Stages of Life and Stages of Career for Education Faculty: A Discussion with Educators
Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University
Friday, January 25, 2019
12:30 – 2:00 pm
Neville Scarfe Building, Room 1214
Host: Dr. E. Wayne Ross
Academic careers inevitably are affected by the stages and passages of professors’ lives. Just as the dominant challenges of one’s university appointment fluctuate and change in fundamental ways, so does each faculty member’s personal journey through his or her stages of life. Values and practices that are germane and productive at one point in time may later on become profoundly maladaptive professionally and personally. We are wise to acknowledge that lifespan career development interacts with lifespan development, and our choices in both should reflect this confluence.
As a profession, rather than a discipline, education is part of the progressive expansion of higher education. In the century or so during which faculties of education have existed, however, the practice of professors of education, particularly in research universities, has moved from textbook writing and laboratory school innovation to more abstract academic forms, as well as consulting, and on-line teaching. This same period has been challenging for traditional democratic values—particularly community–that were thought to be foundational to North American schooling. These changes in the professional landscape also find expression in our personal journey at the university and elsewhere. There is a great range in our choice of intellectual focus, but a loss of identification with the public institution of schooling that spawned our field. If we look ahead, what is our social and personal legacy as professors of education and what constitutes an effective closing act for us as individuals and members of society?
Paul Shaker is a career educator who has served as teacher, teacher educator, and dean in five of the United States, in Asia, and in Canada at Simon Fraser University where he is professor emeritus and immediate past dean.
An alumnus of Ohio State, Shaker has sought to advance our social democratic legacy in public schools and higher education through scholarship, leadership and media activism. He has developed and directed independently funded projects such as Friends of Simon, an outreach to immigrant and refugee children that provides university students as after school and online tutors, currently reaching several hundred BC children and youth. For six years Shaker hosted Your Education Matters, a television program widely cablecast in British Columbia that is a venue for qualified educators to speak on a range of education topics.
Paul Shaker’s writing and speaking center on the application of contemporary theory to education politics and policy and to the enrichment of meaning in schools and in teacher education. He has been particularly active in defending the integrity of professional educators and their values, including as they pertain to self- and social-realization. Shaker draws on developmental and depth psychological perspectives. He works toward education renewal that honours the democratic social contract at the heart of our public schools.