Brock’s Faculty of Education (FoE) took the next step in its evolution on July 1, with its two departments and two of its academic centres becoming part of the new Department of Educational Studies.
This move creates the first single-department Faculty in Brock’s history and makes the department the biggest in the University with 58 faculty members.
The Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education will continue to be a distinct entity within the Faculty, which also houses the Brock Learning Lab and the Centre for Research in Multiliteracies.
The new structure will create opportunities for faculty to teach across programs and encourage intradepartmental research collaboration and partnerships.
“Education is a uniquely interdisciplinary field within academia and the new structure will allow us to more easily develop differentiated programs that can take advantage of new program partnerships,” says David Hutchison, who acted as the transitional Chair of the Department of Educational Studies prior to its official launch.
The process of amalgamating the FoE’s two previous departments started with the recommendations of a 2015 external review.
The FoE considered several structures over the next two years, with an ad hoc committee examining the possibilities. The Faculty’s two departments and three academic centres voted on restructuring in 2017 and an academic plan was supported by Senate in May 2017.
“Over the past year, we have been working diligently to bring the new Department of Educational Studies to reality for its July 1 start date,” says Hutchison.
The new Department of Educational Studies will be led by Chair Mary-Louise Vanderlee.
“Mary-Louise will provide an experienced, steady hand to guide the Department of Educational Studies through its first years,” says Michael Owen, Dean of the Faculty of Education. “I am very confident that we will be a Faculty that is cohesive, collaborative and focused on our mandate to educate exemplar educators.”
Programs in the amalgamated department will be led by program directors and governed by program committees.
There will not be direct or immediate changes to FoE programs as a result of the new department, but the new structure will make program decisions more seamless and transparent.
The Faculty’s story began in 1965 with the establishment of the St. Catharines Teachers’ College. In 1971, the Teachers’ College integrated with Brock as the College of Education, becoming the Faculty of Education in 1989.
Over the past 53 years, the Faculty has grown into one of the most respected Faculties of Education in Canada for its teaching, research and community engagement. For example, Brock continues to be a preferred choice for undergraduate students wishing to pursue concurrent education studies.
The Faculty of Education is home to nearly 28,000 of Brock’s more than 100,000 alumni.