Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
The hard work and passion that goes into Dr. Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker’s research and instruction has long been evident to those enrolled in her classes, and now, as a result, she will be awarded the 2013 Brock University Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Ciuffetelli Parkerwas recognized at this year’s fall convocation as a faculty member who, in the opinion of her colleagues and students, has made an outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning environment at Brock University and beyond.
“The teacher-learner relationship is vital to how I educate and learn alongside my students - my fundamental priority is the development of students’ critical thinking skills as they adapt to each situated experience, whether they are learning in their theory courses, whether they are responding to the needs of students in classrooms or other educational settings, or whether they are conducting research in such settings,” says Ciuffetelli Parker. She has conducted extensive research on the scholarship of teaching, in particular her teaching strategy related literacy narratives, an adult literacy practice used constructively by university students.
Several letters in Ciuffetelli Parker’s dossier demonstrated the impact she has on the lives of students and the esteem in which her colleagues regard her teaching and scholarly activity.
A graduate student remarked of her work, “Dr. Ciuffetelli Parker’s innovative teaching method of related literacy narratives provided pivotal learning for me as a student in her EDUC 8P15 course. It is through this experience that I learned how narrative is connected to how we teach and understand the human condition… Her expertise in narrative inquiry method… inspired me to pursue graduate studies…using narrative inquiry and in particular related literacy narratives as part of my data and method in my thesis.”
Ciuffetelli Parker’s success can likely be measured by the success of her students, as she harnesses a strong desire to provide avenues for her students to succeed; a trait that is unmistakably apparent.
Another former student reflected fondly, “Dr. Ciuffetelli Parker brought the ethical standards of practice (trust, care, respect, and integrity) to life,” said the student. “I felt valued, cared for , and safe in her course [and] it is because of this community and the relationship she enacted with the students that I felt empowered to develop relationships, think critically, and share deeply.”
“I believe her excellence in teaching is not just exemplified by her meaningful course material, but also by her ability to create the ideal conditions to encourage learning.”
However, it is not just the work that Ciuffetelli Parker puts in with her students that has propelled her to win this year’s award, but also the research that she conducts and the significance of her findings. Noted in particular in her dossier is Dr. Ciuffetelli Parker’s remarkable commitment to poverty and education in Ontario schools and social justice issues in education and the wider community.
“All of her research impacts her teaching practice and is woven through her work as a professor of both undergraduate and graduate students,“ says Dr. Shelley Griffin. “Through working in diverse topic areas, Dr. Ciuffetelli Parker continues to make contributions at the provincial, national, and international levels.”