Fall 2014 e-Newsletter

Faculty of Education

Fall 2014 e-Newsletter

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Faculty of Education
Alumni Newsletter




alumni gathering

Some of the first ever graduates from the Education program gathered at Brock this September to celebrate the University's 50th anniversary and Homecoming events.


Faculty of Education News and Updates

Fall 2014


Faculty of Education welcomes back Alumni during Homecoming

red dinner
During a three-day span with celebrations, dedications, reunions, events and much more, Brock University’s Homecoming weekend was a rousing success.

Celebrating the University’s 50th anniversary had students and alumni coming together in droves, showing Badger pride at nearly every turn and generating a buzz seemingly reserved for this special occasion.

With representation from faculties across campus, many events such as the Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony and the Red Dinner brought together past, present, and future Badgers to share in the festivities and embrace the passion and excitement of this milestone anniversary.


Brock professor receives
prestigious academic honour

jennifer rowsell
Canada’s top academic body has elected Canada Research Chair in Multiliteracies Jennifer Rowsell to its inaugural College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Rowsell will now be able to share her research - and connect with others doing similar work - on a national scale as one of the newest members of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC).

The RSC announced the College’s inaugural cohort of 91 members - including Rowsell - Sept. 16.



Assistant Professor discusses Autism Spectrum Disorder on monthly podcast

A new podcast series through the office of Research Services at Brock University is helping further the discussion on some of today's most important topics. Drawing on the expertise of those who call Brock home, the series' monthly podcasts are designed to dig deeper and provide a clearer understanding of some of the issues we face and questions we ponder.

This month's topic is: Social skills development for children and adolescents living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and features the Faculty of Education's Kimberly Maich.

A common challenge people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) face is to recognize and develop social skills so that they can interact effectively with others.



Assistant Professor joins Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education

If you see Dr. Robert McGray jogging around campus, he may simply be doing it for his health, but there’s also the very real possibility that the new Assistant Professor in Brock’s Faculty of Education is also in the midst of holding office hours.

A method employed during his time at Concordia University, McGray created the unique set of office hours to set an example for his students as well as manage his own diabetes. He hopes to continue the trend at Brock, knowing that it may take some time for students to lace them up and join him.

“I didn’t think anyone was going to join me,” McGray said of his initial jogs. “But, to my surprise there was a small but dedicated group that would join in.”


Is there value in homework?

national award
Dr. Catherine Hands
, associate professor in the department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education, was a recent guest on the Matt Holmes radio show on AM 900 CHML.

Hands discusses a recent pilot project taking place in a school in Quebec that has banned homework for a year as well as the general debates that surround the true value of homework.

Listen to the Podcast.


Chunlei Lu to serve second term as Co-Director of Confucius Institute

Some of Lu’s responsibilities as a co-director are: attending the annual global CI conference and other conferences/meetings, creating and submitting formal reports to the CI board, maintaining… and expanding the CI network both internally and externally, and advancing the CI’s development with creative and exploratory efforts.

Says Lu: “I enjoy playing a leadership role of CI office in serving Brock to improve “Internationalization” as one of its priorities. I am proud of being a Brock rep at the global Confucius Institute annual conference in Beijing to share and learn from thousands of delegates (mostly in higher education) from over 100 countries with many shared goals. It also expands my vision and research agenda.

I hope that my work at Confucius Institute can further enrich my life experiences, inform my teaching, and advance my research portfolio.”

Hutchison named new Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities

Named the director of the Centre for Digital Humanities – term will conclude June 30, 2017 - Hutchison is responsible for leadership of Brock’s Interactive Arts and Science program which focuses in part on new and innovative digital media tools and is collaborating with others in the planning of the new GAME program; a collaboration between the CDH, Computer Sciences, and Niagara College.

Hutchison, in preparation for the directorship, immersed himself in the digital humanities stream at the Congress this spring, and hopes to strengthen partnerships with faculties and units across Brock.

Julian Kitchen to represent Brock's Faculty of Education on the Ministry of Education Faculty of Education Liaison Committee

Committee members play an important role in bridging the work of the ministry and faculties with combined efforts to support the enhancement of the initial teacher education program, including the re-imagining the Building Futures program. Roles and responsibilities of committee members include:

  • Supporting faculties in their initial teacher education and in-service program work by facilitating communication among ministry, subject/division associations and faculty staff
  • Disseminating information and providing instruction about new Ministry policy
  • Facilitating communication about research on curriculum and teacher education
  • Organizing an annual forum

Xavier Fazio proposal selected for funding

Application to the 2014-15 OHCRIF Call for Proposals - An Interpretive Review of Innovation Skills and Science Learning Environments: Implications for our Knowledge Economy - has been selected for funding.

This proposal has two basic objectives:

a) Conduct a scoping review of existing literature with respect to innovation skills and science learning environments in post-secondary and secondary institutions.

b) Provide critical perspectives and recommendations by reporting on the role of innovation skill development and science education in Ontario.

Summarized excerpts from application:

Improving innovation skills in society relies on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes fostered through education. Consequently, education is at the core of policy discourse internationally with respect to innovation. In the context of science education, innovation skills go beyond mastery of science concepts. Skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and inquiry-based habits of mind are also very important. Science as a discipline offers excellent opportunities to develop these innovation skills.

Recent calls regarding the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education are noteworthy. Under this preface is the justification for dealing with concerns about declining enrolment in post-secondary science and scientific careers, and student performance on standardized science tests. Many questions still remain: How are innovation skills cultivated in science education institutions? How can science education institutions develop capacities for supporting innovation outcomes?

Science education provides tremendous opportunities to foster innovation learning outcomes. Nevertheless, little is known about the factors that nurture innovation skills in these learning environments. This proposal begins to address this problem with a particular focus on post-secondary and secondary science education institutions’ learning environments because these contexts provide the major supply of individuals contributing to our knowledge-based economy.

In Fazio’s own words: “I hope that this ‘short’ 1 year project will position me for future research examining educational conditions and learning interventions for secondary and post-secondary science education.”








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