Amid the excitement of class photos, extracurriculars and new supplies, the back to school season can be daunting and stressful for students who find reading and math challenging. Student volunteers and interns from the Brock Learning Lab are helping local students from Grades K-12 by offering literacy and numeracy tutoring.Read more
As a teenager, Joel Ward (MEd ’02) hated school.
His life at the time was rocky. He was expelled from high school and ran away from home at 16.
Ward’s relationship with education began a far cry from where it is today, as he starts his retirement after a successful career as an educator and senior administrator in the post-secondary stream.Read more
Brock University’s Lissa Paul has spent countless hours examining archives in four countries to track down information on a woman who died nearly 180 years ago.
For the past four weeks, instructors from China have been developing new teaching skills at Brock University that they hope to apply in classrooms back home.
Run by Brock’s Continuing Teacher Education program, the professional development initiative welcomed 11 English as a subsequent language (ESL) educators from Minjiang University in Fujian, China, to study at Brock over the course of a month.Read more
For Brock University’s Dolana Mogadime, educating others on Nelson Mandela’s legacy is more than just part of her job. It’s in her blood.
Originally from South Africa, the Associate Professor in Brock’s Faculty of Education came to Canada at the age of seven. Her great-grandfather, Henry Selby Msimang, was a founding member of a political group that became the African National Congress, later led by Mandela. Her mother, Caroline Goodie Mogadime, was recognized by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) for her contributions to Canada’s anti-apartheid movement.
On Thursday, July 18, the world will celebrate the 101st birthday of Mandela, a global icon of peace and equality who played a central role in ending apartheid in South Africa. This year’s Nelson Mandela International Day also marks the beginning of the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace, as declared by the United Nations.
Dolana Mogadime has been working with the CMHR in Winnipeg to honour Mandela’s goals for human rights education through several projects connected to the exhibition Mandela: Struggle for Freedom, which opened last year. Mogadime is the CMHR’s inaugural Visiting Scholar and contributed to the development of a series of new educational materials for teachers and students who visit the exhibition.
“For myself as a person, I think it’s about going full circle,” Mogadime said of her work with CMHR. “It is about being born in a country and leaving, like many other immigrants do, to come to Canada as a dream of a nation where we can be fully human as we were denied in our own countries.”
The CMHR’s approach to this work was inspired by a 2017 report prepared by Brock’s Human Rights Task Force, which made recommendations to promote and protect human rights at Brock and create a culture that is safe, welcoming and inclusive.
Earlier this year, the University signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize its collaboration with the CMHR.
Brock President Gervan Fearon said the efforts of Nelson Mandela and others like him shaped the world as we now know it.
“Across the world, we celebrate the freedom and opportunities available while acknowledging there is still work to be done and efforts needed to maintain progress previously achieved,” Fearon said. “Nelson Mandela International Day reminds us to seek opportunities to contribute to positive change for the advancement of human dignity, equity and development as well as to address the human conditions of those imprisoned. I believe we can all find common ground in promoting and taking action in support of these themes.”
Fearon applauded Mogadime’s work with the CMHR.
“It’s a good example of how Brock University faculty and staff are taking important steps toward building a Canada and world that reflects the principles of Nelson Mandela International Day.”
In addition to the educational materials prepared for the Winnipeg museum, Ontario children and teachers will also benefit from self-guided programs and teacher guides when the exhibition comes to Toronto’s Meridian Arts Centre (formerly the Toronto Centre for the Arts) from October to January. The exhibition offers a sensory experience of imagery, soundscape, digital media and objects, including a replica of Mandela’s tiny prison cell that transforms into a digital theatre when visitors walk inside.
“The materials provide a way to anchor students’ thinking and a way to respond to what they’re emotionally going through as they’re visiting the exhibition,” said Mogadime. “We needed to be able to guide students through that.”
The educational materials provide a way for teachers to prepare students and guide them through challenging conversations.
“Like Mandela, we believe education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world for the better,” said CMHR President and CEO John Young. “We are pleased to have had this opportunity to work with Professor Mogadime and Brock University to add value for teachers and students who will experience this powerful exhibition as it begins travelling to new venues this fall.”
In addition to the exhibits, the museum and Mogadime plan to bring lessons about Mandela’s legacy to classrooms across Canada through resources for educators. Working with a Teaching Nelson Mandela advisory committee at Brock, Mogadime is developing curriculum materials for Grades 2 to 12.
She believes all students should learn about people like Mandela who have struggled to further human rights around the world.
“Once you engage with and understand the human story about human rights, you can understand your own story and your own rights,” she said, pointing out that South Africa’s story parallels Canada’s history of colonialism and the oppression of Indigenous peoples.
Anneke McCabe, a member of the Teaching Nelson Mandela advisory committee at Brock, said she hopes the curriculum materials help students see the value in becoming defenders of human rights.
“I hope the learning experiences through the exhibition and the lessons guide students to become critical thinkers who are curious about what they can do to make a change,” said McCabe, an elementary school teacher and PhD candidate in Educational Studies at Brock.
The advisory committee includes Mogadime (Chair), Anneke McCabe (Senior Advisory Member), William Ankomah, Zach Rondinelli, Sheri Lehn, Craig Marlatt, Lyn Trudeau, Rachel Urovitz, Liz Walmsley, Anver Saloojee, Yvan Brochu, Sally Hooper and Oscar Koopman.
Richard Armacinski’s years of hard work and dedication were rewarded on June 12, 2019, when he won the Dean’s Medal for Education and the Distinguished Graduating Student Award – Concurrent Intermediate/Senior at the Faculty of Education’s Convocation ceremonies.
The Dean’s Medal is awarded to the graduate in each Faculty with the highest standing for a first honours degree and a first pass degree. Armacinski was also the recipient of the Don Galbraith Preservice Teacher Award of Excellence and the Alpha Delta Kappa International Award.
“It is an honour, and I am so humbled to have received this award,” said Armacinski of winning the Dean’s Medal.
“This success is not only mine, however. Without the guidance of my parents, family, friends and professors I would not be the person I am today.”
Armacinski, who graduated from the Concurrent Teacher Education program, wasn’t always sure teaching was the right path for him. His mom worked as a Public Health Nurse in schools and inspired him with stories about teachers making a difference in the lives of students.
“I came to realize that teaching was not a profession, rather a vocation and a calling to work with students in a capacity that will assist them to make solid life decisions, whereby they want to learn and come to school and utilize their gifts to their potential,” said Armacinski.
With an older brother who had also attended Brock, Armacinski was familiar with the University’s community and scenic location as well as the opportunities offered to students.
“I chose Brock for many reasons,” said Armacinski. “The Concurrent Education program has a reputation unlike any other university. The program provides students with great experiential learning where they can put theory into practice.”
During his time as a Concurrent Teacher Education student, Armacinski was able to build lifelong friendships with his classmates in his two faculties. He also appreciated opportunities to get to know professors within small classes.
“Everyone was always so welcoming and there was always an opportunity to ask for clarification and guidance when need be.”
This support has been critical to Armacinski’s academic success. Achieving his academic goals meant many late nights working on assignments and studying on his own or with classmates.
“I was very lucky to have a strong foundation set with a solid group of like-minded friends to get me through my challenges.”
His dedication extended beyond the classroom as he balanced working and volunteering. Armacinski took part in the French Club at Brock and played intramural soccer. He also volunteered with the Brock Niagara French Contest and Niagara Regional Science and Engineering Fair.
Armacinski will be returning to Brock in September to pursue a Master of Education (MEd) specializing in Administration and Leadership in Education.
The Faculty of Education welcomed its newest graduates on June 12, 2019, with two Convocation ceremonies. Family, friends and the Brock community celebrated the successes of hundreds of students. During the ceremonies, several graduates were recognized for their achievements.
When she stepped off the plane in September 2018, Brock student Esther Wainaina had never been to Canada.
Wainaina travelled more than 12,000 km from Kenya to enroll in Brock’s Masters Preparation Certificate in Education (MPCE) program in pursuit of a new career developing labour and education policy. She will graduate from the program on June 12, 2019.
Like many of her classmates, Wainaina has had to adjust to a foreign culture and a new academic program, not to mention the Canadian winter.
Unlike many of her peers, Wainaina also has had to balance being a full-time MPCE student with the day-to-day care of her three children while her husband remains in Kenya to work.
The Faculty of Education Convocation ceremonies on June 12 celebrated the achievements of the Faculty’s newest graduates.
During the ceremonies, Spirit of Brock medals were awarded to an undergraduate and graduate student who have demonstrated the spirit of Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock, the University’s namesake. Kimberly Radersma was awarded the graduate Spirit of Brock medal for the Faculty of Education.Read more