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Northern partnerships

Faculty of Education’s Dr. Kirk Anderson appointed UArctic chair


By Angela Hunt

Professor and former dean of Memorial’s Faculty of Education Dr. Kirk Anderson has been named UArctic Chair in School Improvement and Effectiveness. 

UArctic chairs are highly qualified academics who work to implement, promote and drive collaborative research and education amongst UArctic members, while building beneficial partnerships to support the broader Arctic community.

“Dr. Anderson brings forth a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the area of school effectiveness and school improvement,” said Dr. Gerald Galway, interim dean, Faculty of Education. “I know that he will be an exceptional addition to UArctic’s chair program and I look forward to seeing what he will achieve in this role.”

This newest appointment to the UArctic board comes just months after the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science’s Dr. Bing Chen was appointed as UArctic Chair in Marine and Coastal Environmental Engineering.

“It is a great pleasure to have two UArctic chairs from Memorial University,” said Lars Kullerud, president of UArctic. “With this, Memorial strengthens its position as a leading university in Arctic co-operation.”

Valued UArctic member

Dr. Anderson has been an active member of the UArctic community for a decade.

Since 2012 he has been working to promote education, teacher development, school improvement and related research in northern contexts.

His initial work with the UArctic community led to the Faculty of Education’s partnership with the Nunatsiavut Government to develop and implement its Inuit-focused Bachelor of Education (IBED) Program.

The program was a significant success in fostering Indigenous, community-based teacher education in Nunatsiavut.

Dr. Anderson later became involved in promoting a partnership between Memorial’s Faculty of Education and Nunavut Arctic College to reshape the Nunavut Teacher Education Program (NTEP).  

“I am thrilled … to deepen my work in these areas, better aligning pan-Arctic educational organizations with interest groups and thematic networks.” – Dr. Kirk Anderson

In his newest role as UArctic chair, Dr. Anderson plans to further mobilize his research and expertise in the area of school effectiveness and school improvement, to garner partnerships and funding opportunities, as well as to establish a pan-Arctic graduate group of doctoral students from across the North.

“I have devoted much of my career to researching, understanding and strengthening the areas of school effectiveness and school improvement, specifically focused on Indigenous schools, and rural and isolated communities,” said Dr. Anderson. “I am thrilled to have this formal opportunity to deepen my work in these areas, better aligning Pan-Arctic educational organizations with interest groups and thematic networks.”

“Dr. Anderson is an experienced educator and engaged researcher who is recognized as a leader in his field of study,” said Dr. Neil Bose, interim provost and vice-president (academic), who was vice-president (research) at the time of Dr. Anderson’s nomination. “His appointment enhances Memorial’s ongoing collaboration with UArctic members and its partners and allows him to undertake valuable research related to the Arctic. This is a well-deserved honour for Dr. Anderson and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of his work.”

Background information

Dr. Anderson comes from a family with Mi’kmaq and Inuit ancestry, and is a member of the Mekap’sk (Northern Peninsula) Mi’kmaq Band.

He is a professor of educational administration at the Faculty of Education and focuses his research mainly in the area of school improvement and school effectiveness in rural, isolated and Indigenous schools, as well as educational administration and teacher leadership.

Dr. Anderson has had significant involvement in research in Indigenous (Aboriginal) education, both in Canada and internationally, with his most current work being focused on Canadian perspectives for teacher development in the North (an Inuit- and Sami-centric view).

This project includes team members from Canada (also members of the UA Thematic Networks and Arctic-net researchers) and the Nordic countries (Thematic Network for Teacher Education and the Verdde Network).

To learn more about his appointment, visit the UArctic website.

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