Sharon Anne Cook (2004)

2004 Award for Excellence in Teaching Recipient

Over the years, Professor Sharon Anne Cook served in multiple capacities in the Faculty of Education as teacher, administrator, scholar and mentor. Everyone who have been in her classroom recognizes her passion, activism, good humour, leadership and commitment at all levels to teaching excellence.

Professor Cook earned a bachelor degree in Arts at Carleton University in 1970, then her bachelor in Education from Queens University the next year. Over ten years, she taught history at secondary schools from the Carleton Board of Education before completing a Master degree at the Institute of Canadian Studies of her alma mater in 1987, then her Ph.D. in History in 1990. She joined the Faculty of Education of the University of Ottawa as an associate professor in 1990 and she has been a full professor since 1997.

She is the author of several books, chapters in collective books, papers in refereed journals, technical reports, abstracts or papers read, pedagogical booklets, articles, reviews, workshops and pedagogical materials. Framing Our Past: Canadian Womens History in the Twentieth Century that earned her an award from the Canadian Association of Foundations of Education for best book in Educational Foundations in Canada in 2002.

Over the years, Professor Cook has worked diligently to gain acknowledgement of and respect for the ways in which a course of research can inform teaching. In history, for instance, this challenge covered women, religion and addictions where she has succeeded both in retaining a commitment to sound historical scholarship, while at the same time reaching out to a larger audience. Professor Cook also developed innovative projects through which conventional history has been reinterpreted for all ability levels of secondary students. She created a curriculum package for teachers to use Library and Archives Canadas web-based resources demonstrating how to utilize gender-specific resources in a classroom. To promote an equitable and relevant history into classroom teaching, Dr. Cook co-organized in 2000 a Historica Teachers Institute at the University of Ottawa for teaching Canadian history and presented a workshop at the 2002 edition of the conference.

In the Teacher Education Program, Professor Cook designed and, for some years, taught the first gender-equity course at the Faculty of Education as part of the Schooling and Society course. She chaired in 2003 the organizing committee for the first Peace and Global Awareness Conference for the Faculty. She showed the moral force, vision and people skills required both to achieve success and to inspire all those working on the project.

Professor Cook directed her instruction to assist teachers and future teachers in developing their own distinctive brand of pedagogical excellence. It has been said that she treats each student as an individual and draws them into the mind set that education is an exciting and invigorating enterprise just waiting for their input and exploration. She has a unique capacity to engage in dialogue and to participate so sincerely in the give and take of education.

The Faculty of Education is therefore proud to present Dr. Sharon Anne Cook this award in recognition of her extensive accomplishments, exemplary teaching and scholarly practices.

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