Dr. Suzanne Smythe

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education







Research Interests

I am a researcher and practitioner in Adult Literacy and Adult Education. My current research program is concerned with digital literacy pedagogies, digital justice, and equitable access to new technologies among youth and adults.

I draw on diverse theories and approaches, including speculative inquiry, relational ontologies, ethnography, community based research and policy analyses, to ask how the new literacies of automation are transforming pedagogies, democratic participation and the work of adult educators in community settings.

As a community-based researcher, I am invested in the democratization of research, and am a co-applicant in the SSHRC-funded Making Research Accessible: Transforming the Utility of Scholarly Communication for the Downtown Eastside Community in Vancouver, BC. Partnership Development Grant (SSHRC) $194,344 (3 years). (Heather O'Brien, PI, UBC)

Graduate Programs

Community Engagement

I am a Research Associate and member of the Research Advisory Committee with the BC Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a board member of Collège Éducacentre, and a member of the Downtown Eastside Literacy Roundtable and the Burnaby Now Literacy Roundtable. I am the Faculty of Education liaison for a Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP) in digital literacies at the Burnaby Neighbourhood House (funded by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education). 


Smythe, S., Wilbur, A. & Hunter, E. (2021). Inventive pedagogies and social solidarity: The work of community-based adult educators during COVID-19 in British Columbia, Canada, International Review of Education, 1-21 [online first]. DOI 10.1007/s11159-021-09882

Webinar recording:
CASAE Pandemic pedagogies series: Interview with outreach educators Byron Cruz, Marcella Mancella and Kiana Ryes.  June 25, 2020. Facilitators: Emily Hunter, Suzanne Smythe, Amea Wilbur

Smythe, S. (April 21, 2020). Digital equity and social solidarity during and after COVID-19. Policy Note. Canadian Council for Policy Alternatives: Vancouver.

Pelan, D. and Smythe, S.(2019). Digital literacy and digital justice. Ottawa: Brookfield Institute. 

Research Highlights