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By Dale Johnson Posted: July 23, 2018 6:00 a.m.

Dr. Jerome Cranston, who became Dean of Education July 1, says the Faculty has done a lot to build healthy and respectful relationships between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and is committed to making further changes in line with the calls to action of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Dr. Jerome Cranston, who became Dean of Education July 1, says the Faculty has done a lot to build healthy and respectful relationships between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and is committed to making further changes in line with the calls to action of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Photo: U of R Photography

The new Dean of the Faculty of Education, Dr. Jerome Cranston, felt the U of R was the place to be as soon as he came for the interview.

“I got a feel for the campus and Faculty of Education, and experienced first-hand the overt commitments to anti-oppressive education, and the openness to put energy behind building healthy and respectful relationships between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, I realized that the University of Regina’s Faculty of Education is where I wanted to work,” he recalls.

Most recently, Cranston was with the University of Manitoba, where he was the Executive Director, Student Engagement and Academic Success, and Associate Professor of Educational Administration. He holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba, an MEd from the University of Lethbridge, and a BEd and BSc from the University of Alberta. He also spent 16 years in the K-12 education system as teacher, principal, and superintendent in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.  His work on teachers' conceptions of peace in post-genocide Rwanda earned him a 2015 American Educational Research Association award in Peace Education.

Cranston, who became Dean on July 1, wants to build on what he calls some important, collaborative partnerships that respond to the needs of education partners in preparing teachers and administrators for the complexities of a 21st century education system. However, he has concerns that faculty and staff are stretched thin.

“The needs and demands exceed the Faculty’s current capacity to meet them, and grow at the same time. It seems clear that there is a need to take a good, hard look at what is sustainable in the immediate future, and then collaboratively commit to some decisions about what we need to let go of in order to allow for future growth, innovation, and well-being,” he explains.

Cranston also wants to focus on the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which outlined the need for faculties and colleges of education to make changes to their programs and services if the success of Indigenous students, their families, and their communities is to be achieved.

“I believe the เครดิต ฟรี ถอน ได้ 2561University of Regina’s Faculty of Education has done some important work in these areas, but there is clearly a need for more to be done.”

Cranston also believes there is a need to re-engage with the public.

“The social context in which universities in Canada and faculties of education exist has changed over the past few decades. There have been shifting attitudes related to the value of a post-secondary education, and there is a need for research that is readily accessible to the public, engages them, and perhaps even better informs the public discourse. I think this Faculty of Education has done a commendable job in these areas. There is still, however, work to be done to avoid a general tendency that can exist in universities whereby the public’s support of and for the work we do is somewhat taken for granted.”

His new position as Dean marks a return to Saskatchewan for Cranston; in the late 1990s, he was principal of St. Angela’s Academy in Prelate, about 150 kilometres northwest of Swift Current.

“Up until that point in time, I had only spent time in or very close by big cities, such as Montréal, Edmonton, and Calgary. Prelate was a village of 100 – on a good day. The closest traffic light we would learn – and nearest movie theatre – was 100 kilometres away. But, everyone was patient and generous in teaching us to appreciate small town, rural life in Saskatchewan.”

As he makes the transition to Dean, Cranston says he will have a balance between his career duties and his personal life.

“I remind myself daily that before I became an academic, I was and still am a spouse to one, father to three, brother to two remaining siblings, and uncle to five. I have decided to honour the legacy of my parents and grandparents by working to build healthy and respectful relationships among Indigenous/tribal peoples and members of the non-Indigenous communities. They are simply all my relations.”