Faculty Research Highlights

Dr. Susan Barber

Dr. Susan Barber’s work focuses on the usage of narratives, creative writing and literacy in teaching and learning. Her recent project focuses on the role of educators in refugee resettlement in Canada. In May 2020, Dr. Susan Barber presented a paper titled, Refugee education during the Coronavirus pandemic: Strengthening a sense of belonging, at the Coronavirus Pandemic and the Education of Children Vulnerable to Exclusion: Critical Lessons for Practice and Policy in an Altered World, an international virtual seminar, hosted by University of Winchester, Aarhus University and University of Vienna.

Dr. Elina Birmingham

Dr. Birmingham is principal investigator of an interdisciplinary project supported by a significant grant ($99,990 over one year) from the Kids Brain Health Network. Through a collaborative research relationship between different universities such as UBC and Western University, Dr. Birmingham developed a device to help individuals with ASD who suffer from sound sensitivity.  Data from this study revealed that children with ASD are less likely to benefit from the collaboration of a peer than are typically developing children. Within the span of one year, Dr. Birmingham and her research group successfully moved from proof of concept to creating a minimally viable product. Her research has been recently published in Development and Psychopathology, and an addtional article in press in Autism in Adulthood. 

Dr. Joel Heng Hartse

Dr. Heng Hartse recently became the vice president of CASDW, the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing. CASDW is a bilingual scholarly association dedicated to advancing the study and teaching of discourse, writing, and communication in academic and non-academic settings such as higher education, business, government, and non-profit organization. In addition, Dr. Heng Hartse is involved in a new research project led by Dr. Steve Marshall, to explore student and instructor experiences with remote instruction in a first-year academic literacy course as a response to the current change to remote education during the pandemic. Dr. Ismaeil Fazel of the Centre for Educational Excellence is also involved in the project. Dr. Heng Hartse and Dr. Fazel are also engaged in work on developing graduate students’ academic literacy to identify and avoid predatory or low-quality academic publishers.

Dr. Cher Hill

Dr. Cher Hill was a guest on Angel Lin’s Translanguaging & Trans-Semiotizing Research Channel. Her talk was entitled, Becoming diffractive as practitioners. She received funding to host Lex̱éywa: Passing the Torch to You: MEd EP Alumni Conference, featuring prominent Elder, educator, leader and residential school survivor, Bea Silver (cancelled due to COVID). She was scheduled to present her paper, Exploring trans-corporal methodologies: Creek restoration as a site for multi-system change and (re)conciliation, at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (cancelled). Her self-study research group (Awneet Sivia, Kau’i Keliipio, Vicki Kelly, Paula Rosehart, and Cher Hill) was to present a paper “Two-Eyed Seeing: What can self-study research learn from Indigenous knowing, as well as a symposium, Métissage as practice for new ways of knowing and being in teacher education, at Canadian Society for the Study of Education (also cancelled due to COVID).

Dr. Gillian Judson

Dr. Gillian Judson joined a research team from the Museum of Science, Boston, on an NSF-funded research project entitled, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Imaginative Thinking in Informal STEM Environments. In collaboration with Dr. Laura Piersol, she offered a workshop at the Leaping Into Action: Cross-Border Conference entitled Unearthing Educators’ Emotional Needs in a Time of Social and Ecological Crises: Re-imagining Narratives for Change. She partnered with Advance HE in the UK to offer a webinar on imaginative pedagogies in higher education. She also led a webinar for the Royal College of Arts, London, on the role of cognitive tools in imaginative higher education. She continues to work with educators/leaders in the Imagination Champions Learning Series and Imaginative School Network Symposium Series.

Dr. Angel M. Y. Lin

Dr. Angel M. Y. Lin’s recent publications include an article titled, From deficit-based teaching to asset-based teaching in higher education in BANA Countries: Cutting through ‘either-or’ binaries with a heteroglossic plurilingual lens in Language, Culture and Curriculum special issue: Plurilingual approaches to teaching and learning in Anglophone higher educational settings, edited by Preece, S. & Marshall, S., and a co-authored article with Song, Y.  titled, Translingual practices in a Shanghai University  for World Englishes. She and co-applicant  Bong-gi Sohn have also recently been awarded with Teaching and Learning Development Grants, SFU for their project Expanding STEM Literacy through Content-Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in an Undergraduate Biology Classroom. She is currently collaborating with Elizabeth Steves, Joan C. Sharp, Megan K. Barker, and Sharla Stolhandske.

Dr. Kris Magnusson

Dr. Kris Magnusson has been awarded an impressive $200,000 SSHRC Partnership Development grant for his research and project on Connective Career Development and Mental Health in Schools.  In partnership with Dr. Krista Socholotiuk and Dr. José Domene, this research team will be developing, evaluating, and refining career development interventions designed to influence positive mental health for school-aged youth.  Contributors to the project include scholars in Alberta, Scotland and Quebec, local government ministries, and school districts in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.  Through this grant, Dr. Magnusson and his team will work towards, building an evidence base for understanding the relationships between the outcomes of effective career development practices and the determinants of adolescent mental health, and seeking to inform school practice and policy at community, provincial and national levels.

Dr. Danièle Moore

Dr. Danièle Moore focused on international collaborations to investigate teachers’ practice in multilingual contexts and develop resources for classrooms and teacher training. She delivered keynotes and lectures in Brazil, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, and Japan to scholars and educators involved in plurilingual education from K-12 to higher education. Her most current collaborations include working with a network of French teachers in North America (AEFE FISNA) (with Sophie Beaumont), and with schools, families and museums in Montevideo in Uruguay (with Raquel Carinhas and Maria Helena Araújo e Sá) to develop inquiry-based multidisciplinary resources around plurilingualism, as well as her participation in a Training week-webminar that gathered over 40 participants from around the world, from Brazil to Pakistan (Lo-CALL Erasmus+, organized by Silvia Melo-Pfeifer). In January 2020, she was awarded the honorary title of Chevalier (Knight) in the Order of Academic Palms by the French government.

Dr. Yumiko Murai

In an ongoing collaboration with partners in Japan, Dr. Yumiko Murai has designed, conducted, and studied a blended (half in-person, half online) professional development program with focus  on computer programming education for primary school teachers. A paper featuring the lessons learned from this program, supporting teacher community development and creative learning in blended learning environments has been accepted for publication in the special issue of Information and Learning Sciences on remote online education. With her collaborators, Dr. Murai  also developed open resources for teachers based on a design research conducted last year, integrating creative learning methodology into the elementary school social studies curriculum. She continues to collaborate with researchers in the U.S. on designing assessment for learning in maker-centered classrooms.

Dr. Patricia Nitkin

Dr. Patricia Nitkin is a clinical professor in the Faculty of Education and her recent work focuses on the impact of relationships between persons with cancer and their companion animals.  Her research investigated women with cancer in British Columbia and their companion animals and found that human-animal bonds have significant and positive impacts on the psychosocial support experience by human beings from their companion animals.  Dr. Nitkin’s work is published in the multidisciplinary journal, Anthrozoös, on interactions of people and animals.

Dr. Nathalie Sinclair

Dr. Natalie Sinclair’s SSHRC-funded research team with co-investigators Dr. Sean Chorney and research assistants Sandy Bakos and Canan Gunes, recently published in ZDM entitled, Disruptions in meanings: Teachers’ experiences of multiplication in TouchTimes. The paper reports on a collaboration between teachers and researchers around the use of TouchTimes (TT), which is designed to provide new models of multiplication. Taking the application as a boundary object, they studied the emergence of new meanings of multiplication that arose in group meetings during which the teachers explored TT and reported back on their classroom experiments with it. They show how these new meanings emerged from a series of disruptions that involved not only mathematical considerations, but also material, political, social and bodily ones.

Dr. Suzanne Smythe

Dr. Suzanne Smythe’s current research continues in the vein of adult literacy policies and digital equity and digital literacies in community settings. This entails the documenting policy assemblages that exclude low income and racialized adults from access to basic education, with the most recent publication with Dr. Jude Walker entitled, The (Un)deserving adult: Examining British Columbia’s adult basic education policy. Dr. Smythe  is working with colleagues in the Department of Adult Education at the University of Hamburg on research related to algorithmic and online inequalities in relation to job search experiences, and has launched a project with community groups in BC's Lower Mainland to document inventiveness and exclusions in community-based literacy and language pedagogies during the pandemic. This work is described in CCPA' Policy Note blog, Digital Inequality and Community Solidarity, and will be featured in the Canadian Association for Studies in Adult Education Pandemic Pedagogies series, as well as in an upcoming Fall/Winter 2020 Special Issue of the International Review of Education.  Her co-authored book with Kelleen Toohey, Diane Dagenais and Magali Forte, Transforming Language and Literacy Education: New Materialism, Posthumanism and Ontoethics, has recently been published by Routledge.

Dr. Jennifer Beth Spiegel

In April 2020, Dr. Spiegel published an article entitled, Amateur Performance and the Labour of Love, or cultural reproduction after' he collapse of capitalism in the journal Performance Research. The article synthesizes research on participatory performance projects and the work of cultural reproduction and transformation at the heart of some art education projects. It explores the labour dynamics of amateur performance and how it shapes the social and cultural tenor of both activist and community development projects. In May 2020, Dr. Spiegel offered a webinar along with environmental scientist and performer Dr. Jordon Sky Oestreicher and participatory media artist Flick Harrison- organized by the Eco-Health network entitled, The Art and Science of Sympoeisis: on symbiotic human-microbial relations. The workshop proposed an arts-based approach to public environmental health education. Grounded in performance, video and web-based media, it introduced audiences to the multi-scalar factors influencing human-microbial relations and the cultural communication that shapes the metaphoric and affective tenor of individual and collective responses in the era of COVID-19. Here questions of scientific theorization, artistic form and public education intertwined to reshape the question of how humans think and feel about the viral and microbial ecologies inhabited.

Dr. David Zandvliet

Dr. David Zandvliet is currently collaborating with Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition that is conducting a survey on ocean literacy (OL). The Canadian Ocean Literacy Survey is part of a larger national study to better understand Canadians’ varying relationships with the ocean and to examine how OL is understood and practiced across regions and sectors. The aim of this study is to establish a baseline seascape of OL in Canada, and in so doing, co-develop an evidence-based national OL strategy and implementation plan. These methods complemented interviews, asset mapping, document scans, youth workshops, and arts-based methods conducted by a team of researchers across Canada for the past year. The COLSurvey tool was designed to gauge factors of Canadian’s ocean perceptions and values as few recent studies have included validated surveys to measure these particular constructs in the Canadian context.