Office of The Dean of Education
The Office of the Dean of Education supports the Departments of Adult Education, Teacher Education and Curriculum & Leadership. Within these Departments, we offer a variety of programs including BEd (part time & full time), certificates, Master of Adult Education, Master of Education and PhD in Education.
Pjila’si, Bienvenue, Welcome, Fáilte!
The Faculty of Education of St. Francis Xavier University is situated on the unceded, ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq people – we are honoured to gather to work, learn and unlearn in Mi’kma’ki. Our work as educators demands that we hold present the living documents the Peace and Friendship Treaties, recognizing we are all Treaty people.
We welcome learners from local, regional, national and international locales to experience educational excellence the Xaverian way – with a commitment to equity for our learners, here in the Faculty and, by extension, for the learners our graduates will work with or teach, whether in adult education settings, P-12 schooling, or other educational contexts. Part of the learning we do together is also about unlearning as we come to know ourselves et autrui more deeply.
Indeed, the order of these words of welcome – pjila’si, bienvenue, welcome, fáilte – were chosen with intention, recognizing they reflect only a partial story of our work in contemporary educational contexts. Chronologically presented, they echo a Western ontology by way of historical timeline. This choice was intentional, as it allows a prioritizing of the Mi’kmaq language. At the same time, it calls attention to the linguistic complexities of both Nova Scotia as a province and to the town of Antigonish where we gather to centre our work.
While this ‘order of things’ brings some ideas to the fore, it also leaves spaces and silences – important spaces that we need to attend to in our work as educators. The linguistic history of Nova Scotia does not, for example, recognize that just as French and Indigenous peoples were navigating a new colonial relationship at Port-Royal, the complexity of our province was also being built through the colonial project, slavery and waves of forced migration. Today, the Western ontological timeline does not hold; rather, equity in education must attend to Indigenous sovereignty, Truth and Reconciliation, the vibrancy of African Nova Scotian communities, the constitutional rights of Acadian communities, and to the linguistic and cultural diaspora that continues to define our region in the present day.
The work we do here in the Faculty of Education attends to these complexities – our researchers embrace them, our students engage with them, and we all continue to learn and unlearn through our work together. This important work would not be possible without the amazing contributions of our dedicated staff and faculty. Through our academic programming, research and service, our members support educators in a wide variety of professional roles: preservice and in-service teachers, school-based administrators, health educators, and community leaders are just some of the categories of students who call our Faculty home. The breadth of professional roles occupied by our students speaks to the range of programming in our Departments of Adult Education, Curriculum and Leadership and Teacher Education. In addition, our Faculty’s engagement in Nova Scotia’s inter-university PhD program affords rich opportunities to students and faculty members – new ideas, new research, and new ways of moving educational ideas and practices forward.
As we live with the ongoing effects and impacts of colonialism, so too do we find ways to reimagine education – prioritizing culturally relevant pedagogy, engaging in anti-oppressive curricula, and continually adapting to ongoing changes in the sector. In all this, one constant is the commitment to excellence of our members: our faculty and staff, through excellence in teaching, strong and relevant research productivity, and numerous contributions to service both on our campus and throughout the communities we serve, place our students and their learning at the centre of all we do.
Lace Marie Brogden, Dean of Education