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S U M M E R E D I T I O N 2 0 0 9
V O L U M E 1 0 N U M B E R 2
K E E P I N G A L U M N I C U R R E N T
Precious Love – Maxwell & Margaret “Presh” Kates
Story Telling and Teaching the Parsons’ Way
A Long Way from Home
from the Dean
K E E P I N G A L U M N I C U R R E N T
Greetings It’s a beautiful time of year, and I hope you are able to enjoy fresh morning walks and the wonderful opportu- nities to connect with nature that our Alberta Summer provides.
I am so pleased to share with you this edition of The Orange. Fitting for an early summer’s read, we bring you a special love story about an amazing teacher whose love and passion for life touched the hearts of many. We share updates of the work and achievements of several of our talented researchers and tell you the story of an education professor whose love of storytelling and teaching is boundless. Our cover features the unique journey of our student teachers in Macao, China, the first students to benefit from a collaborative planning process between the Faculty of Education, Alberta Education, and Teacher Certification to complete the final field experience of their Bachelor of Education Degree “offshore”. I am tremendously proud of our students, alumni and faculty who are making vital contributions in so many ways-locally, nationally and globally.
I thank you deeply for your continued support and encouragement and hope very much to see you during our Homecoming this Fall. Please find a few minutes and a quiet place to sit and enjoy this special edition.
Fern Snart, ’79 PhD Dean
K E E P I N G A L U M N I C U R R E N T
S U M M E R E D I T I O N 2 0 0 9 V O L U M E 1 0 N U M B E R 2
ON THE COVER: 12 A Long Way from Home
Five student teachers gain international experience and new perspectives while completing their 3 month advanced practicum at The International School of Macao.
18 Researchers Recognized for Pioneering Work in Educational Assessment
Researchers at the Faculty of Education’s Centre for Research in Applied Measurement and Evaluation are advancing educa- tional testing methods.
FEATURES
16 Story Telling and Teaching the Parsons’ Way
Dr. Jim Parsons’ belief in story telling as an educational activity allows him to share his personal understandings and love for teaching.
8 Education Team Piloting New Sustainability Initiative for the University of Alberta
In the midst of the UNESCO- declared Decade for Education for Sustainable Development, the University of Alberta is leading the way through a unique initiative aimed to inspire a more sustain- able future.
DEPARTMENTS 11 Alliance Pipeline Leadership Circle for
Young Women
5 Precious Love – Maxwell & Margaret “Presh” Kates
The story of the love, life, and laughter of Maxwell and Margaret “Presh” Kates.
21 Education Feeds the Need
22 Life Annuities
24 Class Notes
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The Orange is the Faculty of Education’s alumni magazine. Published twice a year by the Faculty’s Office of External Relations, the Orange is distributed to alumni, friends, faculty, students and staff.
Dean of Educat ion
Edi tor
External Relat ions Team
Graphic Design
Creative Services
Contributing writers and photographers Susan Barker, Carl A. Busch, Carmen Cormack, Caitlin Crawshaw, Gayle Duerksen, Dawn Ford, John Kok, Jacqueline Varga
Send your comments to: Office of External Relations Faculty of Education University of Alberta 4-107 Education North Edmonton, AB T6G 2G5
Tel: 780-492-7755 Fax: 780-492-0155 Email: [email protected] www.education.ualberta.ca
What an exciting time for education. From the days of teaching in one-room school houses to facilitating education across the globe, the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education is making a difference.
Through speaking with many alumni, I am often asked how they can help build on the success of our work in the Faculty. One way is to establish lasting tributes through scholarships and bursaries, either immediately or through your will.
Recently, I spoke with an alumnus who asked me to assist her in establishing a gift through her will. She mentioned that while attending a homecoming event, she real- ized that her most treasured friendships were built right here in our faculty. Her estate gift will offer scholarships to a new generation of educators. I am honoured to be able to help people find an avenue of giving that encapsulates their own passions and causes, and I invite you to get in touch should we be able to help you with your own planning. I hope you enjoy this special edition of The Orange. Happy Summer. Neil Hayes BSc. CFRE
Director of External Relations/Development
Welcome Note
The Faculty of Education is home to adisplay of fairytale books from the early 1900s. They are from the collection of the late Margaret “Presh” Kates, and upon her death, were donated to the Faculty of Education by her family.
Like the treasured tales of Rose Red and Snow White, Presh, as she was affectionately known, lived a very rich, active and mean- ingful life reminiscent of a classical fairytale and complete with a magical romance that spanned 65 years.
Born in 1916 to a small town minister and a school-teacher, Presh was a fourth-gener- ation teacher during the Great Depression. She experienced the often extreme condi- tions of rural teaching during her first experi- ence in Scotstown, Saskatchewan where she taught five high-school grade levels in a
one-room school house.
“The students did the janitorial work for part of their tuition. Many mornings we huddled around the pot-bellied stove in the basement classroom wearing our coats, ski pants and boots until the room warmed up enough to work in,” she would recall in her
Precious Love Maxwell & Margaret “Presh” Kates
Above: On their wedding day, September 18, 1943.
Left: For their 50th wedding anniversary, Max and Presh renewed their vows at Gretna Green in Scotland, famed for its runaway weddings.
DAWN FORD
autobiography.
Harsh conditions did not deter Presh whose many teaching tasks included preparing de- partmental exams on a carbon-backed sheet of paper placed on a gelatin mix. Music and dance filled the gaps in her days and nights as she played the organ for Sunday church
A portable record player and records in
hand, she walked the mid-winter’s mile to the
women’s prison, a bounce in her step as she
anticipated teaching the female convicts.
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and prepared for Friday evening dances, all of which were held in the schoolhouse.
“Every Friday night everyone headed to the school to waltz, square dance, 2-Step, or 7-Step until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. We went to neighboring school house dances with a horse and buggy, and in the winter, we had blankets and heated bricks or stones at the bottom of the sleigh to keep our feet warm.”
After a position as principal in Admiral SK, where she lived in a
teacher-age that had once been a fire hall and former jail, Presh accepted a teaching position in Prince Albert teaching Physical Education and English. During her tenure, she volunteered as a dance teacher for the female inmates at the Prince Albert Provincial Jail.
A portable record player and records in hand, she walked the mid-winter’s mile to the women’s prison, a bounce in her step as she anticipated teaching the female convicts.
“The deep sense of satisfaction I felt from such enthusiasm and the exuberant par- ticipation of these women was more than compensation. On our last dance lesson, be- fore I was leaving Prince Albert, the women hugged and cried because they would miss the human camaraderie that our dance
lessons had provided for them.”
While her passion for teaching left little time for anything else, Presh’s love of dancing and skating would inevitably lead her to meeting the love of her life on January 18, 1942.
The world was at war in 1942 when Maxwell Kates, an Air Force pilot, first saw Presh glid- ing on an ice rink on a Sunday afternoon. Max was a seasoned hockey player and had decided to see what was happening at the local rink. He immediately saw Presh gliding across the ice.
“ I took one look at her and ran to my locker to get my skates. As I skated alongside her and introduced myself, I asked if she would join me for coffee. She said she preferred hot chocolate, and I responded that ‘hot chocolate was a dime while coffee was only a nickel,’ ” Max laughs, his memories of that moment akin to Presh’s.
“As we skated together, arm in arm, his skill and style made me look more proficient as a skater. How could I have ever known on that cold day in January that the only time I stayed after figure skating for public skating, accept- ing an invitation to skate from this charming man with his fabulous sense of humour, that this chance meeting would lead to a 65-year love affair,” Presh would recall.
Every year since that first encounter on January 18th, they relived the moment by skating to their favourite song.
Presh and Max were married by Presh’s min- ister father on September 18, 1943, months earlier than planned due to Max’s entire flight class being informed of their posting overseas. It was then that Max revealed his creative abilities and brave spontaneity.
“Enroute to Halifax, my husband received inside information that the Ship’s original sailing would be delayed for 10 days. So, this crazy man of mine, possessed by his amazing love, pulled an incredible escapade for 10 days. Upon answering the knock at our door, my brain froze in utter astonishment and disbelief at seeing Max standing on my door- step. My mind would not believe my eyes because I knew he was in Halifax enroute to Europe.”
While overseas Max wrote Presh 2-4 times a day. “More than once, she would get a call in the evenings at home from the post office saying there was 40-50 letters waiting for her,” recalls Max whose love for Presh was infinite, a gesture he had clearly shown her upon making the harsh decision to leave his family when he learned that his bride would not be accepted into their Orthodox Jewish faith.
“…love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own say: It is not irritable or
resentful: It does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.”
Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians: 13, 4-8.
Max holding precious memories, April 6, 2009.
A young Margaret “Presh” Kates.
“Later in life when people would ask me how I could give up my family, I would say I didn’t do too badly. I know of a guy who gave up his crown and country for a woman,” says Max.
From 1957-1980, Presh taught at Crestwood School in Edmonton, where they lived together across the street. After he retired in 1978, Max walked Presh across the street to class in the mornings and made her lunch in the afternoons. While Max vied for their freedom to travel, Presh pressured for a little more time in the classroom.
“Darling,” Max recalls telling her. “I think you should teach this one last class and I’m not going to stop you. But I’m going to travel with or without you.”
And so in 1980, Presh retired from teach- ing to travel around the world with Max. Through their journeys, they inspired many people around the world including support- ing and mentoring a single mother who had been repatriated from Tunisia.
“We made friends with people all over the world. That’s been the pattern in our life. We both agreed to do things that we felt would give people a step up,” says Max. Drawers of memorabilia include little sticky notes he would leave for Presh before he went for groceries while she slept.
“To live with you is so much bliss. When I get home you’ll get a hug and kiss.” Presh saved every one them.
Max continues to wear Presh’s wedding ring around his neck and surrounds himself in the photographs and paintings of their life together.
“She was so different than others girls that just being with her was enough. Two days before she left for the hospital, I put on a cd and got her up to dance, both of us shuffling in time to the music. When I held her in my arms there’s a feeling equal to no other. It’s never happened before.”
Presh died in November of 2007. She left the following message so that it could be shared with her family, friends and anyone who should chance upon it.
“I leave you all with words to live by which became the dominating force guiding our marriage for 65 years. When we first started courting, I quoted a portion of St. Paul’s let- ter to the Corinthians which I believe in with all my heart and being. My husband was so
An Enchanted Evening In November, the Faculty hosted a special enchanted evening to unveil Presh’s treasured set of fairy tale books, to celebrate her in- spirational legacy as an educator, and to announce the establish- ment of the Margaret “Presh” Kates Scholarship in Education, the Margaret “Presh” Kates Bursary in Education, and the Margaret “Presh” Kates Aboriginal Doctoral Award in Education.
inspired by this philosophy that in 1987, he took me to Corinth, Greece, to find amongst the Ruins, and photograph the tablet bearing these words:
“…love is patient and kind; love is not jeal- ous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.
Love does not insist on its own say: It is not Irritable or resentful: It does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.”
Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians: 13, 4-8.
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In the midst of the UNESCO-declared Decade for Education for Sustainable Development, the University of Alberta is leading the way through a unique initiative aimed to inspire a more sustainable future.
The U of A’s new Office of Sustainability demonstrates the University’s commitment to sustainable policies and practices, and it is individuals in the university community who, through personal action, are making a differ- ence. A good example of this can be found in the Faculty of Education.
“We began initially with a sustainability audit
Education team piloting new sustainability initiative for the University of Alberta
to provide us with a baseline assessment of our existing practices,” says Dr. Elizabeth Lange who is an Assistant Professor in Educational Policy Studies, and alongside Dr. Susan Barker, co-chairs Education’s new Sustainability Working Group.
A broad and far-reaching concept, Lange de- fines a sustainable society as “one that satisfies its needs without diminishing the prospects of justice and well-being for self, other peoples, future generations and the Earth.”
And the motion of this initiative is big.
“The sustainability movement is one of the largest social movements ever to have oc- curred with millions of people around the world showing commitment to a concept which can mean quite different things to dif- ferent people. This essentially does not matter as it is action which makes the difference,” say co-chair Susan Barker who is an Associate Dean in the Faculty.
Conducted by fourteen faculty, staff and students who make up the working group, the audit identifies practices to be celebrated and challenges to be addressed in the evolution
DAWN FORD
The audit cites U of A’s Triffo Hall, which was redesigned to work with natural light, as an exemplar model for leading standards in sustainability, and the group hopes to offer regular tours of Triffo Hall to demonstrate how leadership in energy conservation and building design teach sustainability practices.
In addition to a list of sustainability goals, the Faculty of Education is exploring
the design of a one-year diploma of environmental and sustainability education. The diploma would be intended to meet the needs of profes- sionals in a wide range of sectors who have responsibility for educating adults around environmental issues or as part
of a sustainability mandate. This diploma will also meet the needs of K-12 pre-service
and practicing teachers to address the growing inclusion of sustainability in Alberta curricula.
Professional educators are increasingly being considered vital to sustainability goals and have greater responsibility in teaching and modeling sustainable practices, in the hopes of inspiring future generations to make environmentally sound decisions in their every day lives.
piloting new sustainability initiative of Alberta facts. For example, in the past three years, U of A utility costs doubled to $28 million. With all the computers turned on in a day, the daily util- ity cost can be as much as $7000.
Another interesting fact reported in the audit is that the U of A generates its own electric- ity through steam from natural gas, which is sometimes alternated from purchasing coal- generated power from other Alberta suppliers.
towards a culture of sustainability.
“Facilities and Operations has been very sup- portive and are planning a retrofit of our light- ing needs through replacement with compact fluorescents and a redesign of lighting fixtures. This means that the number of lights used will be reduced; they will have higher efficiency, provide more light output, yield a 50% cost savings and lower carbon emission output,” says Lange.
The audit not only includes findings and facts regarding sustainability around the Faculty of Education, but reports interesting University
DAWN FORD
Flower adorning the Education Centre.
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education is not just a, but needs
to engage the life- giving ecological processes
around us in which we are embedded, as part of ecological
literacy and needs to consider how this place shapes who we are, how our built environment interacts with Earth processes, and how we can re-educate ourselves to live well in this place,” says Lange.
“It also means giving honour to Indigenous peoples for whom this land was home for thousands of years. We can learn from their historic consciousness of the land, what rootedness, responsibility, belonging and harmony means,” she adds.
“Learning to live creatively within our ecological means, also enables other global peoples to live well where they are...as part of our global responsibility.”
The mission of Education’s sustainability working group is to engage the Faculty in a collaborative inquiry around building a culture of sustainability, as part of the university’s social and environmen- tal responsibility.
“We have a group of passionate people in the Faculty who are taking action and showing our col- leagues possibilities they may never have considered,” says Barker.
“In a large faculty such as ours, it is…