Dr. Patricia Dickinson

Friend of Children Award: Dr. Pat Dickinson

C.A.P.E. (Council of Associated Primary Educators, Ontario) would like to nominate Pat Dickinson for CAYC’s 2018 Friend of Children Award. Pat’s life work has been devoted to enhancing and ensuring the quality of life of all young children. Her extraordinary leadership and interpersonal skills, extensive knowledge, experience and wisdom have benefitted many young children, their families and educators both in child care and school environments.

With earned degrees in Child Studies Diploma, BSC in Education, M.Ed. and EdD, her 40 plus year career has included roles as an early childhood educator, classroom teacher, consultant, curriculum coordinator, college instructor, university professor, Ontario Ministry of Education and Training Senior Policy Analyst, and Charles Sturt University Program Director to mention a few.

Other related roles include author, keynote and workshop presenter, private consultant (e.g.s Government of Ontario, Pearson Education, Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario: ETFO, Region of Halton Children’s Services, York University representative advisor to the government of Qatar on the development of an early childhood post-graduate teacher education program) and CAPE Executive Member. Some recent scholarly endeavours include:

two research papers for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Best Start Project: International ECE Curriculum Literature Survey and Joint Certification Review (2005 – 2008)

Literature Review, Best Practices, Integration of Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Programs (2004)

York University and The Ontario College of Teachers joint Action Research project: Instructional Leader Inquiry/Case Study Work Group (2004-2005)

Articles for NAEYC “Sharing Responsibility for Our Children: How One Community …” (2007), CAYC “A Fresh View of Children: Lessons from the Developmental Debates” (2007)

principal author “Read Together, Talk Together”, Pearson Education (2006)

principal author “Kindergarten Mathematics Program” Pearson Education (2004)

In addition, Pat has found time to devote time to a variety of volunteer roles directly affecting the well-being of young children some of which include:

the YWCA’s Good Beginnings, supporting at risk young mothers of infants

co-founder of the Blooms for Africa Grandmothers to Grandmothers branch in east Hamilton (a fundraising, education and outreach campaign under the Stephen Lewis Foundation, aimed at supporting grandmothers in Africa to raise their grandchildren)

various leadership roles, including Sunday School teacher, First Unitarian Church of Hamilton.

While it is unusual to find someone who has this breadth of experience, what is very rare is the manner in which Pat has conducted her career. She has inspired countless educators, parents, children and community members alike with not only her extensive knowledge and experience, but with her wisdom, her ability to ‘get the job done’, her unfailing commitment, energy and passion all shared with warmth, good humour and humility.

Pat has always made it a goal to create a seamless transition from early years through school age and for young children in Ontario. For over three decades she has worked tirelessly to this end alongside provincial ministries, boards of education, early years forums (e.g.s, EYON, Our Kids Network in Halton, Best Start Expert Panel). She has played an important role in the implementation of full day kindergarten and the closing of the gap between the world of child care and education and the school system in Ontario.

C.A.P.E. would most certainly not have survived with such vitality without Pat’s guidance, inspiration, wisdom, and her extraordinary ability to facilitate working together as a group dedicated to the well-being of children, and their families, educators and supporters. Upon Pat’s resignation from our executive, C.A.P.E. is compiling a book for Pat (see abridged version in powerpoint format attached under separate cover) with messages from various C.A.P.E. members and others. One such tribute below illustrates the incredible impact Pat has made and continues to make.

“I only met Pat, as I can remember, three times in my life and yet she lives in my daily thoughts and experiences as a teacher and colleague. When I have professional decisions and choices to make she is there in my thoughts- as if guiding me along the way, making the path smoother to walk on. I question (all the time) what she would do in many of these situations, and then...   I try to imagine and take the steps to understand, to see her journey, and I think to myself … if only I follow her path, I will find my way.”

Thank you for your consideration of this well deserving candidate for the Friend of Children Award. We are most fortunate indeed to have Dr. Pat Dickinson as a ‘pedagogical compass’ and passionate advocate for young children everywhere.

  Respectfully Submitted,

Kathy Thompson,

On Behalf of C.A.P.E. (Council of Associated Primary Educators) of Ontario