Especially in this year of mourning Ted Aoki’s recent passing and wishing to celebrate his “inspiriting” life, we are once again seeking nominations for the “Ted T. Aoki Award for Distinguished Service within the Field of Canadian Curriculum Studies” (please see below for a tribute written by Cynthia Chambers and Erika Hasebe-Ludt, as well as a description of the award itself).
The Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies (CACS) seeks nominations for the “Ted T. Aoki Award for Distinguished Service within the Field of Canadian Curriculum Studies.” The purpose of this award is to recognize individuals who have made major contributions through research, teaching, and/or professional service in the field of curriculum studies in Canada. Candidates must have made major contributions to the field of Canadian curriculum studies through scholarship and service over an extended period of time, usually at least 10 years. Candidates must be Canadian or have worked in Canadian institutions.
Colleagues and graduate students are encouraged to submit names and résumés of outstanding individuals who have made major contributions to curriculum studies in Canada. A maximum of three supporting letters for the nominee from persons who are able to attest to the outstanding nature of the contributions should be included with the nominator’s submission. For more information, please consult the website: https://www.csse-scee.ca/awards/about/ted_t._aoki_award_for_distinguished_service by the deadline (the last day in March), a letter of recommendation and a copy of the candidate’s resumé, together with any supporting letters of reference, should be submitted electronically to Teresa Strong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lingering With the Life and Words of Ted Aoki
We are saddened by the recent passing of Dr. Ted (Tetsuo) Aoki. On behalf of the Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies executive and its members, we express our sincere condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and students of this renowned curriculum scholar. Dr. Aoki passed away August 31, 2012 in Vancouver, Canada, at age 92.
As former students and friends, we deeply mourn the loss of this remarkable scholar, teacher, and mentor. Ted Aoki was the first Japanese-Canadian teacher in Southern Alberta, residing and working in Lethbridge, Alberta, the small prairie city where we, somewhat ironically, have both taught for the past several years. After Dr. Aoki received his doctorate in education from the University of Oregon, he became a professor at the University of Alberta. He went on to chair the Department of Secondary Education where through his curriculum leadership and scholarship he influenced generations of doctoral students and curriculum scholars. Ted Aoki also taught at the University of British Columbia, where he helped found the Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction.
In the spring of 2012, Dr. Aoki was finally awarded his bachelor’s degree from UBC, the institution he was attending when the Canadian government interned Japanese Canadians in camps in the interior of British Columbia. Over the years, and well into what was supposed to have been “retirement,” Dr. Aoki gave numerous lectures at many national and international conferences and institutions, always provoking his audiences of teachers, school administrators, graduate students, and curriculum scholars “to let learn.”
In 2000, Dr. Aoki joined us in offering an unforgettable summer institute at the University of Lethbridge focused on writing teachers’ lives. When both of us taught similar institutes at UBC, he again joined us in dialogue with our students. Ted’s curriculum work continually evolved theoretically while remaining attuned to the deeply autobiographical and storied character of his own life as well as the lives of the teachers he taught and the students in their classrooms. In 2005, W. F. Pinar and R. L. Irwin collated his lectures into the volume Curriculum in a New Key: The Collected Work of Ted T. Aoki, thus introducing a new generation to his scholarship.
In recognition of his influential and long-serving contributions to Canadian curriculum studies, the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies bestows annually a distinguished service award in his honour. Ted was a wise, humble, and revered mentor to many curriculum scholars and practitioners. To us, as to many student teachers, graduate students, and professors in Alberta, British Columbia, and beyond, Ted was also a deeply loved teacher.
Over the many years since his retirement, despite deteriorating health, Ted continued to be in conversation with many of his former students and colleagues who, in turn, continued to visit him and his wife June in their home and the care centre in Vancouver where they had moved. Ted remained keenly interested in all matters of education, curriculum studies, and related fields and disciplines; he made great efforts to follow the intellectual lives of his former students cum colleagues. For those of us who were able to visit with Ted over the last several years, it was indeed a pleasure and a privilege to “talk freely about many things” with him, as he once referred to his dialogue with a First Nations elder. To sit with Ted over lunch, to hear him speak, linger in his words, and read with and to him, those were precious gifts and life lessons. We will miss his voice, but his inspiriting words will live on in our lives and in our work. We will continue to linger with Ted.
Cynthia Chambers and Erika Hasebe-Ludt
Faculty of Education, University of Lethbridge