As a final faculty spotlight for the term, we are shining light on Dr. Marc Spooner, a full professor with the Faculty of Education, who has recently taken on the role of interim director of CERCD (www.cercd.ca), the Faculty of Education’s research unit. He works with both the educational psychology and education curriculum and instruction areas, specializing in qualitative and participatory action research. A multiple winner of the Prairie Dog’s Best of Regina Poll for Best U of R Professor, Spooner says that, “teaching, and hopefully modelling, critical and creative thinking in the service of democratic consciousness, participation, and engagement” are what he is passionate about in his work.
Spooner is well-known in the community for his advocacy for those who suffer from homelessness and poverty. He takes an active interest in participatory democracy and activism. More recent interests include academic freedom, audit culture, social justice and the effects of neoliberalization and corporatization on higher education. He, with Dr. James McNinch, recently co-edited the award-winning book, Dissident Knowledge in Higher Education, as part of an ongoing discussion regarding the purpose of higher education in a climate of neoliberalism.
With the “aspirational hope of nudging the arc of history towards justice,” Spooner is busy planning the second symposium, which will facilitate the continued exploration of roles, challenges, conflicting tensions, and promising re-imaginings to address the question of the university’s purpose in an age of performance-based funding and audit culture. The symposium boasts an impressive line-up of speakers: Have a look and plan to attend: https://www.whatareuniversitiesfor.ca/speakers/
As advice to students, when choosing their academic program and courses, Spooner says, “Students should follow their interests, passions and curiosity.” Further, Spooner says, “Learn from one another, support each other, play, study, practice, and keep asking questions.”