OFFICE OF THE DEAN

DEAN'S MESSAGE FROM DR. KRIS MAGNUSSON

Thomas Homer-Dixon, in his work The Ingenuity Gap, poses the question, “Can we solve the problems of the future?” We live in a time characterized by rapid and escalating rates of change, a shrinking of the “world stage”, and concomitant increases in complexity. Education stands at the threshold of fundamental change; new technologies, historically introduced as add-ons to educational practice, possess the potential for creating radical shifts in virtually all forms of knowledge creation and dissemination.  Just as the printing press vastly expanded the range of people who had access to information, communication technologies today have had a massive multiplier effect on information access.  Knowledge is no longer the privileged domain of an elite few, nor is it exclusively created in restricted circles. Young people today engage in the learning process in fundamentally different ways than ever before.  And, new learners are not just young learners; an emphasis on life-long learning means that people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds are entering and re-entering educational settings throughout their lifespan. The people that we prepare to take on roles of educators and researchers in the educational research enterprise need to learn how to become difference makers in society. They will need to be skilled in preparing learners for unknown futures.

The Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University has a proud history of responding to the challenges of education. Here, you will experience a stimulating array of programs designed to meet the professional and personal learning needs of students. Here, you will see a commitment to serving the needs of the various communities we serve, while maintaining high standards of academic quality. Here, you will find a rich and varied research culture, and have the opportunity to work with world-class researchers exploring the full spectrum of educational issues. And, here you will experience an opportunity to learn, to grow and to belong.

I am very excited to have joined a group of truly exceptional colleagues who are dedicated to helping people develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes for discovering and shaping their preferred futures.  I invite you to have a look around, to learn more about what we are all about, and to join us in shaping the future of education.

Dr. Kris Magnusson
Dean pro tem, Faculty of Education

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