A local educator is named one of the top professors in the nation.
Trinity Western University professor Allyson Jule takes her education students to Cameroon to teach African children as part of their journey to becoming teachers.
She also created the school’s Gender Studies Institute.
Now Jule has been named one of Canada’s top 10 professors, earning the 3M Teaching Fellowship for excellence in teaching and leadership. This is a first for a TWU educator.
“For me, it’s a statement about the School of Education, its faculty, staff and students, and the kind of atmosphere of excellence we create together,” said Jule.
She is on sabbatical as a visiting research fellow at the University of Oxford. She received the good news from a TWU colleague via text.
Her education students do study trips to Cameroon, where they work in remote village schools alongside local teachers who work without any electricity or running water, and rely solely on chalk and painted-on chalkboards.
They learn firsthand what it means to teach without any resources. The TWU students also learn about alternative teaching and learning methods, including the choral-like responses common in many African classrooms.
“African teachers show us to teach in this context,” said Jule.
Jule has also been recognized for her contribution to gender studies. She is the co-director of TWU’s Gender Studies Institute, founded in 2008. In 2011, she introduced a gender studies minor, and in 2012, an innovative course on gender in education – the only undergraduate course of its kind in the country. Several professors from other institutions have asked Jule about the course design.
“I feel really lucky to be able to teach this course at TWU,” said Jule. “Gender is such an important social variable in the educational experience. We can’t ignore it. It’s powerful.”
For Jule, feminism in particular is a vital topic for Christian students to consider.
“The history of feminism is deeply embedded in Christian thought,” she said. The first feminists were Christians who argued for inclusion on the basis of Scripture.”
Earlier this year, Jule was named President-Elect for the Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Feministes (WGSRF). She will serve in that capacity for a year before taking on the role of president for a two-year term.
The fellowships are awarded annually by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and 3M Canada.
“I can think of no one more deserving,” said Eve Stringham, the vice-provost of research and graduate studies at TWU. “Dr. Jule embodies everything we desire to see in a faculty member at TWU, including innovative teaching and exemplary scholarship. As a teacher, Dr. Jule’s dedication to her students is second to none. She is a credit to the School of Education, the Gender Studies Institute and the university at large.”