Distinguished Award Recipients - 2020

Distinguished Award Recipients - 2020

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The Canadian Association of Foundations of Education (CAFE) Publication Award for a Single or Dual-authored Book

Dr. Jason Ellis -  A Class By Themselves? The Origins of Special Education in Toronto and Beyond (University of Toronto Press, 2019) 

The purpose of this award is to recognize a single or dual-authored book that makes a major contribution to knowledge in the disciplines that fall under the rubric of the foundations of education, and contribute to educational theory in the social sciences and humanities, published between January 2017 and December, 2019. 

 

The CAFE Publications Award Committee unanimously recommended Dr. Jason Ellis’ single-authored book published in 2019 A Class By Themselves? The Origins of Special Education in Toronto and Beyond for this prestigious publication award. In their reviews, the Committee recognized the excellence of this publication in terms of originality and theoretical grounding, but also exuberantly appreciated the outstanding contribution of this book to the study and promotion of the Foundations of Education. The Committee members noted the incredible commitment that Dr. Ellis undertook in carefully examining the immense primary and secondary source documents from the Toronto Board of Education special education records from 1910 to 1945, and appreciated how this detailed work was able to shed contemporary light on historical debates on diversity and inclusion, but most importantly revealed the students and parents as historical actors in their own right. The Committee also appreciated the ways that Dr. Ellis’ detailed accounts provide sensitive and revealing intersections with issues of class, race, immigration, and language to broaden interest to educational scholars beyond critical disability studies, history of education and special education. Through this work Dr. Ellis has provided an original and disquieting picture of special education which is well-positioned to inform policy and ongoing debates.

 

The Committee congratulates Dr. Ellis on his exceptional accomplishment with A Class By Themselves, and are pleased to have a part in supporting its wide recognition!

E. Lisa Panayotidis Dissertation Award in the Foundations of Education

Dr. Polina Kukar

The E. Lisa Panayotidis Dissertation Award is made as a legacy of E. Lisa Panayotidis who did so much to promote the Foundations of Education in Canada, in particular, the study of educational history. This award honours a doctoral graduate whose dissertation improves educational processes in the study of Educational Foundations, or adds to the field’s body of knowledge. This year we have a recipient for the award, and also an honourable mention. The recipient of the E. Lisa Panayotidis Dissertation Award is Dr. Polina Kukar for her dissertation titled: Empathy in Education: A Narrative Study into Practicing Teachers’ Experiences.

 

This dissertation was nominated by her supervisor Dr. Megan Boler, and committee member Dr. Lauren Bialystok. Usually, the award recipient presents at a special session at CSSE, and we will invite Dr. Kukar to present at the next CAFE conference. Dr. Kukar’s study focused on the ubiquitous educational concept of empathy that predominantly emerges as a decontextualized, prosocial and teachable skill, positioned as a cure-all for social divisions and self-other relations.

 

Her work shifts from studying what empathy is to what empathy does through layering philosophical study of empathy with practicing teacher narratives to reveal and examine unaddressed issues of systemic injustice in education. Drs. Boler and Bialystok note the original contribution in reversing the traditional angles on the study of empathy towards its problematic deployment, as well as providing a robust historical and philosophical understanding of the ways empathy has been conceptualized by different thinkers since the 1930s. Her external reviewer Dr. Susan Verducci comments: “In excellent prose, the dissertation articulates the façade of promises that mask perception and examination of systemic injustices.” The Awards committee commented that this dissertation is in many ways a ‘tour de force’, that layers a rich engagement with narrative records of teacher interviews with deep philosophical conversations. Dr. Kukar was seen to offer an original, compelling, artful and complicated engagement with an influential educational concept, in ways that reveal its complexities and provides significant implications for professional practice and policy. This work was appreciated as making an original and outstanding contribution in the foundations of education.

Masters Thesis Recognition Award

Kristian Roy, MEd

The purpose of the CAFE Outstanding Master’s Thesis Recognition Award is to acknowledge outstanding research accomplishments of recent master graduates in the Foundations of Education.

 

The recipient of this year’s award is Mr. Kristian Roy for his Master’s thesis titled: Whitemud: A Narrative Inquiry into the Experience of Self-Identifying Métis Educators. Mr. Roy was nominated by his supervisor Dr. Marie Battiste who shares significant appreciation for Mr. Roy’s ability to engage the method of narrative inquiry in this thesis, as well as the strength that emerged in Mr. Roy working from authentic and layered experience as a Métis educator. Through weaving interviews with Métis educators and lived experience, Mr. Roy was able to raise the distinctive experience of Métis educators being exposed to racialized narratives of Indigenous peoples by educational colleagues and the implications of this for education. External examiner Dr. Evelyn Steinhauer comments that: “this thesis represents an outstanding piece of work”, and it is “evident that this work was carried out with a high degree of rigor, integrity, and that careful attention was given to both institutional and community ethics”. It is with pleasure that we award the CAFE Outstanding Master’s Thesis Recognition Award to Mr. Kristian Roy, and share our appreciation to his supervisor Dr. Marie Battiste for this nomination.

Honourable Mention Dissertation Award

Dr. Kate Dubensky

The Dissertation Awards Committee was also very impressed by another outstanding contribution to CAFE that was submitted this year and thus decided to provide an honourable mention for Dr. Kate Dubensky’s dissertation “Teaching National Values in an Era of Reconciliation: A Critical Examination of B.C.’s Draft High School Social Studies Curriculum, 2015-2018.” This dissertation was submitted by her co-supervisors Dr. Graham McDonough and Dr. Helen Raptis who spoke of the important contribution that this dissertation makes in drawing attention to political assumptions that underlie curriculum in a settler nation-state, while importantly writing in a way that is accessible to both educational scholars and practitioners. The awards committee felt that the dissertation is a timely and important contribution that reveals intersections of ongoing forms of settler colonialism within BC provincial curriculum in a post-TRC context, thus impeding reconciliation work. The Awards Committee would like to congratulate Dr. Dubensky on her accomplishments with her dissertation and for her important contribution in the Foundations of Education.

Distinguished Award Recipients - 2019

Distinguished Award Recipients - 2019

Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Theodore Christou

The purpose of the Distinguished Service Award is to honour CAFE members whose dedication and commitment has made a significant contribution to both the mission of CAFE in promoting the Foundations of Education, as well as service to the members of CAFE in support of our Association. This year’s award recipient is Dr. Theodore Christou, currently Associate Professor at Queen’s University, who was nominated by PhD student Jackson Pind. The nomination package  highlighted Dr. Christou’s advocacy for the Foundations at local, national, and international venues; his establishment of a mandatory course in his university; and his writing of articles in multiple venues, ranging from Macleans and the National Post to CTV news. Dr. Christou is well published in the Foundations, specifically The Foundations in Teacher Education through CATE, and as journal editor for the Canadian Journal of Education. He has also served in every single executive position within CAFE, including being the first grad student representative and now as past president. The review committee was compelled by the exceptional nomination package, and commented that “Dr. Christou has been a consistent, vocal advocate for CAFE and for the work of Education Foundations in his faculty, professional societies, the public realm, and certainly at our national conferences." Moreover Dr. Christou’s publications are a testament to his devotion to both the history and philosophy of education. It is a very impressive list indeed. Dr. Christou, we are pleased to present this year’s Distinguished Service Award to you.

Distinguished Award Recipients - 2019

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

Dr. Helen Raptis

The purpose of the CAFE Outstanding Advising and Mentoring Award is to honour CAFE members whose dedication and commitment to excellence in undergraduate and/or graduate advising or mentorship has made a significant contribution to the professional growth of students working in the area of Educational Foundations. This year’s award recipient is Dr. Helen Raptis who was nominated by Ms. Alison Brophey and Dr. Shailoo Bedie. The nomination package highlighted aspects of outstanding advising and mentoring that Dr. Raptis has undertaken, and was supported by numerous letters and testimonials from former students who noted her commitment to human relationships and academic excellence, amidst complex institutional structures.The review committee was compelled by the strength of the nomination package, which made a solid case for her meritorious work in advising and mentoring students above and beyond expectations. The reviewers noted that Dr. Raptis meets and exceeds all criterion for this award! Dr. Raptis, we are pleased to present this years Outstanding Advising and Mentoring Award to you.

Distinguished Award Recipients - 2019

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The Canadian Association of Foundations of Education (CAFE) Publication Award for a Single or Co-authored Journal Article

Mr. Scott Pollock and Dr. Marie-Hélène Brunet - "When it became equal”: How Historical Consciousness and Theories of Agency Can Explain Female Students’ Conceptions of Feminism (2018)

The purpose of this award is to recognize peer-reviewed articles that have made a major contribution to knowledge in the disciplines that fall under the rubric of the Foundations of Education, and contribute to educational theory in the social sciences and humanities.

There were many worthy nominations for this award for journal articles published between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018. The Committee for the publication award recognized the level of difficulty at arriving at one recipient with such thoughtful submissions this year.

The recipients of this award for 2019 are Mr. Scott Pollock and Dr. Marie-Hélène Brunet,

for their co-authored journal article published in Canadian Social Studies in 2018, entitled

“When it became equal”: How Historical Consciousness and Theories of Agency can

Explain Female Students’ Conceptions of Feminism.

Distinguished Award Recipients - 2019

E. Lisa Panayotidis Dissertation Award in the Foundations of Education

Dr. Pamela Rogers

The Lisa Panoyitidis Dissertation Award is presented as a legacy to E. Lisa Panayotidis, who did so much to promote the Foundations of Education in Canada (in particular, the study of educational history). This award honours a doctoral graduate whose dissertation improves educational processes in the study of Educational Foundations, or adds to the field’s body of knowledge. This year’s recipient is Dr. Pamela Rogers for her dissertation entitled: Tracing Neoliberal Governmentality in Education: Disentangling Economic Crises, Accountability and the Disappearance of Social Studies. This dissertation was nominated by her thesis supervisor, Dr. Tim Stanley, who shared important observations from the dissertation examining committee. Dr Stanley notes that they found this work impressive, original, and exceptional in methodology, as well as engagement with theory. Our CAFE Dissertation Award Committee concurred, and I share the following brief comments: "This is an original piece of work that is based on extensive research. The author displays an impressive and inclusive grasp of Foucault’s theoretical frame and uses this as the foundation for an equally impressive synthesis of the literature on governmentality. Using a combination of critical discourse policy analysis and interviews/focus groups, the work demonstrates how ‘subjects’, and bodies of knowledge, were disciplined and constrained through the education policy-making process in Nova Scotia between 1994-2016." In the final analysis, this dissertation reflects much obviously sincere hard work, with a wide range of data, to compose a convincingly deep and especially readable document. Dr. Rogers is certainly a praiseworthy candidate for this award. In my view this dissertation should be widely read and cited. It is a credit to the disciplines in which Dr. Rogers writes, and to the field of Educational Foundations generally.

Distinguished Award Recipients - 2019

Masters Thesis Recognition Award

Natalie Romanow, MEd

The purpose of the CAFE Outstanding Master’s Thesis Recognition Award is to acknowledge exceptional research accomplishments of recent master graduates in the Foundations of Education. This recipient of this year’s award is Ms. Natalie Romanow for her thesis entitled:

Confidence in Crisis: An Investigation of Educational Strategies in a Crisis-defined System. Ms. Rominow was nominated by her supervisor Dr. Lauren Bialystok, who states Ms. Romanow provides a deft analysis of the development of EQAO and standardized testing in Ontario and its convergence with “crisis” discourses of educational systems concerning students’ “mental health” and falling rankings, resulting in conflicting stories about the aims of education and the role of the individual learner in ameliorating outcomes. As Dr. Bialystock states: “I believe this is an excellent thesis and a highly successful exercise in applying educational theory to policy and practice. The committee reviewers agreed that Ms. Romanow’s thesis is indeed meritorious and very worthy of recognition by CAFE. Natalie's Master of Education degree was conferred by the University of Toronto.

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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