Associate Dean's Message

Kathy Hibbert

Kathy Hibbert, PhD.
Professor and Associate Dean, Teacher Education

Welcome to what many believe to be Canada’s most beautiful campus!

Western’s Faculty of Education is located on nearly 400 acres of land along the banks of the Thames River, once cared for by the Attawandaran peoples and Haudensounee peoples as traditional beaver hunting grounds. Today Chippewa of the Thames First Nation, Oneida Nation of the Thames, and Munsee-Delaware Nation communities continue to care for the region.

Acknowledging that this Faculty is situated on stolen land, and naming a history quite different than the one I was taught in school requires that Faculties of Education rethink our roles in provincial education.  Although the Faculty has provided exemplary learning experiences to students since 1965, we are called upon by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) to do better, now that we know better.  As teachers and teacher educators, we have a responsibility to redress the multiple forms of violence embedded within settler colonialism. The TRC states that educational institutions are “the key to reconciliation” between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians because of “what they have taught, or failed to teach over many generations ... Education must remedy the gaps in historical knowledge that perpetuate ignorance and racism” (p. 285).

Naming injustices and troubled relations is only the first step. A commitment to action is necessary to move from learning ‘about’ history to learning ‘from’ history. This commitment begins with the Faculty’s mission to make a difference in the lives of all children, families and communities.  

In all of our teaching, research, hiring practices and recruitment, the Faculty of Education at Western embodies a commitment to equity, diversity, social justice and inclusive education in program development, teaching, research, hiring practices and recruitment.  Becoming a professional educator, means understanding and respecting the needs of all learners. It means using your knowledge, skills, agency and voice as a professional to advocate for those who cannot yet advocate for themselves. It means ensuring that all students feel safe and supported while in our care, so that they may grow to engage fully in their own lives as informed citizens. If this is the type of professional you wish to become, then Western is the right choice for you. 

Home to multiple research centres, our Faculty have undertaken a number of initiatives and partnerships specifically designed to collaborate with our local, regional and international communities. Faculty and Instructors are also actively engaged in community outreach.

Our program hosts seven specialty areas:

  • International Education;
  • Early Childhood Education;
  • Urban Education;
  • French;
  • Mathematics
  • Advanced Studies in the Psychology of Achievement, Inclusion and Mental Health;
  • STEM Education.

Western's Teacher Education program prepares candidates to step into a teaching life as a professional who,

  • reflectively confronts their own colonial inheritances to rethink their positionality as a professional;
  • is a lifelong learner who stays abreast of current research in teaching and learning;
  • respects diversity of learners and communities;
  • engages as active citizens in their local/global communities; and
  • meets, and goes beyond, professional license requirements to teach.

I look forward to continuing and extending our exciting initiatives!

Kathy Hibbert, PhD.

Professor and Associate Dean, Teacher Education