Department of Educational Policy Studies

Educational Policy Studies at CSSE Vancouver 2019

The Canadian Society for the Study of Education is the largest organization of professors, students, researchers and practitioners in education in Canada. The CSSE Annual Conference is held in conjunction with the Canadian Sociological Association Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. This bilingual conference provides an opportunity for discussion of educational issues among practitioners and educational scholars from across the nation.

Educational Policy Studies is proud to support our many talented students presenting at CSEE 2019. Some are also presenting at Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

The 2019 CSSE Annual Conference will be held in June 1 to 5 in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia. 


Areej Alshammiry

Graduate student in Social Justice and International Studies in Education

Exclusive Membership: Statelessness and Nationhood in Kuwait

My research explores the constructions of nation-hood and statelessness in Kuwait, and the post-stateless experiences of stateless migrants from Kuwait living abroad to understand how intergenerational statelessness has impacted their lives even after becoming citizens of other countries. As part of this large two stage project, my current thesis investigates the production of statelessness through the process of exaltation that shapes the national-identity (citizen) by creating its contrasting Other (stateless). My next research enquiry will focus on the experiences of belonging of stateless migrants in Canada.

Areej will be presenting some of her work at the The Line Crossed Us: New Directions in Critical Border Studies conference taking place on June 14-15, 2019 at the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta. She also be presenting at the World Conference on Statelessness and Inclusion taking place on June 26-28, 2019 at The Hague, The Netherlands.


Kenchera Ingraham

PhD student in Adult, Community and Higher Education

A Narrative Inquiry into the Experiences of Black Women in Canadian Higher Education

Historically, black women have struggled to have a voice and place in higher education, while having to overcome racial and gendered oppression. I call forth my experiences in higher education facing similar struggles which have shaped my identity of being worthy as a black female scholar. Few scholars are currently publishing work around the experiences of the success of black women in higher education with grades and degree attainment.

My experiences with racism, silencing and being placed in the margins during my years of higher education have empowered to inquire and give a voice to the experiences of other black women. This study is relational. As such, my responsibility is to begin thinking about my willingness and ability to world travel with potential participants. As such, I pose this wonder as the focus of this work; what are the ways in which experiences of appealing grades for black women in Canadian higher education institutions shape their unfolding identities of self-worth?


Danielle Lorenz

PhD student in Social Justice and International Studies in Education

Existing Always-Already: Settler Colonialism with/in Alberta Education

Following announcements to update teacher training, curriculum, and policies, Alberta Education declared their commitment to reconciliation, yet, there are four reasons why teachers avoid teaching Indigenous content: a) lack of knowledge, b) lack of resources, c) little administrative support, and d) not believing Indigenous topics are important to teach. Considering these factors, can reconciliation happen? Since Canadian settler colonialism exists always-already, I contend reconciliation will not occur because of a) the fundamental nature of settler colonialism within Canadian institutions, and b) due to there being no greater movement to decolonize governmental institutions. As an ideological structure based on the premise of replacing Indigeneity and constructing an Indigenous/settler binary, settler colonialism theoretically frames this work. Preliminary findings indicate that settler colonial ideologies predominantly remain unchallenged by teachers and that most require greater understanding of racism; however, many respondents acknowledged shortcomings in their knowledge and understanding of Indigenous histories, knowledges, and concerns.

Session 19 • Tuesday June 4, 1:30 - 2:45 pm,  Neville Scarfe Building (SCRF) 202

Navigating the Hidden Curriculum of the Peer Review Process

While many PhD students consider publishing peer-reviewed articles as one of the hallmarks of academic success, graduate students tend to lack experience in navigating the peer review process. Unfortunately, many graduate students are missing an understanding of the complexities of the peer review process. The purpose of our session is to provide graduate students with an editorial perspective on the hidden curriculum of the peer review process. Specifically, this session will serve as an opportunity for emerging scholars to engage in reflexive practices about their understanding of academic publishing. Editors of the Canadian Journal of New Scholars in Education, Canadian Journal of Education, and Journal of Education Thought will speak to the different forms of peer review, the complexities of interpreting reviewer feedback and editorial decisions, and the importance of engaging in the peer review process as both an author and reviewer.

Other Panelists: Andrew Coombs (Queen'sU), Dr. Chris De Luca (Queen'sU), Dr. Theodore Christou (Queen'sU), Dr. Ian Winchester (UCalgary)
Session 21 • Tuesday June 4, 4:30 - 5:45 pm, Neville Scarfe Building (SCRF) 208

Teacher Engagement with Reconciliation and the Role of Settler Colonialism: The "Alberta Advantage"

Wolfe (2006) stated that settler colonialism “is a structure, not an event” (p. 238); it is a purposeful, directed group of policies, practices, and ideologies that facilitated the invasion of Indigenous lands by European nation-states, and later the development of settler colonial systems of governance. In turn, this facilitated the creation of settler colonial governmental institutions including systems of education. Following announcements to update curricula and teacher professional development, Alberta Education has declared their commitment to reconciliation; however, is reconciliation possible within a settler colonial nation-state? An anonymous, mixed-method, online survey with open- and closed-answer questions was used to assess Alberta K-12 teacher responses to Alberta Education’s reconciliation mandate. Findings indicate that most respondents did not recognize settler colonial ideologies; indeed, their answers reaffirmed their prevalence. Relatedly, the systemic existence of racism within Canadian governmental structures was largely unknown to respondents.

Presenting for the Canadian Sociology Association Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Thursday June 6th, 3:30 - 5:00 pm, ANGU 435


Christie Schultz

PhD student in Adult, Community and Higher Education

Remembering Care: Leaders' Stories of Care in Higher Education

In the wake and work of present-day social movements, on our campuses and beyond, there is a growing recognition that, as academics, we ought to care—not just for our research and our students, but also for each other and our communities. This paper begins with the notion that it is critical that we begin to research and understand caring and experiences of caring in leadership spaces in higher education and shares preliminary findings from a narrative inquiry study that asks two main questions: How do academic leaders who practice feminist care ethics experience their work lives? And how can knowledge about these specific lived experiences make visible and address a gap in understanding about the ways in which higher education landscapes can be navigated beyond dominant institutional narratives? This paper reports on findings from the first research conversations with study participants during which sharing of memories and stories of their experiences of “care” in higher education settings is anticipated.


Bridget Stirling

PhD student in Social Justice and International Studies in Education

Alberta’s GSA Fight and the Rights of the Queer Child

In November 2017, Alberta’s education minister introduced An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances (Bill 24). This legislation strengthened the rights of queer students and their allies to gay-straight/queer-straight alliances (GSAs/QSAs) initially set forth in An Act to Amend the Alberta Bill of Rights to Protect Our Children (Bill 10) and added fuel to the already-heated debate around the rights of LGBTQ youth and allies in Alberta. This debate can be understood as one of conflicting rights-based discursive frames between emergent understandings of children’s rights as separate from parental rights. In this paper, I explore the connection between the Alberta GSA debate and the broader social and political tensions around the rights of the child, how queer youth are often at the centre of these debates, and the implications for the lives of queer children who are both subjects in the struggle for their own rights and yet objects in adult discourses about religious and queer rights battles.

Environmental Justice, Education, and the Futurity of the Child

While many environmental justice advocates have called for a forward-thinking interpretation of distributive justice that includes the interest of future citizens, I argue that to be truly democratic, environmental justice must consider temporality as more than simply the futurity of environmental decision making; to offer environmental justice, we must also consider Adam’s call for temporal democracy, grounded in a relational, care-oriented understanding of what it means to live in connection with people and with nature. Research on childhood and environmentalism tends to reinforce the view of children’s environmental education as being primarily oriented towards the development of environmental knowledge and concern in adults, grounding children’s relationship with the environment in their futurity as human becomings. Drawing on feminist scholarship on care-based ethics of relationality, I propose that we need to develop a temporally democratic model of environmental justice and environmental education that includes the interests of children in their present and future lives as well as the interests of generations past and future.

Bridget will be presenting a related paper on this topic at the AFEC 2019 conference in Bordeaux, France, this June.


Anna Wilson

PhD student in Social Justice and International Studies in Education

Deliberative Policies for Water Justice

Since 2014 the World Economic Forum (WEF) identified water-related illnesses as one of the top five global risks to human health (Adeel, 2017). Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the Kinder Morgan Pipeline Project as 12 year-old Autumn Peltier tearfully pleaded with him not to build a pipeline on her home in Wikwemikong First Nation land. Trudeau promised Autumn that he would protect the water and this promise has made national headlines. Deliberative policy analysis can make Trudeau’s promise Canada’s national water policy. Deliberative Policy Analysis (DPA) is a process in which policymakers deliberate with all stakeholders and citizens to determine a policy (Li, 2015) through the models of DPA: 1. mediation and stakeholder group engagement, 2. citizens’ forums, or 3. citizens’ initiatives and referendums (Smith, 2003). This paper defends the urgency of Canada adopting a deliberative federal water policy that follows World Health Organization (WHO) water policy guidelines.

Peer-Reviewed Paper: Engaging in the Deliberative Policy Analysis Process for Water Justice in Canada


Irene Friesen Wolfstone

PhD student in Social Justice and International Studies in Education

Re-Storying Indigenous Matricultures: Exploring the Conditions of Cultural Continuity and the Capacity for Climate Change Adaptation

The knowledge systems of indigenous peoples are instructive for studying adaptation as their long histories indicate they have survived multiple climate change events. My previous studies indicate that matricultures, biocultural diversity, a sharing economy and relationality with land may be preconditions for as well as indicators of cultural continuity. My interdisciplinary research addresses four wicked problems currently: a) despite attempts to erase indigenous matricultures, indigenous women provide leadership to protecting Canada’s rivers and lakes; b) governments and the carbon industry disavow that climate change presents an immediate and existential threat to future generations; c) settler culture suffers from cosmological destitution, resulting in incapacity for big picture thinking; and d) educational systems at all levels are silent on indigenous matricultures and neglect the human dimensions of climate change adaptation. Matricultures is a subjugated knowledge in the academy. My inquiry is the first comprehensive, systematic study of matricultures in Canada.