Winter 2014 e-Newsletter

Faculty of Education

Winter 2014 e-Newsletter


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tech showcase

Faculty of Education

e-Newsletter Winter 2014

Hamilton campus hosted 6th annual Teaching with Technology Showcase

On Friday, January 24, the Faculty of Education hosted its 6th annual Teaching with Technology showcase at Brock’s Hamilton Campus.

Created to inform educators – both future and practicing – about the uses of today’s technologies in the classroom, the Showcase had a wealth of workshops for participants to experience; from iPad for Early Learning to Xbox in the Classroom to Gamification.

Regardless of familiarity with the topics or the technology, many participants, including teacher candidate Ryan Machulla, recognized the opportunities a conference like the Teaching with Technology Showcase provides.

“Being a future educator and a student of the Concurrent Education program at Brock University, I was immediately interested in attending the Technology Showcase because I acknowledged the potential that the workshops could have,” he said. “It is undeniable that emerging technologies are becoming increasingly prevalent in the classroom, and I thought that this opportunity would allow me to enhance my technological knowledge and understanding, as well as my skill set.”

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Reading Clinic offers unique opportunities; welcomes new director

Joe Barrett

After completing Teacher’s College Jessica Dunn-Domanico was drawn to the work being done at the Faculty of Education’s Reading Clinic and shared in one of its major passions: helping struggling readers strive.

Dunn-Domanico has spent the last seven years as the Clinic’s Program Coordinator and has witnessed firsthand the constant evolution of how literacy skills can be taught.

In the past 4 years the tutoring program has shifted to embrace both a cognitive emphasis on reading and a new literacy understating of reading; specifically 21st century understandings of reading as a social practice.

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Video games in the classroom

Dr. Michael Kompf

Imagine a history teacher who isn’t thrilled about teaching the history of the Victorian era.

Imagine an English teacher tapping into the film noir genre to teach you how to write a headline.

Now, imagine a teacher who embeds historical facts into video games he’s created for his students.

If your imagination does indeed permit the previous visions, then you’ve successfully conjured up Jim Pedrech, an English and Social Science teacher from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in London, ON.

Pedrech, the guest speaker for Faculty of Education’s Centre for Multiliteracies lunch series on Nov. 28, presented “Video Games in the Classroom: Creating Worlds for and with your Students" to a group of roughly a dozen.

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Assistant Professor continues great work in children's literature

award winners Hutchison and WickensDr. Kari-Lynn Winters was featured in the St. Thomas Times Journal, discussing her book Buzz About Bees.

"When Kari-Lynn Winters heard populations of bees were declining around the world, it twigged her interest.

The St. Thomas native, who is an award-winning children's author and an assistant professor in teacher education at Brock University, wondered if children knew how important bees are to global ecosystems.

She looked for books that adequately addressed the issue but couldn't find any, so she decided to write her own.

The result is Buzz About Bees, a book of facts and interactive exercises aimed at teaching kids about bees and their role in food production."

To read the full article by Ben Forrest of the St. Thomas Times Journal, please click here

Students give back during holidays


*This story took place prior to the holiday break in December, but none the less, our students continue to give back to their communities...

Several Brock students, including some from the Concurrent Education program - Melanie Grice and Catherine Ho - played large roles in spreading holiday cheer at Prince of Wales Public School in Thorold. Below is an excerpt of the story that appeared in Niagara This Week, written by Paul Forsyth.

"While Christmas is still weeks away, students at Prince of Wales Public School in Thorold are already in the holiday spirit, thanks to Brock University students who delivered a heaping dose of it last Thursday.

A small army of nearly 190 Brock students descended on the school to hold a ‘Holiday Extravaganza’ in which they worked alongside the Prince of Wales kids, making crafts and decorating cakes. They collectively packed into the school gym and belted out Christmas favourites such as ‘Jingle Bells,’ and ‘Jingle Bell Rock.'"

Please view the full story on Niagara This Week's web site



Puppets used as teaching aid in South Africa


As a professor from Ontario travelling to South Africa to deliver workshops for practicing teachers, there are many items on the “do not forget” list, but for Dr. Mary-Louise Vanderlee, there was one item on her list that that was unforgettable; child size puppets.

Vanderlee, an Associate Professor in the Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Brock University’s Faculty of Education, said that the puppets played a vital role in her trip this past summer to the Ikageng Township of the Northwest province of South Africa.

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EdTech start-up utilizes faculty expertise

BOP - Faculty

Teacher education at Brock University continues to make strides in educational technologies (EdTech). And as a result, the Faculty of Education’s Hamilton campus has become a hub for technological innovation both in the classroom and through external partnerships.

The Hamilton campus is home to the EdTech Cohort — teacher candidates interested in becoming educational technology leaders.

In addition to intensive hands-on training with the latest classroom technologies, EdTech students gain valuable experience in providing training to other educators and how to use social media to share their expertise and insight. To keep up to date on the latest classroom innovations, the cohort often has the opportunity to interact with leading EdTech companies and entrepreneurs.

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Alumni! We want to hear from YOU!


What are you up to?

We would love to (re)connect with you! If you're a graduate of any of the Faculty of Education's programs we would love to hear about what you are up to; where you are teaching, alternative educational routes you may have taken, any travels you may have gone on, any awards you may have won or whatever you feel like telling us!

How to connect with us us

You can connect with us in a variety of ways; email, telephone, Facebook, Twitter the list goes on. For a list of social media logostelephone numbers, email addresses, etc. please visit our web site.

Make sure you visit our sites to stay up-to-date on what's happening today in the Faculty of Education - this newsletter is only a small sample!


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  Distinguised Speaker Series

February 27, 2014

Presenting: Dr. Eric Bredo

Where do ideas come from? And how do we even begin to think about ideas we don’t consciously know we hold? Eric Bredo’s lecture on the relationships between mind, society, nature and education is essential for everyone interested in educational psychology, philosophy and pedagogical theory and practice. In his talk, Dr. Bredo explores the often unexamined basic assumptions that influenced the formation of the field. Faculty and students are warmly invited to join us for an afternoon of intellectual stimulation and community engagement — the best way to fight off the February doldrums.

Check for more information as it becomes available.


  Arts Matter

When it comes to the classroom, there is perhaps no more precious commodity than the arts.

Amidst a steady decline in funding and subsequent participation of the arts in the classroom, a group of dedicated, passionate faculty members – including this year’s coordinators Drs. Shelley Griffin, Peter Vietgen, Kari-Lynn Winters and Rodger Beatty – have successfully designed and executed a conference that allows Brock teacher candidates the opportunity to extend their knowledge in dance, music, drama and visual arts.

Now in its 4th year, the conference is still running strong, bringing in close to 200 participants each year, along with several arts practitioners, a prominent keynote speaker and an inspiring arts performance.

On Oct. 24, students were welcomed to the opening day of the conference with remarks from the conference coordinators, the Dean of Education, Fiona Blaikie – a passionate educator when it comes to the arts in the classroom – and a keynote by Dr. David Booth, Professor Emeritus, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

Dr. Booth gave a moving keynote address and had the audience hanging on every word and photo; incorporating the use of visuals to accompany his speech. He relayed stories of classrooms he had been in, working with children and shared his experiences of dealing with students who were engaged in the arts without even knowing it.

As day one moved forward, visual arts and dance workshops were attended in both the morning and afternoon and employed students to work as individuals and as part of a team – a concept that ran throughout all the workshops.

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  Distinguished Teaching Award

The hard work and passion that goes into Dr. Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker’s research and instruction has long been evident to those enrolled in her classes, and now, as a result, she will be awarded the 2013 Brock University Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Ciuffetelli Parkerwas recognized at this year’s fall convocation as a faculty member who, in the opinion of her colleagues and students, has made an outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning environment at Brock University and beyond.

“The teacher-learner relationship is vital to how I educate and learn alongside my students - my fundamental priority is the development of students’ critical thinking skills as they adapt to each situated experience, whether they are learning in their theory courses, whether they are responding to the needs of students in classrooms or other educational settings, or whether they are conducting research in such settings,” says Ciuffetelli Parker. She has conducted extensive research on the scholarship of teaching, in particular her teaching strategy related literacy narratives, an adult literacy practice used constructively by university students.

Several letters in Ciuffetelli Parker’s dossier demonstrated the impact she has on the lives of students and the esteem in which her colleagues regard her teaching and scholarly activity.

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Connect 2014: May 8 & 9

Congress 2014: May 24-30

*Click the links to find out more

  New Direcotrs

The Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education is pleased to welcome Dr. Julian Kitchen as its new Director.

The Reading Clinic is pleased to announce Dr. Jennifer Rowsell will take over as the Director of the Reading Clinic.

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