Dr. Jerome Cranston of the University of Manitoba has accepted appointment as Dean of Education at the University of Regina. The appointment is effective 1 July 2018.
Dr. Cranston is presently the Executive Director, Student Engagement & Academic Success, and Associate Professor of Educational Administration at University of Manitoba. He holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba, an MEd from the University of Lethbridge, and both the BEd and the BSc from the University of Alberta.
Prior to assuming his current role as Executive Director, he was Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programs) in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. He is also an adjunct in Peace and Conflict Studies there, and a research associate with the Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, and serves both on the Advisory Board and as a research affiliate for the Centre for Human Rights Research at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Cranston also serves on the Board of Directors for the Gonzaga Middle School in Winnipeg, a new school developed on the Nativity School model.
Before beginning his career at the University of Manitoba, he spent 16 years in the K-12 education system as teacher, principal, and superintendent in a career that spanned Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Dr. Cranston is a scholar, practitioner, and learner in the broad field of educational administration, management, and leadership. He researches and teaches as part of a transdisciplinary international community of enquiry on topics of education, social injustice, peace, and human rights education.
Dr. Cranston’s work on teachers’ conceptions of peace in post-genocide Rwanda earned him a 2015 American Educational Research Association award in Peace Education.
Dr. Cranston characterizes himself as “an immigrant descended from tribal and Anglo-Burmese ancestors and Scottish forebears.” He writes that he is “both colonizer and also colonized, but consummately Brown and committed to building healthy and reciprocally respectful relationships across diverse communities. I am fortunate to have married my best friend and contributed to the development of three amazing grown children.”
Dr. Andrea Sterzuk will continue to serve as Acting Dean of Education until June 30, 2018.
Thanks again to the members of the Search Advisory Committee for their commitment to a thorough search process: Alec Couros, Jenn de Lugt, Rochelle Fenwick, Emily Grafton, Xia Ji, Tish Karpa, Kristina Lee, Barbara McNeil, Pamela Osmond-Johnson, and Michelle Sorenson. Thanks also to Nancy Kazeil of Human Resources and Bryanna Butz for their key contributions to the success of this search.
~Dr. Thomas Chase, Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
Naomi Fortier-Fréçon and Leia Laing are still relatively early in their teaching careers but they have already left an important legacy.
This past November, Fortier-Fréçon and Laing, both graduates of the U of R, received the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching. Governor-General Julie Payette, presented the award at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
They were recognized for co-founding the Treaty4Project in 2014 while they were teachers at Regina’s Campbell Collegiate High School.
Fortier-Freçon, while still teaching, is a U of R student once again, working on her PhD.
“When we accepted this honour we were very happy to see that our project was recognized at a national level,” says Fortier-Fréçon. “A lot of work and effort was put into this project and it was very exciting to see how this education project has evolved since it began in 2014.”
The idea for the project came when Laing and Fortier-Fréçon concluded that students were not receiving the treaty education required.
So they started working on a program.
“First, the inspiration was to find a way to ‘think outside the box’ and find a creative way to teach about treaty education,” says Laing. “We were troubled by the reality that our students seemed to know very little about treaty education and when they knew something we noticed that they weren’t necessarily applying their knowledge in their lives. Therefore, they seemed to know the “right answer” on paper, but unfortunately that reality was not reflected in their actions or relationship with their friends and the community around them.”
The teachers started developing their idea. They searched for input. They approached Calvin Racette who was the Indigenous Education Coordinator with Regina Public Schools.
Racette supported the project from the beginning and suggested the teachers include Noel Starblankett, Knowledge Keeper at the University of Regina and Sandra Bellegarde, Indigenous Education Consultant with Regina Public Schools.
“Noel Starblanket was essential in the creation of this educational project,” says Fortier-Fréçon. “His presence allowed us to learn in a personal way about the importance of treaties. He also guided us regarding the respect of Indigenous protocols and offered support to our students.”
More people came onboard and the project “quickly snowballed into a group of inspired, passionate members who became the founding committee. Together we started to imagine the Treaty4Project,”says Fortier-Fréçon.
The principal aim of the project is for student to understand their generation’s relationship with Treaty 4 in Saskatchewan. The project provides students with an opportunity to engage with community members including elders, Indigenous artists, university professors, activists, and education students.
Laing had the idea to use art to help the students reflect about the meaning of treaties in a creative context. The result was a major mural project with Cri-Métis artist Ray Keighley at Regina’s Scott Collegiate in 2015.
A second mural created in 2017 and created with Cri-Ojibway artist Lloyd Dubois is on display at the library at École Elsie Mironuck Community School in Regina.
The Treaty4Project founding committee worked on organizing a youth conference to deepen the knowledge previously taught in the classroom and allow members of the community to share their stories with the students. Elders were regularly brought into classes.
More than 200 students from four high schools took part in the first conference in 2015. Two more conferences followed and now a fourth one is scheduled for 2018.
“The Treaty4Project has allowed us to have the opportunity to work in collaboration and build relationships among students, teachers and institutions and this is what we believe to be the true meaning of reconciliation,” says Fortier-Fréçon.
Says Laing: “Using personal stories from guest speakers, our students are invited to unlearn the official narrative and open their heart to other realities that they might not be aware of. Understanding these stories helped our students access a more inclusive history narrative and acknowledge that they have the privilege of living here because in the past a treaty was signed.”
Leia Laing is now teaching Grade 6 at École Monseigneur de Laval. She earned her Bachelor of Education at the U of R in 2008.
Naomi Fortier-Fréçon teaches French Immersion at École Elsie Mironuck Community School in Regina. She earned her Bachelor of Education at the U of R in 2007 and her Master of History at Université de Sherbooke in 2010. She is currently a PhD student in the Faculty of Education working under the supervision of Dr. Fadila Boutouchent.
Laing and Fortier-Fréçon say this project was made possible thanks to the support from:
Saskatchewan Arts Board
First Nations University of Canada
Faculty of Education (U of R)
The McDowell Foundation
Regina public schools
Founding Committee Members:
Dr. Angelina Weenie
Dr. Kathleen O’Reilly from First Nations University of Canada
Artists Ray Keighley and Lloyd Dubois.
The teaching team since 2015 are all U of R Education alumni:
Heather Findlay – Martin Collegiate
Tamara Ryba – Scott Collegiate
Tana Mitchell – Balfour Collegiate
Tiffany Agopsowicz – Martin Collegiate
Janine Taylor and Jessica Moser – Sheldon Williams
Elizabeth Therrien – Campbell Collegiate
Tracey Ellis – FW Johnson High School.
Other Presenters and Supporters:
Dr. Shauneen Pete (former Indigenous Lead/U of R)
Dr. Anna-Leah King (Faculty of Education)
Dr. Jennifer Tupper (Former Dean of the Faculty of Education)
Dr. James Daschuk, (U of R)
Rap singer Brad Bellegarde (aka InfoRed)
Cadmus Delorme (Chief of the Cowessess First Nation)
Dr. Mike Cappello (Education Faculty) and many more presenters from 2015 to the present day.
University of Regina feature story by Costa Maragos
in education is a peer-reviewed, open access journal that is based in the
Faculty of Education, University of Regina, in Saskatchewan, Canada. The
journal has been in existence since 1993, but published its first issue as
an online journal in December of 2009. The editorial board invites scholarly
articles and reviews of works that explore ideas in teacher education, as
well as broader and more inclusive discussions in education.
We invite you to review the Table of Contents here and then visit our web
site to review articles and items of interest.
Thanks for the continuing interest in our work,
Val Mulholland, Acting Editor-in-Chief
Patrick Lewis, Editor-in-Chief
Shuana Niessen, Managing Editor, in education
Mollenhauer’s Representation: The Role of Preservice Teachers in the Practices of Upbringing (pp. 3-24)
Andrew Foran, Daniel B. Robinson
Story as a Means of Engaging Public Educators and Indigenous Students (pp. 25-42)
Patterns in Contemporary Canadian Picture Books: Radical Change in Action (pp. 43-70)
Beverley Brenna, Shuwen Sun, Yina Liu
Early Career Teachers’ Evolving Content-Area Literacy Practices (pp. 71-86)
Anne Murray-Orr, Jennifer Mitton-Kukner
A Review of The Way of the Teacher: A Path for Personal Growth and Professional Fulfillment by Sandra Finney and Jane Thurgood Sagal (pp. 87-88)
Graduate students with diverse backgrounds have come together with a common goal of decolonizing adult learning.
The graduate course, Trends and Issues in Indigenous Adult Education, explores research, theory, and the practice of trends, issues, and perspectives in Indigenous learning.
Students from six countries were in the class from Brazil, Canada, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka. The diversity speaks to the higher number of international students who are choosing to further their studies at the University of Regina.
Having such a mix of backgrounds and viewpoints in one class made for some eye-opening perspectives on trends and issues involved in decolonizing adult learning in order to improve Indigenous education.
The class was led by Dr. Cindy Hanson, Associate Professor of Adult Education/Human Resource Development in the Faculty of Education.
“The class was important in this case because it was a coming together of international and Indigenous students in a very organic way and with a broad range of understandings regarding history, culture, and politics in Indigenous Adult Education,” says Hanson. “The course offered an opportunity to put this into practice. Experiences from the field of adult learning were built into the content.”
Many also feel little has been done to build structures and programs in communities for adult learning about decononization and Indigenous issues. They see this class as a good start. The students appreciated the participatory approach to Hanson’s class, allowing for discussions.
José Wellington Sousa is from Brazil and is working on his PhD in Adult Education at the U of R. He has earned a BA in Economics and a Masters of Science in Administration at the University of Amazonia in Brazil.
“The class was a great example of what is going on in Canada right now. I can see the diversity in the classroom. We can learn from each other. We had many nations and sharing and reflecting on Indigenous education,” says Sousa. “In Brazil, we are kind of behind in the discussions of decolonization. So we are not even talking about reconciliation and addressing the injustice. I see this class as an opportunity to understand and learn.”
Issah Gyimah, who earned his Bachelor of Education at the University of South Africa, grew up in the post-Apartheid era. He’s taught in South Africa, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. He started his studies at the U of R in September.
“Coming from Africa and knowing about Apartheid, colonization, and racism, I have learned a lot from here and this class,” says Gyimah. “It has changed my perspective on how I see things. This class is a good foundation.”
Gyimah points out that adult education in South Africa is a growing area and a field that is not completely developed.
“We’ve been looking at children, but adults have influence on the children. There is a backlog of adults who did not get an education so this has left a big gap in South Africa,” he says.
Pauline Copland earned her Education Degree from Arctic College in Nunavut. She’s working towards her masters in curriculum and instruction at the U of R. Her first language is Inuktikut.
“From the readings and talking to my classmates, I learned things about our Canadian history, even my own history, like residential schools. It affected who I am without knowing,” says Copland, who appreciates the class diversity. “Compared to where I went to school, coming here looks like the whole world is here. The diversity is really nice, meeting people from different countries.”
The class includes one student from Saskatchewan, who sees her experience and diverse views as an asset that will help her down the road.
Chantelle Renwick has a Business Degree from the U of R and a graduate diploma in teaching from New Zealand. It was her experience in New Zealand that started her passion for Indigenous education. She’s working on her masters in Indigenous Education.
“What we hear over and over is that colonization has happened in so many part of the world and that Indigenous people have been dealing with the loss of culture and language,” says Renwick, who is an instructor of Office Administration at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Regina.
“You realize with such a diverse class the different history and different feelings and perspective that the adult learners bring to the classroom. You become more conscious about the impact colonization has on people.”
The final class December 5, in the presence of elder Alma Poitras, featured a discussion about what the students learned and how it could be applied to their workplace or personal lives.
The classes also featured speakers including elders, a speaker from the Office of the Treaty Commission, a Metis lawyer storyteller, a talk by the U of R’s James Daschuk author of Clearing The Plains, and a fieldtrip to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum led by curator Dr. Evelyn Siegfried.
“Decolonizing adult education is a current theme in the field of adult education and a critical perspective on how to do this with a range of learners is important,” says Hanson.
The University of Regina has enjoyed an increase of graduate students. As of the Fall 2017, 1,902 graduate students are furthering their studies at the University.
On Wednesday, December 6th, Education students attended an Education Internship Fair, with Alumni and School Division Panels discussing diverse internship placements. (See below pre-intern Janae Prediger’s comment posted on Twitter)
Attended @URFacofEd Internship fair today and learned so much about interning in rural areas! I’ve lived in a city my entire life… Can’t wait to request to intern in small town Sask and experience something new!😌👩🏫 #education#internship
On Tuesday, November 28, Dr. Alexandra Stoddart successfully defended her dissertation, “Physical Literacy: A Journey of Understanding and Development” at the University of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Louise Humbert served as Alex’s doctoral supervisor and the committee members were Dr. Adam Baxter-Jones, Dr. Kent Kowalski, and Dr. Sarah Oosman. Her external examiner was Dr. Lynn Randall from the University of New Brunswick.
Alex will be joining the faculty in the HOPE Subject area as of January 1, 2018.