Dr. Shannon Rodgers receives Dean's Convocation Medal

June 15, 2018

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Education, Dr. Shannon Rodgers is being recognized with the award of the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Rodgers on her outstanding achievements.

A teacher for two decades, Shannon Rodgers’ doctoral work uses philosophy of mind to question long-held pedagogical assumptions, including the application of Bloom’s Taxonomy to assessment practices; the primacy of psychology over philosophy to guide educational policy; and that epistemological concepts are skills.

Rodgers’ supervisor, Dr. Charles Bingham, describes the impact her thesis has within the field of education. “In her work, she uses the analytic philosophy of John Searle to interrogate the practice of assessment (that is, testing and educational measurement) in education. Drawing on the philosophical question of ‘can we actually know other minds,’ Shannon offers an extremely poignant critique of assessment in education. Her simple but brilliant point is this: When the most insightful, historic philosophical analyses cannot agree on the fact that we can know other minds, what right do teachers have to claim they have ascertained that other minds (their students’ minds) have learned?”

Encouraging an examination of the foundations of education through a different lens, her future work endorses a call for teacher training programs to include a history of the philosophy of mind, and an examination of mind’s impact on policies and practices.

Connecting theories of mind to education is a “family affair,” as twenty years ago to the day, her mother, Dr. Shelby Sheppard, was also awarded the Dean’s Convocation Medal at SFU for her work in the same faculty, "Education and the Development of Mind: A Critique of Information-Processing Theory."

Dr. Rodgers would like to thank her supervisor, Dr. Charles Bingham, and her committee members, Dr. Sean Blenkinsop and Dr. Heesoon Bai, for their extraordinary support and mentorship.

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