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Lives Lived: A social view of the world and education

Howard A. Smith, B. Sc. (University of New Brunswick, 1964), Educational Diploma, Class I (McGill, 1965), M. A. (University of Toronto, 1969), Ph.D. (University of Toronto, 1972), began his long career in education as a secondary school teacher at Baron Byng High School in what was then the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal (1965-1967). From 1967 to 1971, he engaged his academic career in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

[Howard Smith]
Howard Smith

His career at Queen’s University, Faculty of Education, began in 1971 where he became a Full Professor in 2002, and Professor Emeritus in 2008. He served a term as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs in the 1990s. His contributions to the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University helped shape the faculty’s vision and program for 37 years.

Howard noted his research interests as: Educational psychology as a science of signs, applied semiotics in learning and education, and multiple “intelligences” or ways of learning Charles S. Peirce. He was the recipient of numerous grants, of which four were from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), as either principal investigator or co-investigator. Howard wrote two significant books Psychosemiotics  (2001): Peter Lang, and Teaching adolescents: Educational Psychology as a science of signs (2007): University of Toronto Press. His work was also widely disseminated through peer reviewed journals and national and international conferences.

Howard was an avid outdoor person who enjoyed hiking and other outdoor activities. His interest in photography was paired with his interest in nature. He was a founding director and president of New Leaf Link (NeLL), “a non-profit charitable organization that supports the continuing education and meaningful occupation of youth and adults with developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum conditions, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injury, and other neurological conditions” (newleaflink.ca).

Howard’s social view of the world and education made a difference in the lives of many individuals.

- Ann Marie Hill is a Professor at the Faculty of Education. She was a colleague, research partner, and friend of Howard A. Smith.