We aim to bring together educators, faculty members, graduate students, and other researchers across Canada and beyond who are committed to growing critical scholarship addressing inequity, racism, and social injustice in education through research in the Learning Sciences.
Leadership Team (2021-2024)
Dr. Miwa Aoki Takeuchi (she/they) is Associate Professor in the Learning Sciences, University of Calgary. As President of Network of the Learning Sciences in Canada/the SIG-the Learning Sciences of Canadian Educational Research Association, Miwa will commit to grow a space for in-depth dialogues among researchers who engage in cutting-edge scholarships in the learning sciences community in Canada and beyond. Together with you, Miwa will commit to anti-racist and anti-oppressive praxis that the SIG-the Learning Sciences has committed to in the Statement of Commitment to Anti-Racist Scholarship.
Miwa’s scholarship has been centered around equity and social justice in mathematics and STEM education. Working collaboratively with young learners, teachers, community activists, and families, Miwa aims to co-design the learning environments that can leverage learners' embodied and emplaced disciplinary experiences into transdisciplinary imagination toward social and environmental justice. Through these research activities, Miwa hopes to shine light on traditionally unseen and hidden knowledge shared by (im)migrant and refugee learners of color and their families.
Miwa is currently on the Board of Directors for the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS). If you have any feedback to make the community of ISLS more just and equitable, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.
Dr. Jennifer Vadeboncoeur is Professor of Human Development, Learning, and Culture at the University of British Columbia. As Program Chair of the Network of the Learning Sciences in Canada/SIG-The Learning Sciences of the Canadian Educational Research Association, Jennifer will contribute to building the SIG space to reflect both current and novel research and practice on social and ecological issues, including racism and racial inequities, white supremacy and privilege, and the ways in which social inequities are linked with ecological inequities. The Statement of Commitment to Anti-Racist Scholarship is a step forward and, in addition to supporting this crucial initiative, Jennifer aims to create dialogue that will generate research, actions, and practical responses that contribute to social change.
Jennifer’s early ethnographic studies of the process of re-engagement in alternative programs with youth and educators in the United States, Australia, and Canada advanced a conceptual framework linking identity and identification, the production of children and youth "at risk,” and the significance of student-teacher relationships as projects of moral imagining. Current research into imaginative play, including how children initiate, maintain, and conclude imaginative play, as well as how they transition between imaginative play and other social practices, makes visible imagining and moral imagining in everyday interactions. Applications of the concepts emerging across both lines of research may provide useful for life-course research engaging participants in transitions to more equitable and sustainable social futures.
Emerging Scholar Committee (2021-2024)
Postdoctoral Scholar Members
Dr. Sarah El Halwany - University of Calgary
Dr. Sarah El Halwany is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Calgary. She has completed her PhD at the University of Toronto, OISE, with an emphasis in science education. She has been involved in various research and pedagogical projects and initiatives that examine ways that teachers could infuse social and environmental justice through science education. She is interested in studying the affective politics within science education environments, focusing on the reproductive and productive capacities of bodies, emotions and discourses.
Dr. Reyhaneh Bastani - University of Calgary
Reyhaneh Bastani is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Learning Sciences at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. Her work in this position is focused on sustaining cultural and linguistic pluralism in formal and informal learning environments. Their research team, in this project, particularly explores the learning potentials of playing and redesigning culturally-relevant tabletop games. Reyhaneh’s doctoral study focused on design for learning through a complexity perspective. Her research involved a complexity-informed design for students' disciplinary and interdisciplinary learning using board game redesign practices. Studying learners' interactions and artifacts, she investigated how learners’ co-design spaces evolved and how their ideas and intentional choices were enabled through game redesign practices. Her research also aims to highlight how learners' ideas, interests and decisions frame their designs and support their use of learning topics in creating game systems.
Dr. Mahati Kopparla-University of Calgary
Mahati Kopparla (She/her) is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Calgary. She received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and previously worked with the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development. Through her research, she explores how mathematical and scientific literacy can equip learners to become aware of the social and environmental issues in the world and act collectively as global citizens. She is passionate about hearing diverse voices and representing global perspectives through her work. She is inspired by the stories and teachings of her father and grandmother, which provided opportunities for learning beyond the school curriculum. She hopes to co-design learning spaces that are immersed in a sense of joy and narrow the divide between home and school.
Tatiana Becerra -
Tatiana is a Colombian, English language educator. She is currently pursuing her doctorate at McGill University’s Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE). Tatiana’s two broad research interests include teachers’ learning and literacy instruction. As a teacher educator, she is interested in decolonizing research that facilitates rural schoolteachers’ active participation in knowledge-making endeavors. Her doctoral research aims to explore literacy practices in rural communities using a pluriversality lens. She hopes her research will contribute to overcoming deficit perspectives of rural learners and teachers, and to inform more asset-based educational policies and professional development programs in Colombia.
Hao-Yue Jin -
University of Alberta
Hao-Yue Jin is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, at the University of Alberta, where she started her Ph.D. study in 2020 in the area of Measurement, Evaluation, and Data Science. She graduated with a B.Ed and an M. S. in Educational Technology from the Department of Curriculum and Learning Science, Faculty of Education, Zhejiang University. Her research interests include computational thinking (e.g., deeper learning in computational thinking assessments) and educational data mining (e.g., PISA studies).
Emily Mannard -
Emily Mannard is a high school English/Social Studies educator and PhD student in McGill University’s Department of Integrated Studies in Education. Her research explores adolescents’ literacies, pleasurable play, and collaborative socialization through digitized texts and technologies such as videogames and livestreaming practices. The past three years have drawn her attention toward community-driven research focused on designing equitable, technology-based learning opportunities for socially marginalized youth. She has taken findings from this work to advocate for the value of adolescents’ everyday literacies and experiences in digital culture, especially those that are commonly devalued in popular discourse and formal education.
Natacha Monestel Mora - University of British Columbia
Natacha Monestel Mora is a Ph.D. candidate in Human Development Learning and Culture in ECPS (Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education) at the University of British Columbia. She was born and raised in Costa Rica, where she finished her psychology and human rights studies. She worked for her home country's Ministry of Education for several years, promoting human rights education. She also has vast experience as a consultant supporting international organizations advocating human rights education and social justice in communities looking to resist unsustainable social and economic practices. Her dissertation project focuses on understanding how newcomer youth to Canada imagine socially just futures through a participatory action research project utilizing documentary filmmaking techniques. Her current inquiry builds on her previous graduate and undergraduate work exploring how young people define social justice and her experience participating in community struggles in Latin America.
Luke Muscat -
University of Calgary
Luke Muscat is a doctoral student in the Learning Sciences at the University of Calgary. His research interests include embodied storytelling, queering movement, and early childhood education. He holds a Master of Science in Education from Bank Street College of Education, a Bachelor of Arts and Science from Athabasca University, and a certificate in dance performance from The Ailey School. Luke is a preschool teacher and movement specialist at Beginnings Nursery School in New York City. Prior to Beginnings, Luke was a first grade teacher and dance specialist at The Hewitt School, where he founded their kindergarten through fourth grade dance program. Luke has been a teaching artist with the New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Steps on Broadway. His research has been published in The Journal of Dance Education, Early Childhood Education, Dance Education in Practice, The National Dance Education Organization, and he has presented at the 49th national conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education
Anuli Ndubuisi -
University of Toronto
Anuli Ndubuisi is a doctoral student in Curriculum and Pedagogy with a digital technologies emphasis and an engineering education collaborative specialization at the University of Toronto (UofT), OISE. Anuli’s research interest is at the intersection of collaborative learning, global engineering education and learning communities. Her research examines global engineering workforce preparation and leverages socio-constructivist theories to explore internationalization at home strategies for helping students gain international experiences, global perspectives, and global competencies. She is also the Research and Program Manager of the International Virtual Engineering Student Teams (InVEST) project at UofT, a researcher with Encore Lab at OISE, and the mentorship award co-chair for Canadian Committee of Graduate Students in Education (CCGSE).
Dylan Paré -
University of Calgary
Dylan Paré (they/them) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Learning Sciences at the University of Calgary, Werklund School of Education. They are the Founder and Director of the Queer Code Collective (https://www.queercode.org), an award-winning studio that designs, develops, and researches new models of code and coding with queer and trans experiences at the forefront. Dylan co-designs virtual reality and interactive computer-based learning environments for learning about complex systems, socio-political issues, and design justice. Their primary research project reimagines computational literacies by interweaving storytelling with scholarship on complexity studies, embodied learning, and queer and trans phenomenology. Dylan’s work builds upon their previous undergraduate and graduate work in Gender and Sexuality Studies and their work as a community organizer-educator, a workplace consultant for gender and sexual diversity, and a post-secondary student services program coordinator in gender and sexual diversity, sexual health, and relationship education.
Ferdous Touioui -
Uiversité de Montréal
Ferdous Touioui is a Ph.D. Candidate in Educational Psychology at the Université de Montréal. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the Université de Montréal. Her research focuses on youths’ learning and development at the intersection of formal and informal education, with a special interest in inclusive education grounded in sociocultural theory. Her Masters Project made evident the role of lived emotions in the joint-creation of films within an in-school enrichment project offered by a community organization to schools in underserved communities. Through a multimodal interaction analysis she documented the co-teaching of that activity by a facilitator with a history in theater and movie production, employed by that community organization, and the elementary school teacher. Together, they built on the strengths of the students in ways that flattened their anxiety and perceived lack of expertise, thereby uplifting students who otherwise struggled academically. Her doctoral research will focus on an analysis of the entanglement of emotions with youths’ meaning making a in-school maker space and coding project, and a youth gardening and entrepreneurship program mediated by that same community organization.
Mariam Yamout -
University of Calgary
Mariam is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Educational Research specializing in Learning Sciences at Werklund school of education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Management, a teaching diploma, and a master’s degree in science education from the American University of Beirut. Her research interests are in the area of conceptual understanding in science education and the design of effective learning environments. These interests emerged and developed through her work on her MA thesis, which is framed within theories of conceptual change in science learning. In addition to her MA thesis research, she have a broader research experience which she gained from her work on the TAMAM Project, a school-based educational reform project.
Advisory Board (2021-2024)
Dr. Jennifer Adams - University of Calgary
Dr. Beaumie Kim (Post President) - University of Calgary
Beaumie Kim's research focuses on engaging learners in playing and designing games that model ideas, concepts, and systems as well as express some things about themselves, including their interest and culture. She is interested in understanding how learning happens in unconventional ways and creating learning designs that foster the heterogenous and evolving ways of learning. She investigates how the bringing of learners’ diverse interests and resources to the learning environments contributes to the individual and collective learning experiences by collaborating with educators and learners as design partners.
Dr. Joe Curnow - University of Manitoba
Dr. Joe Curnow’s scholarship sits at the nexus of the Learning Sciences, social movement studies, and equity studies. Her research examines how people come to understand social problems systemically and how they learn about issues of race and colonialism, gender and patriarchy, and class and capitalism through their activism. Joe has worked as a social movement, labour, and community organizer. Joe is a 2021 National Academy of Education/Spencer Fellow.
Dr. Jrene Rahm - The Université de Montréal
Dr. Jrène Rahm’s research centers a cultural perspective to children’s and youths’ learning and becoming (identity) in science at the intersection of formal and informal education. Through multisited and longitudinal studies grounded in sociocultural and critical theory, driven by a space-time lens, she explores minoritized immigrant youths’ complex navigations of community organizations, gardens, and other educational venues, driven by future aspirations of becoming somebody. That interest led her to document counter-spaces and educational pathways driven by equity and social justice with youth. Her recent work with Inuit youth and families in Nunvik and Nunavut focuses on the joint documentation of Inuit led community and environmental stewardship projects and their role in the revitalization of cultural practices and contributions to lifelong learning or inunnguiniq. Given her work with community organizations, she has also become interested in finding ways to leverage such practices for teacher training and the building of on-going University-community partnerships.
Dr. Doug Clark (Post Program Chair) - University of Calgary
Douglas Clark’s research focuses on the design of digital learning environments, students’ learning processes, and the opportunities of design for teachers and students. He is particularly interested in how teachers reflect on the unspoken frames underlying the design of learning environments and the opportunities provided when teachers consider new possible frames to better serve students who traditionally have not been well served.
Dr. Stephanie Hladik - University of Manitoba
Stephanie Hladik's research builds upon her academic preparation in science, engineering, and design, and takes a sociocultural approach to education, bringing in feminist and critical theory to understand and challenge hegemony within STEM education. She is particularly passionate about understanding the ways in which informal learning spaces, such as museums and makerspaces, can become places for individuals who have been historically marginalized in STEM to create educational experiences that resonate with their own personal, cultural, and embodied experiences in STEM. By engaging in this work, Stephanie hopes to uncover and challenge the power dynamics woven throughout community-based design research, research-practice partnerships, and STEM disciplines.
Dr. Chris Ostrowdun - University of Leeds
Chris Ostrowdun is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. His research leverages sociocultural and critical theories to study how educators understand disability and inclusion. He is also interested in how this understanding manifests and develops in different forms, such as through visual representations and discourses. He is also Co-Chair of the International Learning Sciences Students Association, ILSSA, where he aims to foster equitable opportunities for students to connect with peers and scholars, contribute to the Learning Sciences, and shape the future of the field.