2003 Award for Excellence in Teaching Recipient
Judith Robertson graduated with a baccalaureate in English from Queen's University in 1973. She began her career as a teacher, and as a consultant at the Carleton Board of Education, where she worked until 1986. During this time, she pursued her master's degree in English at Carleton University. Professor Robertson joined the Faculty of Education of the University of Ottawa as a part-time professor in 1979. She earned a PhD from the University of Toronto and, in 1997, became an associate professor in the Faculty of Education and at the Institute of Women's Studies
Professor Robertson is concerned with expanding dialogue about learning, literature and sociality by building relationships with teachers and researchers, as well as developing scholarly and pedagogical materials. Between 1994 and 1999, she was the only Canadian representative on the National Council of Teachers of English. She worked on the Project on Teaching about Genocide and Intolerance, which resulted in the book, Teaching for a Tolerant World, Grades K-6. Essays and Resources. Educators use the book to teach children about atrocity through the use of literary forms. Professor Robertson's educational ethics have also led her to collaborate with seven researchers in the Faculty of Education on the initiative, Words Can Change the World / Les mots peuvent changer le monde, a project which is developing bilingual pedagogical materials to dispel sexism in teacher education.
From 2000 to 2002, Professor Robertson was an instructor for a new enrichment mini-course, The Struggle for Survival in Wartime: Adolescent Journals in Times of War and Peace. This University of Ottawa outreach program to talented youth resulted in Professor Robertson working with more than 40 teenage girls from eastern Ontario, educating them about journal reading and writing as a vehicle to spiritual and political survival in times of social disarray.
Professor Robertson has consistently aspired to influence and stimulate theories and practices of curriculum and pedagogy in teacher education. Within the fields of English language arts education and cultural studies, she persistently attempts to impress on her students a deep passion and curiosity about literature, the literate life and the humanizing potential of cultural forms. Her courses, Critical Perspective on Children's Literature, Studies in Popular Culture and Education and Feminist Theories have proven her ability to stimulate interdisciplinary attentiveness.
Currently supervising doctoral and master's candidates, she also sits on many thesis committees. Since her appointment to the Faculty, she has provided administrative leadership within the Faculty through such key positions as director of the teacher education program, the Senate committee for the study of individual cases, and an elected member of the search committee for Faculty of Education dean.
Professor Robertson is an outstanding academic advisor and professional role model. She challenges her students, who respect and admire her as an excellent teacher and a caring mentor. An educator of great depth and spirit, Robertson is an accomplished scholar and pedagogue, whose contribution and dedication to the Faculty is exemplary.