives), edited by Dr. Awad Ibrahim from the University of Ottawa and Dr. Ali Abdi for the University of British Columbia and the many contributors. The Ibrahim/Abdi collection takes a unique place because it fills a gap in the research literature on the education of African Canadian children, and is now available as source for all anti-racism scholars, researchers, community workers, and teachers, which will further the process of decolonizing Canadian education. The editors signal their participatory way of working in community by including among these scholarly articles the first-person narrative of a female student on having a Black body in a Canadian high school. For providing foundational knowledge while also forging a new area of recognized critical scholarship, the Ibrahim/Abdi book provides teachers and teacher-educators with the first book of its kind on youth and children who are members of black populations in Canada. It is an important contribution to understanding the African Canadian educational experience and will be useful resource for scholars and for students (history, teacher candidates). Congratulations to the Ibrahim/Abdi team!

E. Lisa Panayotidis Dissertation Award in the Foundations of Education

Dr. Sarah Wright Cardinal

Dr. Sarah Wright Cardinal is being awarded the E. Lisa Panayotidis Dissertation Award in the Foundations of Education for her work and dissertation “Beyond the Sixties Scoop: Reclaiming Indigenous identity, reconnection to place, and reframing understandings of being Indigenous”.

Her work examined the adoptees’ stories of reconnecting to their Indigeneity and their processes of decolonizing and healing. It illustrates their shifts from hegemonic discourse spaces that characterized their lived experiences as “other” to spirit-based discourses that center Indigenous knowledge systems as valid, life affirming, and life changing. She asserts that this dissertation contributes to the debate on state-sanctioned removal of children and the impacts of loss of Indigenous identity in Canadian society. Her findings indicate that education can be a source of healing from colonization and all educators can position the curriculum in a way that decenters it from its hegemonic forms and content. Further, education is much more than what happens at school; it includes social values, public policy, and legal frameworks.


Her supervisor, Dr. Helen Raptis, speaks highly of the intense preparation she undertook to establish the groundwork for her study. She drew from several literatures to develop her theoretical foundations: historical and contemporary understandings of Indigenous education; post-colonial perspectives on Indigenous identity – particularly their social dimensions; and Indigenous resurgence. To fully develop these bodies of knowledge she studied and took course work not only in the foundations of education but also in political science and Indigenous studies, illustrating well the interdisciplinary nature of her ground-breaking research. Indeed, no research to date has examined the Sixties Scoop as a phenomenon from which to learn how trauma survivors re-establish identity.


The methods that Dr. Wright Cardinal employed crossed scholarly boundaries combining both western and Indigenous approaches. Her external examiner: “it’s not just the topic of this dissertation that is important, but the methods that were employed by the candidate that may be of benefit for other researchers.” Through focused life-story interviews and a healing circle, Sarah was able to track the journey that each participant took to reconnect to their birth culture and re-establish an Indigenous identity for themselves.


Sarah was devoted to her research topic and to the importance of maintaining integrity while undertaking research in general. The participants’ stories indicated that cultural and spiritual teachings and practices – as well as knowledge of colonization and its impacts – contributed to adoptees’ healing and ability to move forward. Their voices illustrated the processes of “shifting from hegemonic discourse that places Indigenous experiences as “other” to spirit-based discourses that centre Indigenous knowledge systems as valid, life affirming and life changing.” Her work tells the story of triumph over adversity and speaks to the undying spirit of Indigeneity. It also holds enormous promise for Canadians’ potential to reconcile their fractured relationship with Aboriginal peoples. Sarah was awarded her degree by the University of Victoria.

Masters Thesis Recognition Award

Andrew Morrison, MEd

Andrew Morrison’s study, Akunninanniq: Inuit Perspectives of Success and the Role of Inuit Cultural Knowledge, explores how former Inuit high school students conceptualize success by considering the role of the formal education system and non-formal knowledge system of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, or Inuit cultural knowledge, in shaping their understandings. Using an Indigenist conversational narrative methodology guided by the writings of Indigenous scholars Margaret Kovach and Shawn Wilson, Andrew explored how notions of success are defined from the perspectives of five Inuit high school graduates in Nunavut. This Indigenist research methodology was developed by Indigenous scholars for non-Indigenous scholars seeking to do respectful research with Indigenous peoples. His narratives offer a scholarly critical analysis that solidly draws on decolonizing and antiracist theory in its findings and conclusions and recommendations. His supervisor, Dr. Marie Battiste, believes his thesis needs to be made public. It urges educators and policy makers to rethink education now embedded in southern and Western Eurocentric concepts north that are not helpful to the North, is not wanted as a solitary focus, and has the potential to damage Inuit youth and their future viability for living on the land among their wise Elders. Significantly, the thesis has particular relevance to reconciliation with Inuit peoples of the North as urged by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015 and clearly urges a recommendation for Indigenization that includes Inuit knowledge and skills in the lives of youth in the North. Andrew’s Master of Education degree was conferred by University of Saskatchewan

Masters Thesis Recognition Award

Bridgette Atkins, MA

Bridgette Atkins’ master’s thesis, titled Exploring young children’s ideas about wearable technology: A case study, represents a collaboration between individuals in the Faculty of Education and the Digital Culture and Media Lab (Decimal) in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). In particular, Bridgette’s work is part of a larger Kids, Creative Storyworlds and Wearables project initiated by Dr. Isabel Pedersen, Canada Research Chair and Director of the Decimal lab. Furthermore, Dr. Shirley van Nuland, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, provided a key mentorship role in this research. Creative representations shared by the five young children (ages four to seven) who participated in this case study over the 3 study months – including drawings, stories (written and oral) and dialogues – formed a significant part of this research and provided unique insight into the meaning(s) that novel technology, including wearable technology, may have in children’s lives. Employing a newer wearable technology as a point of reference,  Exploring young children’s ideas about wearable technology: a case study contributes to the existing research on children’s experiences with novel technologies by calling to attention the insights provided by its young participants through a range of modalities. Her supervisors, Dr. Shirley Van Nuland and Dr. Isabel Pederson describe her work as innovative with regard to the children’s abilities to learn with the smartwatch, the wearable technology used, along with potential applications for developing digital literacy skills. Bridgette probed gently with the students to explore how wearables may empower children in their day-to-day lives and the themes of personal technology, ownership, and privacy emerged. Her writing is exemplary and she exceeded the expectations of a master student. Bridgette’s Master of Arts degree was conferred by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Masters Thesis Recognition Award

Nicole Redmond, MEd

The purpose of this study, An Exploration of Teacher and Student Perceptions of Classroom Assessment, is to explore both one teacher’s conceptions and plans with formative assessment, as well as her two classes of drama students’ understandings and responses to formative assessment as it is enacted in the classroom. Exploring both teacher and student experiences of formative assessment allows for an examination of how teacher-student and student-student interactions impact assessment practices as they were enacted in the classroom. Taking an in-depth look at assessment practices in one teacher’s classroom allowed the researcher the opportunity to explore how three spheres, “the teacher’s agenda, the internal world of each student, and the inter-subjective” (Black & Williams, 2009, p. 26) intersect to create the climate of her classroom. Dr. Susan Drake, her supervisor affirms that Nicole’s thesis offers a unique perspective. Few researchers direct their research toward students and listen to student voice. To complete this research she spent three weeks in two different classrooms where she had to gain the trust of the participating teacher and the students in both her classes.

Nicole’s research make a significant contribution to educational foundations on an issue that is of paramount interest at this time. Her research sheds important light on student perception of assessment for learning and how it might be implemented more effectively. It also helps educators gain a deeper understanding of how an educator who practices assessment for learning actually makes meaning of what she is doing. Both aspects of her research are needed to ensure the right decisions are made for educational reform. Nicole’s Master of Education degree was conferred by Brock University.

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