Archie and Me: A Child, a Teacher, and a Comic Book
Teacher candidates in a freshman Education course encountered the image of Geraldine Grundy, Riverdale High School’s perennial teacher, in their in-class review of 70 years of Archie comics. They saw in Grundy a teacher dedicated to her students’ learning, but questioned why her appearance changed little as compared to her teenage students, contemporized as fashion and cultural shifts dictated. There was a pedagogical purpose for these neophytes to peruse Archie. I wanted them to see that Grundy was part of the political and social landscape of postwar America, when Archie comics had their greatest appeal to children and youth. Archie portrayed the intellectual content of 20th-century childhood. Grundy was a creation of a consensus of childhood accepted among professionals and the society they served. Teachers learned it and like Grundy, replicated it in practice.
With Olivier Michaud, The Way to a Spiritual Life in Academia: Scholars and Stories
Higher education literature documents the presence of stress in academic staff in universities. We locate ourselves as academics who struggle to meet the expectations of the university and seek to live a better life. Our spiritual teachings from our mentors—Marie Battiste, Mi’kmaw education scholar, on nourishing the learning spirit, and Parker Palmer—are wisdom that we have studied and used in research and in class. We seek now to draw on them in our lives. We have created an intimate space that permits us to story our faculty lives. For us, the way to a spiritual life in academia requires that we expose and share issues of stress, exhaustion, and burnout as we know and understand them. We seek considerations for scholars who seek to story a way of living better.
Toward a Usable Past: Teachers of Project Yesteryear and the History of Education
The teachers of Project Yesteryear were respondents to a questionnaire sent by the late Dr. Robert S. Patterson. Patterson was a professor of educational foundations and former dean of the University of Alberta's Faculty of Education. I show how data in the questionnaires may help teacher candidates who seek guidance on how to be effective practitioners in class.
Book Clubs and the Reconciliation Mandate
The inspiration for this project is from the Book of the Year projects in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education. I ask the following question: How may a common reading (a book) begin the work of Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada?
When the Outsider Is Me: Ally in the Background
Faculty and students in universities use loosely the term “ally” to describe supporters of research endeavours and experiences that help achievement in scholarly work, development of promising professional practices, and integration in social spaces. The motivation for this project comes in part from identification of me as an ally in Indigenous educational research by a senior Indigenous colleague. However, I think that the foundational roots of ally need discovery because the use of the term in research and student life is too superficial, too casual, and too brief. In my experience of over 20 years of research, teaching, and service in Indigenous communities on and off campuses, I find that the door to becoming an ally is open by a sliver for non-Indigenous scholars but opens insufficiently wide enough for them to enter. This observation leads me to ask how we involve non-Indigenous academics in spaces dubbed by universities as “Aboriginal” or “Indigenous.” Where in the literature do we see this dilemma, not only in Indigenous education settings but in other spaces where the “nons” may be looking in the sliver at the door or may have been sent to the waiting room? How may the concept of the ally help us comprehend how we, as faculty others, locate ourselves in teaching, research, and service to communities that are not our own? Through reflection on my stories as an ally and review of literature in higher education, I give muscle definition to the brittle rhetoric of “ally” in the academy.
I remain interested in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit educational history, self-identification and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit learners, and nourishing the learning spirit.