My research interests stem from my experiences as an elementary teacher and administrator in a variety of settings. I hold a BPhEd (Brock), B.Ed. (UWO) and M.Ed (UWO) in Curriculum Studies. In relation to curriculum and pedagogy, of particular interest to me are the lessons that teachers and school leaders can learn with/ from their students, pedagogies of early childhood, and explorations of literacy in minoritized cultures with specific attention to the Low German speaking Mennonite community. My doctoral work probes the relationship between school literacies and home literacy practices of Old Colony Mennonite children in public schools as viewed by principals. I am also intrigued by notions of the school- home "interface" (Levinson, 2007) and the syncretic literacies of ELL students and their families as they negotiate the literac(ies) of school.
I am currently working with Narrative Inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000), and Portraiture (Lightfoot & Davis, 1997) as methods through which to explore my research questions. I continue to be interested in transformative school leadership and the role of the principal in creating and sustaining effective schools. I have also embarked on a collaborative study with two other colleagues to explore the untold stories of women’s tattoos. My contribution relates to teacher identity and the challenges and implications of being a novice teacher with tattoos in this often conservative space.
As a member of the Language Arts team under the leadership of Dr. Rachel Heydon, I have the pleasure of teaching several sections of Kindergarten Literacy. This optional half course is a complement to the required Language Arts course and offers preservice teachers a chance to explore and discuss the creation of opportunities for literacy in Early Years classrooms.
At Western, I am supported by faculty who encourage my divergent interests and enable me to pursue a robust plan of research. I am grateful for the mentorship and guidance of my supervisor Rachel Heydon, Ph.D..
Without the financial recognition of SSHRC, OGS and Phi Delta Kappa (Larry Frase Fellowship) my research would not be possible. To them, I offer my sincere thanks.
My full CV can be found here.