About the Faculty

A new era begins in 2017 with the appointment of Dean Richard Barwell

Professor Barwell began his career at the University of Bristol, in the United Kingdom, where he earned a PhD in education.  In 2006, he joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa and is currently a full professor.  He has served on a number of committees and held several positions within the Faculty, including Director of Graduate Studies (Anglophone Sector) from 2012 to 2016.

His research focuses on mathematics education, with particular interest in the role of language in teaching and learning mathematics. This interest first arose prior to his university career, when he taught mathematics in the United Kingdom and Pakistan. Recently, he has studied how math education can address climate change.

Professor  Barwell declared: “I am honoured and excited to have the opportunity to lead the Faculty, with its excellent programs and world-class research. I look forward to strengthening our local and international partnerships. And I will work with my colleagues to ensure that the activities of the Faculty reflect the communities we serve, including Franco-Ontarian schools, urban classrooms and indigenous communities. In the 21st century, education, in the broadest sense of the word, is crucial. The Faculty of Education has an important contribution to make.”

Dean Barwell will be pleased to welcome students, professors and Faculty administrative staff at weekly open door sessions that will begin in February.

Our mission

The Faculty of Education of the University of Ottawa, along with its commitment to the promotion, advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the field of education, is actively involved in the preservice and professional development education of teachers. Personnel representative of Canada’s two official linguistic communities are involved in the delivery, both in French and English, of programs at the baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral levels along with professional development programs. Teacher education programs prepare students for the French and English schools of Ontario.

The Faculty strives toward leadership in the field of education through collaboration with other postsecondary institutions and the various partners in the educational community.

The aforementioned will be accomplished as follows:

  1. As a Faculty of a University whose specific mission is to build bridges between the English and French cultures in Canada, by promoting bilingualism and biculturalism, and to develop the French culture in Ontario – the Faculty has a responsibility to both English and French speaking communities. It shall strive to maintain close ties with these communities and promote their development through the academic work of faculty and students. In Ontario, this responsibility results in an obligation to promote the development of the Franco-Ontarian community in accordance with its particular aspirations and needs.
  2. The Faculty of Education offers its academic programs in both French and English. These programmes, designed in consultation with its various partners, aim to respond to the needs of its target population. These programs address critical educational issues, which are not only regionally and provincially based but which extend to the national and international spheres. In so doing, the Faculty nurtures student awareness of particular issues such as language, culture, and gender.
  3. The Faculty of Education assumes a leadership role in research and dissemination of research results through publication and teaching in both official languages, the pursuit of excellence in the fields in which it offers graduate and undergraduate programs of studies, and its participation to the development of centers of excellence in fields of research which are particularly relevant in the light of its mission.
  4. The Faculty of Education strives for the education of practitioners and researchers who will demonstrate autonomous thinking and the ability to critically examine issues of educational importance, and is committed to promote and facilitate the acquisition of those fundamental skills through the programs offered by the University.

The Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa owes its existence to people of vision, who fought tenaciously to give the field of education its rightful place among the University's teaching and research disciplines.

—Doctor Lionel Desjarlais, founding dean of the Faculty

Ottawa Normal School and École normale

The early development of teacher education in Canada's Capital, however, preceded the foundation of the actual Faculty by nearly a century.

On October 22, 1875, honourable Egerton Ryerson, Ontario's education superintendent-in-chief at the time, inaugurated the Ottawa Normal School, which later became the Ottawa Teachers' College. In an era of great political turmoil, less than a decade after Confederation, the opening of this first teacher training school in Ottawa allowed then Premier of Ontario, honourable Oliver Mowat, to announce the imminent establishment of a provincial department of education, which would later become the Ontario Ministry of Education.

In 1923, public dissatisfaction with Regulation 17 (a law forbidding instruction in French beyond the first two years of primary school) led to the creation of the francophone École de pédagogie by the University of Ottawa's Senate. Under the leadership of Father René Lamoureux, O.M.I., this institution adopted the name École normale de l'Université d'Ottawa in 1927.

The Faculty of Education

Fate brought more changes in the post-war years and, following numerous discussions with the Ontario government, the Institute of Education and Psychology for graduate studies opened its doors in 1965. Two years later, it was divided into two separate entities with the birth of the Faculty of Education on April 10, 1967. Doctor Lionel Desjarlais was the first dean.

Between 1955 and 1967, the University of Ottawa conferred 372 baccalaureate degrees in education, 244 master's and 57 doctorates. "We now have, in the field of education and research, an experience as rich as that of any other Ontarian institution," declared the rector of the University, Father Roger Guindon, O.M.I., during a convocation ceremony on June 4, 1967.

On August 14, 1969, the École normale de l'Université d'Ottawa, which had operated under provincial authority, was integrated into the University of Ottawa's new Faculty of Education. Five years later, on September 1, 1974, following the McLeod Report recommendation regarding the transfer of normal schools to the domain of universities, the Ottawa Teachers' College (formerly the Ottawa Normal School) was annexed to the Faculty of Education.

Lamoureux Hall

At this time, however, the offices accommodating the various Faculty units had not yet been grouped together under one roof. For example, the francophone normal school, whose head office was still located in the former Greater Seminary of Ottawa on Kilborn Street, was six kilometres off from the main campus. At the same time that the eastern bank of the Rideau Canal was undergoing a modernizing expansion, the University of Ottawa erected Lamoureux Hall, named in honour of the first director of the École de pédagogie in 1923. The building was completed in 1978.

The Faculty of Education entered a new era in 1995 with the opening of the Learning Resource Centre and the Resource Center for Research in Education, while important changes to the administrative structure and to programs considerably modified its curriculum. The Ontario College of Teachers was established in 1996 and officially recognized the baccalaureate in education programs (Teacher Education and Formation à l'enseignement) in 1999.

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