Faculty Research Highlights

Dr. Susan Barber

In May, Dr. Barber published an article in the British Educational Research Journal (BERJ): “Achieving Holistic Care for Refugees: The Experiences of Educators and Stakeholders in Surrey and Greater Vancouver, Canada.” With co-investigators Robert Williamson and Masa Minami, she was awarded a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant for “Pathways to Education: An International Study to Understand the Educational Experiences of Refugees with Dis/abilities.”

Dr. Mark Fettes and Dr. Sean Blenkinsop

Together with Dr. Blenkinsop, Dr. Fettes received a SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis grant in March 2020 to review and report on education for living within the Earth's carrying capacity. Helped by a great research team of four RAs, the two faculty members have now completed their report. Drs. Blenkinsop and Fettes also received an Insight grant (with co-researchers Dr. Cher Hill and Paula Rosehart) to study teacher development linked to the Graduate Diploma in nature-based experiential learning. Having conducted initial interviews for that project, they will work with teachers in the fall. As well, Dr. Fettes has been meeting weekly with a research team about their land-based learning project on Gabriola Island, focusing on building knowledge and relationships with the Snuneymuxw community on whose traditional territory Gabriola is situated.

Dr. Sara Florence Davidson 

In January 2021, Dr. Davidson published a chapter “The Paper Bag Mask: On Hiding, Ceding, Resisting, and Claiming in the Academy” in Sister scholars: Untangling issues of identity as women in academe. In March 2021, she co-authored a chapter entitled “Diversity as the Norm: Teaching to and Through Superdiversity in Post-Secondary Indigenous Education Courses” with Dr. Nikki Yee in Superdiversity and Teacher Education: Supporting Teachers in Working with Culturally, Linguistically, and Racially Diverse Students, Families, and Communities. Throughout the year, she collaborated with Dr. Leyton Schnellert, local school districts, and Indigenous organizations in the Okanagan on their SSHRC-funded project “Working Towards Relational Accountability Through Educational Change Collaboration Networks: Decentring Dominant Ways of Knowing Through Indigenous Relationships.”

Dr. Pooja Dharamshi

Dr. Dharamshi co-authored “A Collaborative Self Study of Critical Digital Pedagogies in Teacher Education” (2020) for the journal Studying Teacher Education. This article explores the critical digital practices of two novice teacher educators. Employing self-study research methodologies, the authors examine their collaborations and integrations of critical digital practices in two literacy methods teacher education courses. Dr. Dharamshi also co-authored a chapter, “Critical Community Literacies in Teacher Education” (2021), for the upcoming Critical Literacies Handbook. This chapter is situated within the growing literature to decolonize and reclaim a more humanizing approach to literacy teacher education by positioning community members—youth, families, and community organizers—as architects in designing and supporting the development of community-responsive teachers.

Dr. Joel Heng Hartse

In January 2021, Dr. Heng Hartse and Dr. Ismaeil Fazel launched the Canadian Consortium on Second Language Writing (CCSLW), which hosts monthly talks on research and teaching in this field. Hundreds of participants from across the world registered and joined the virtual sessions. On June 23, Dr. Heng Hartse gave a CCSLW talk entitled “Does Second Language Writing Exist as a Field in Canada?”

In spring, Dr. Fazel, Dr. Steve Marshall, and Dr. Heng Hartse gave online presentations about their research on shifting to remote instruction in an academic literacy course for the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and for the Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse International Student in Open or Online Learning Environments Research Symposium. As well, Dr. Heng Hartse continued to work as Principal Investigator on a SSHRC Insight Development Grant—“Underground Literacies: The Use of Private Academic Support Services by International EAL Students”—with a team of researchers and research assistants from SFU, UBC, and the University of Victoria. In June he chaired the virtual conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing, which was attended by participants from across the country.

Dr. Cher Hill

Over the past year, Dr. Hill has been working with colleagues to better understand the experiences of teachers and families during COVID-19 and to re-envision teacher education in light of the pandemic. She also published several book chapters, including one with colleagues Dr. Margaret MacDonald and Dr. Poh Tan entitled “Living Life as Inquiry: Labouring and (Grand)Parenting With/In the Academy.”

Dr. Robyn Ilten-Gee

Dr. Ilten-Gee's research focuses on the overlap between children’s moral and social development and critical pedagogy. She recently completed a book, Moral Education for Social Justice, with Dr. Larry Nucci of UC Berkeley. Now available on pre-order from Teacher's College Press, the book presents a framework for applying what we know about children’s evolving understandings of issues like fairness to justice-oriented practices in the classroom. These practices include restorative justice and critical digital literacy. The book offers lesson plans for teacher-educators that include discussion questions intended to foster critical moral reasoning.

Dr. Gillian Judson

After concluding the Imaginative Schools Symposium Series (ISSS) project in Fall 2020, Dr. Judson facilitated the collaborative writing of a final report with her Imaginative K-12 Leadership MEd students. She then engaged in a community-based project stemming from the ISSS with four school leaders examining stories of imagination in action in leadership and published “Conceptualizing Imagination in School Leadership” in the International Journal of Leadership in Education (2020). For Imaginative Ecological Education (IEE) and The Walking CurriculumDr. Judson is planning empirical research to begin in Fall 2021 that will look at educators’ lived experiences employing imaginative ecological teaching practices. In 2020, The Walking Curriculum was selected by hundrED.org as a global creativity “Innovation Spotlight.”

Dr. Kristiina Kumpulainen

Dr. Kumpulainen’s recent publications include a co-edited international special issue (with Drs. Anne Burke, Memorial University and Burcu Yaman Ntelioglou, Brandon University) on “Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change” for the Journal of Education Sciences. She also published articles in Computer-Supported Collaborative LearningE-learning and Digital MediaInternational Studies in Sociology of EducationJournal of Early Childhood LiteracyBritish Journal of Educational Technology, and European Journal of Psychology of Education. She received the British Journal of Educational Technology (BJET) Editors’ Choice Award in 2021 for the article “Teacher Interventions in Students’ Collaborative Work in a Technology‐Rich Educational Makerspace.” Her ongoing research focuses on augmented reality technologies in environmental education, digital childhoods, and digital health literacies as well as citizen engagement in science.

Dr. Angel M. Y. Lin

Together with her team of postdocs--Drs. Arlene Spracklin, Ivy Tsang, and Bong-gi Sohn--and research students Pedro dos Santos and Qinghua Chen, Dr. Lin led workshops on CLIL and translanguaging for Brazilian teachers hosted by Associação dos Professores de Língua Inglesa do Paraná in summer 2020, and for Singaporean teachers hosted by the National Institute of Education, Singapore in spring 2021. She and her team also led symposiums and presentations at AAAL and AERA, advancing scholarship on social semiotics, plurilingualism, and academic literacies. Dr. Lin and co-applicant Dr. Arlene Spracklin were recently awarded a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant and a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant Covid-19 to build teacher capacities in content and language integrated learning (CLIL), academic literacies, and critical media literacies. In addtion, Dr. Lin, and Co-Applicant, Dr. Megan Barker, have received a SSHRC Small grant that aims to cultivate university students' capacity to engage with contentious socioscientific issues.

Dr. Masahiro Minami

Dr. Minami published three journal articles. Two (Minami, 2020a2021) aid with preparation for a field feasibility and acceptability testing project, implementing his reconciliation program in Rwanda in partnership with local NGOs and the Rwanda National Unity and Reconciliation Commission. The other (Minami, 2020b) features his vision of how the fields of counselling and psychotherapy, as well as post-conflict/war/genocide interventions, can be enhanced by illuminating and incorporating various psycho-ecological factors. The ideas included in this article are founded on unique signature principles of Japanese Morita therapy.

Dr. Yumiko Murai

Dr. Murai received a SSHRC Small Grant in July 2020 and has been working on an interview study with K-9 teachers in BC’s Lower Mainland to understand assessment practices in Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies (ADST) classrooms. Dr. Murai and her partners Dr. Yoon Jeon Kim and Stephanie Chang collaborated on design-based research exploring embedded assessment in maker classrooms in the US. Their paper, Implementation of Embedded Assessment in Maker Classrooms: Challenges and Opportunities, was recently accepted for publication. Dr. Murai has also been collaborating with Dr. Alissa N. Antle to explore ways to support critical reflection through maker activities. Their findings from an online maker workshop will be presented at an international conference in June.

Dr. John Nesbit

Dr. Nesbit and co-investigator Dr. Phil Winne are leading a group of SFU researchers studying Simulation-Assisted Inquiry Learning (SAIL). The project assesses the effects of situation-dependent tutor guidance intended to promote discovery learning strategies. PhD student Shiva Hajian is first author of the group’s most recent publication, Enhancing Scientific Discovery Learning by Just-in-Time Prompts in a Simulation-Assisted Inquiry Environment.

Dr. Patricia Nitkin

Dr. Nitkin's research has focused on the human-animal bond as a healing relationship. She has been providing clinical counselling with the presence of her co-therapist /companion-animal George, and was asked to contribute a chapter to the book Career Paths in Human-Animal Interaction for Social and Behavioral Scientists:

Nitkin, P. (2021). Counselling with a therapy-animal. In L. Kogan & P. Erdman (Eds.), Career paths in human-animal interaction for  social and behavioral scientists (pp. 165–167). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429347283

Dr. Kevin O'Neill

Dr. O’Neill published two journal articles on how undergraduates choose between in-person and online courses:

O'Neill, D. K., Reinhardt, S., & Jayasundera, K. (2021). What undergraduates say about choosing an online or in-person course: qualitative results from a large-sample, multi-discipline survey. Higher Education Research & Developmenthttps://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2021.1896484

O'Neill, K., Lopes, N., Nesbit, J., Reinhardt, S., & Jayasundera, K. (2021). Modeling undergraduates' selection of course modality: A large sample, multi-discipline study. The Internet and Higher Education, 48, 100776.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2020.100776

Also, Dr. O’Neill received a SSHRC small grant to continue this line of research.

Dr. Celeste Snowber

Two articles by Dr. Snowber have come out in connection to embodied practices during a pandemic. One is “Dancesong,” accompanied by live links to site-specific dance during COVID, released late in 2020 in the Dance, Movement & Spiritualities journal. The other is “Walking as Attunement: Being With/in Nature as Currere,” co-written with Ellyn Lyle, in the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies (2021). Her latest collection of poetry, The Marrow of Longing (published April 2021 with HARP Publishing), explores themes of longing, belonging and identity in connection to her Armenian heritage. An article, Dr. Celeste Snowber’s exploration of her Armenian heritage uncovers universal themes of longing & belonging, in SFU’s Education News also describes this book.

Dr. Inna Stepaniuk

Dr. Stepaniuk joined the Faculty of Education in October 2020. Her scholarship explores ways to decolonize educational systems and support schools and educators in designing inclusive and equitable learning environments. Dr. Stepaniuk was awarded a New Faculty Start Up Grant ($20,000, noncompetitive) to conduct an exploratory study that aims to determine a state of inclusive education implementation in BC schools. Dr. Stepaniuk has been working on establishing connections with local educators, schools, and school districts.

Dr. Robert Williamson

Over recent months, Dr. Williamson—along with SFU and international colleagues—applied for and received a SSHRC/CRSH Partnership Development Grant to support an international research project addressing the need to better understand the educational experiences of refugee children with dis/abilities (RCDs). This project applies a multicultural and multidisciplinary lens to better understand the interrelated complexities these children, their families, and systems face in meeting the educational needs of RCDs. Locations for this project include Atyrau, Kazakhstan; Surrey, Canada; Zaatari, Jordan; and Gaziantep, Turkey. This small project is funded at just under CAD $200,000.00 over three years. Partners come to this work from all location sites as well as the United States.

Dr. David Zandvliet

During the past twelve months, Dr. Zandvliet has published two new books with DIO Press (NY). The first is an anthology of poetry entitled The Ecology of Me, and the second is an edited volume of selected research in environmental learning entitled Eco-thinking. In teaching, the past year has also seen the development of two new field schools: one a ‘virtual field school’ in partnership with Sam Ratulangi University (Indonesia), and the other in partnership with the UNESCO Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative.

Dr. Rina Zazkis

In 2021, Dr. Zazkis published two books:

Koichu, B., & Zazkis, R. (2021). Mathematical encounters and pedagogical detours: Stories of Disturbance and learning opportunities in teacher education. Springer.

Zazkis, R., Mason, J., & Kontorovich, I. (2021). The learning and teaching of number: Paths less-travelled through well-trodden terrain. Routledge.

In January 2020 as Dr. Zazkis started her study leave, her co-author Boris Koichu spent a month in the ground floor of her house. A close daily collaboration brought to completion book (a), which was a four-year project. In February 2020, her co-author Igor Kontorovich spent a month in the ground floor of her house, and they brought to completion book (b), work on which started three years earlier.