Master of Education in Educational Studies (MES)

Our Faculty


Dr. Jim Parsons, PhD

Professor Emeritus, 
Department of Secondary Education,
University of Alberta

Dr. Parsons is one of the longest serving professors in the history of the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, where he was a member of the Department of Secondary Education for 40 years. During that time, he taught Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction, Religious Education, and Research Design. 

He is the founding Director of the Masters of Educational Studies and was the Director of the Alberta Initiative for School Improvement for 14 years. He is also the current Executive Editor of The Canadian Journal for Teacher Research.

He has worked extensively in China, and is the lead author for one of two English Language Programs authorized throughout China.

Jim was recently awarded the ATA's highest honour, Honourary Membership, as "one of Alberta's most distinguished and respected teachers." Read more here.

He enjoys teaching in the MES program.

RESEARCH INTERESTS are action research and collaborative teacher professional learning.


Dr. Katherine Willson, PhD

Professor Emerita,
Department of Elementary Education,
University of Alberta

Dr. Willson's   extensive background in education includes:

  • 15 years as a teacher, district mathematics consultant and principal (Edmonton Public School Board)
  • 4 years as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Science Education (University of British Columbia)
  • 18 years at the University of Alberta: highlights included teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, coordinating practicum, collaborating in long-term professional development with Edmonton Catholic Schools and Yellowknife School district, and since 2013, teaching in the MES program.

Katherine also has extensive international experience with teachers and teacher educators (The Dominican Republic, Namibia, Trinidad, and China).


  • Faculty of Education Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • University of Alberta Rutherford Teaching Award
  • Alberta Teachers’ Association Educational Research Award (co- recipient  Dr. Roberta McKay).

RESEARCH INTERESTS have included pre-service and in-service teacher education, mathematics education, Integrating mathematics and language arts, and the use of technology in education.

Dr. Leonora Macy, PhD

Master of Education in Educational Studies,
University of Alberta

Dr. Macy completed her master and her doctoral studies at the University of Alberta. She has taught language and literacy courses in the Elementary Education Department (with a focus on literacy education, children’s literature, and drama as a tool for learning) and for the MES program.  

Dr. Macy has taught in the MES since 2007. She has a keen understanding about the continuous nature of the program after teaching many of the courses. She believes that the program’s focus on both online and face-to-face opportunities is what makes the program unique; however, she knows that the program’s true strength rests with the community of learners who graduate with a deeper understanding of leadership and school improvement issues.

Her latest publication addresses the notion of bridging pedagogies as new theories align with enduring theories.

RESEARCH INTERESTS are focused on understanding the perception diverse communities of professionals hold about creativity as focus is placed on creativity as a competency for 21st century learners. 

Dr. José L da Costa, BEd, MA, EdD

Educational Administration and Leadership,
Department of Educational Policy Studies,
University of Alberta

Dr. da Costa taught high school automotives at Atascadero High School in California in the mid to late 1980s before starting his doctoral work at U.B.C.

As a faculty member at the University of Alberta since 1993, Joe has taught courses in educational administration and leadership, generally, and supervision of instruction, specifically. He has also taught a variety of introductory and advanced research methods courses (drawing on rationalist and naturalist paradigms).

RESEARCH INTERESTS are focused on the Impacts of educational programming and administrative structures on student success in school, Academic disadvantage due to socio-cultural backgrounds and experiences, or economic circumstances, Early learning, in-school mentoring, school choice, and teacher and administrator professional development.


Dr. Ken Jacknicke, PhD

Professor Emeritus, 
Department of Secondary Education,
University of Alberta,

Dr. Jacknicke has taught secondary Science education for the Edmonton Public School Board and taught in both the Secondary and Elementary Education programs at the University of Alberta. As well, he was Associate Chair of Secondary Education for seven years, Chair of the Department for eleven years, and Dean of the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan for seven years.

He has immensely enjoyed working with MES students over the past few years and is always very gratified to see the successes they achieve.

RESEARCH INTERESTS include Curriculum Studies, Teacher Education, Education Leadership, Science Education

Dr. Ingrid Johnston, PhD

Professor Emerita,
Department of Secondary Education,
University of Alberta

Dr. Johnston’s research and teaching focus on postcolonial literary theories and pedagogies, curriculum development and teacher education for diversity.

Her latest co-edited book, Challenging Stories: Canadian Literature for Social Justice in the Classroom, is in publication with Canadian Scholars Press.

Ingrid has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of English language arts education, postcolonial theories and curriculum, research design and methodologies.

RESEARCH INTERESTS are focused on curriculum development and teacher education for diversity.

Dr. Joyce Bainbridge, BEd, MA, EdD

Professor Emerita, 
Department of Elementary Education,
University of Alberta

Dr. Bainbridge has taught courses in Language and Literacy Education, with a specialization in children's literature and children's writing. She served as Vice Dean of the Faculty for 6 years.

Joyce retired from full time work in 2010. She continues to write educational materials, most notably the textbook, Constructing Meaning (6th edition, 2017).

Joyce has taught in the MES program in various capacities since 2006.


  • McCalla Research Professorship
  • Alberta Teachers' Association Educational Research Award
  • Faculty of Education Graduate Teaching Award



Dr. Matt Hoven, PhD 

St. Joseph's College,
University of Alberta

Dr. Hoven comes from a family of educators and entered the profession in 1998. His enthusiasm for learning led to graduate studies and now he primarily teaches undergraduate students at St. Joseph's College—literally a stone's throw from the Education building.  Post-secondary teaching originally attracted him to the university, yet his curiosity has given rise to a growing interest in research and publication.

He has completed multiple articles based upon qualitative data of local high school athletes and coaches—in particular how they engage religion, spirituality, superstitions, etc., in athletics.  Bringing these fields together have enabled him to stay grounded in Alberta schooling while researching with others at an international level.

Matt is a graduate of the Faculty of Education and taught locally in Alberta before earning his doctorate at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In 2009, he began teaching at St. Joseph's College and joined the MES program in 2015.   

For more information, please visit Matt's Professional Website.

RESEARCH INTEREST is in  the intersection of education, religion and sport. 


Dr. Janice Wallace, PhD

Professor Emerita,
Department of Educational Policy Studies,
University of Alberta


Dr. Wallace has been a faculty member at Western in London, Ontario and, most recently, The University of Alberta where she has taught courses on research at both the Masters and Doctoral level, core courses in educational administration and organizational studies, and a course on Gender and Educational Leadership. She also taught and was coordinator (1 year) for the undergraduate course on Ethics ad Law. She also served as Associate Dean, Undergraduate Teacher Education for three years during a time of significant renewal in Undergraduate Student Services.

Since her retirement, she has taught graduate courses at both the University of Alberta and the University of Victoria.

Janice has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with the MES program, learn new pedagogical skills for online teaching and learning, and get to know educators across the province while teaching the Fundamentals of Educational Research and Gender and Leadership courses. 

RESEARCH INTERESTS focus on issues of power in educational organizations with a special focus on issues of social justice. Her research has explored Indigenous education issues, the effects of gender in educational organizations and school practices, and neoliberal reforms in school systems. She has enjoyed working with both the ATA and the Alberta Ministry of Education on issues of social justice and leadership. 

Dr. Landor Liddell, PhD

Master of Education in Educational Studies,
University of Alberta

A psychologist and educator, Dr. Liddell teaches in the MES program and the Department of Extension (Business), and practices as a clinical/counselling psychologist.

RESEARCH INTERESTS are in the interdisciplinary approach to leadership development and implementation;  organizational behavior; authentic leadership; and, values and leadership.


Dr. Sally Brenton-Haden, PhD

Assistant Professor,
Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies,
University of Victoria

Dr. Brenton-Haden’s focus teaching areas include Differentiated Instruction, Universal Design for Learning, Learner Characteristics of Students with Specific Learning Disorders (Learning Disabilities), and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Inclusive Education.  

Dr. Margaret Iveson, PhD

Professor Emerita, 
Department of Secondary Education,
University of Alberta


Dr. Iveson taught high-school English for Edmonton Public Schools and also served as a Department Head and Consultant in English Language Arts and Student Assessment. Her Master’s research (U of A) was in film study and her Doctoral Dissertation was an ethnography of six-year-old children engaging in literacy at school and at home.

She has been active in the English Language Arts Council of the ATA throughout her career as both presenter and executive member. She authored or co-authored texts for school use and materials for curriculum implementation for Alberta Education.

Currently, she edits Alberta Voices, ELAC’s journal.


RESEARCH INTERESTS include writing cultures in schools, expressive and poetic writing, academic writing, literary engagement, film study and film making, language and literacy across the lifespan.


Kerry Rose, PhD (c)

Master of Education in Educational Studies,
University of Alberta

Kerry Rose has worked with MES students for the past three years as a liaison for the International Baccalaureate Certificate programs (Advanced Teaching and Learning; Advanced Leadership Research).  She worked for many years with the IB programme as a former IB science teacher, IB coordinator, and HL Biology Examiner.  She presently works as a project manager at CMASTE (Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education), a development centre based in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education that specializes in the synthesis of research, knowledge translation, and outreach for local, national and international educational communities.  For the last several years, Kerry has also taught the Introductory and Advanced Professional Term Curriculum and Instruction courses in the Department of Secondary Education, and worked in the MES program to help students with their research proposals.  

RESEARCH INTERESTS Science Education: Intersections between science and other ways of knowing

Teacher Education and Professional Development


Dr. Bonnie Stelmach, PhD

Associate Professor,
Department of Educational Policy Studies,
University of Alberta

Bonnie Stelmach spent 7 years at the University of Saskatchewan in the Department of Educational Administration before returning to the University of Alberta's Department of Educational Policy Studies in 2014.  Before joining the academy, Bonnie taught secondary school in rural and northern Alberta, and at an international school in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  She completed a MA at Simon Fraser University in educational philosophy, and a PhD in Educational Administration and Leadership at the University of Alberta. RESEARCH INTERESTS Bonnie's current research focuses on rural secondary school parents' sense of community.  


Dr. Hans Smits, PhD

Master of Education in Educational Studies,
University of Alberta


Following his retirement from the University of Calgary, where he also served as the Associate Dean of Teacher Education, Hans decided to teach in the MES program.

Hans is a graduate of the University of Alberta, where he completed all his degrees, including a Ph.D. in 1994 in the area of curriculum studies.  Prior to completing his doctorate, Hans was a junior and senior high social studies teacher for many years in Edmonton.  He started his life in teaching as a CUSO volunteer in Zambia from 1967-69.

He has taught and written in the areas of teacher education, curriculum theory, and social studies education with an interest in exploring the relevance and nature of practical wisdom in the understanding and practice of teaching.

A highlight experience was teaching the MES summer institute in Tanzania in 2014.  In addition to teaching for the MES, Hans also teaches a philosophy of teaching course in Health Sciences Education.

Hans considers it a privilege and delight to have the opportunity to teach graduate students.



Dr. Noella Steinhauer, PhD

Assistant Professor
Educational Policy Studies

Noella Steinhauer is Plains Cree from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in northeastern Alberta and is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies.

She has been in a variety of leadership roles: including her role as vice-president of education with a national charity, she has also been a principal in First Nation schools and a principal with the Edmonton Public School District. Noella also spent more than 10 years as a secondary teacher.

Throughout her career she has remained focused on the improvement of Indigenous student success.  

Her master’s work focused on factors that impact First Nation student achievement and her subsequent doctoral work focused on identifying the factors that would create a successful First Nation school.



First Nation school leadership

Indigenous ways of knowing

Collaborative leadership

Dr. Julia Ellis, BA, MA, EdD

Professor Emerita,
Department of Elementary Education,
University of Alberta



Dr. Ellis came to the University of Alberta (Department of Elementary Education) in 1992 after previous appointments at the University of Toronto/OISE (4 years), University of Lethbridge (3 years as Coordinator of the Southern Alberta Gifted and Talented and Education Project) and UBC (2 years).  Her teacher preparation program was in Secondary English and also ESL. She completed her graduate work at UBC.

Since retirement, Julia has continued to teach graduate courses at the University of Alberta.

Her most recent graduate teaching has included the courses:

  • Qualitative Research Methods in Education
  • Interpretive Inquiry
  • Introduction to Educational Research
  • Processes in Curriculum Development
  • Teacher as Researcher
  • Children and Place
  • Capstone paper course for Master’s program
  • Creative Problem solving in the Classroom

Julia Ellis served as Journal Editor for the Canadian Journal of Education (2006-2011) and the Alberta Journal of Educational Research (1998-2000)


  • Faculty of Education Graduate Teaching Award
  • Honorable Mention for Research Award from Alberta Learning (for Safe and Caring Schools Research)
  • Nominated for “Canadian Women’s Mentor Award” in the Science and Education category. Sponsored by: Trimark, Globe and Mail, and YWCA
  • Award for "Woman of Distinction" in the Education Category from the YWCA, Lethbridge, Alberta


RESEARCH INTERESTS include Interpretive inquiry, research methods, narrative inquiry with children and youth, curriculum inquiry, mentorship programs for children and youth, student leadership programs, children and place, space and place, encouragement and belonging in classrooms and schools, gender issues in education, multiculturalism in education, creativity and creative problem solving in the classroom, gifted education.