Sharon Abbey has been re-appointed to a second three-year term as director of the Centre for Adult Education and Community Outreach (CAECO).
The Education professor will continue to provide leadership and academic supervision to one of the longest-running Adult Education certificate and undergraduate degree programs in Ontario.
The Bachelor of Education in Adult Education program is the only one in the province that can be completed either as a first degree or subsequent degree. Adult Education courses are offered online and on-site as part of classroom experiences in as many as 18 locations across the province. Registration for Adult Education courses in the fall semester totals 418.
“We are very pleased that Prof. Abbey will continue to lead our Adult Education programs and new initiatives,” said Fiona Blaikie, Dean, Faculty of Education. “Through its unique programs and flexible delivery methods, the centre continues to provide adult learners in Ontario and beyond with innovative and exciting opportunities to grow personally, pedagogically and professionally. Adult Education is a field of study that is visible and important, and our centre has an ongoing and significant impact on Adult Education theories, practices and polices worldwide.”
One of Abbey’s top priorities during her second term will be to introduce new elective courses in the Adult Education program
“We are very excited with new electives that are currently being developed and others ready for initial delivery,” Abbey said. “This new bank of courses will include discipline-specific curriculum for Adult Education scholars.”
Another priority is the continual development of online learning, Abbey said. The centre has been a leader in e-learning for more than a decade.
“We continue to draw online learners from across the province, particularly people in professional careers who are looking for a flexible option to pursue certificate or degree qualifications,” Abbey said. “We are also proud of extending Brock’s reach through our onsite locations – we take the Brock experience to communities north, south, east and west. And we are looking at opportunities in the international market.”
Abbey was a public school teacher and principal before joining Brock’s faculty in 1995. She is a former director of Brock’s Centre of Women Studies. She teaches courses on Gender and Education, Feminist Research Methods, Embodied Knowing and Images of Mothers in Popular Culture. Abbey has published two books on redefining roles of motherhood as well as an edited anthology. Her current research involves multi-genre arts-based analysis of data including poetry, photography and visual collage work.
In 2008, she started an annual experiential learning program in which students from the Teacher Education program travel to South Africa and spend three weeks teaching in two elementary schools in a poverty-stricken suburb of Cape Town.