Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » Students » Graduate Program in Education: Language, Culture and Teaching » Message from the Graduate Program Director

Message from the Graduate Program Director

Our Graduate Students are entering our program at a time in history that is like no other that I can remember in my lifetime. Uncertainty abounds in the midst of a global pandemic that continues to grip the world. The political situation of the globe is volatile. And the conditions of planetary existence itself are at stake as climate change and environmental degradation shake the world.

One thing that is certain throughout the crises we face is the need to study, learn, examine and seek out knowledge of the unknown. We can see that researching is an imperfect endeavor and that evidence is forthcoming when considering new findings: like the need to wear masks or social distancing during this time. We follow the science knowing research requires endurance. Thinking asks us to sustain our attention to inquiry. Forging new ways to consider new and old problems requires being willing to admit from and learn from mistakes. And so we try, and try again, with new questions, and different ways to tackle ongoing and pressing problems.

Like so many of you I am the first in my family to achieve graduate levels of education. I am the very first woman in a long line of strong, smart, brave women to hold a doctorate degree. I know the meaning and significance that education holds for so many of us, how it can be a liferaft. I urge you all to use your education, which is the special power of scholars, thinkers, and teachers, in pursuit and service of truth, justice and a fair world. Now more than ever it is so critical to wonder and ask questions, to study, read, write, speak, and act for the un/common good and wellbeing--to try to intervene in social hatred, inequality, injustice, and environmental degradation, and, above all, to take responsibility for children and all the generations, particularly the vulnerable and elderly, wherever, whenever, however we can.

York University’s motto is “the way must be tried.” Tentada via. It is an idea, a demand, a hope that we all need more than ever today. It is my view that at a time when politics is failing, we still can count on education, on pedagogy, on study in all its many forms to find our way. Reading, thinking, speaking, bearing witness to, acting on, and writing can sustain our (in)human condition. Education sustains all livings thing from the tiniest plant to the largest ocean, throughout the generations, to regenerate our fragile and fraught but always thriving existence. We look forward to hearing all the ways you are trying to contribute new educational ideas and invocations to our collective societal good in the Graduate Program of Education.

Excerpt from address given on the occasion of Convocation by Aparna Mishra Tarc, Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director, Graduate Program of Education on October 28, 2020 at York University, Toronto, via Zoom

Aparna Mishra Tarc
Dr. Aparna Mishra Tarc
Graduate Program Director