Contact CACS

Please feel free to contact CACS co-presidents, Dr. Robert Christopher Nellis and Dr. Erika Hasebe-Ludt, at any time.

Teresa Strong-Wilson
Associate Professor
McGill University
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Avril Aitken
Bishop's University
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2015/2016 CACS Executive


Teresa Strong-Wilson is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at McGill University and co-editor of the McGill Journal of Education. She has interests in Canadian and First Nations children's literature, curriculum, literacy, memory, social justice education, story, and teacher learning. She has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals including Changing English, Educational Theory, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, and Teachers and Teaching. Her books include Bringing Memory Forward: Storied Remembrance in Social Justice Education with Teachers (2008; Peter Lang), Envisioning New Technologies in Teacher Practice (Strong-Wilson et al, 2012; Peter Lang), Memory and Pedagogy (eds., Mitchell, Strong-Wilson, Pithouse, Allnutt, 2011; Routledge), Productive Remembering and Social Agency (eds., Strong-Wilson, Mitchell, Allnutt, Pithouse-Morgan, 2012; Sense) and The Emperor's New Clothes?: Issues and Alternatives in Uses of the Portfolio in Teacher Education Programs (eds., Sanford & Strong-Wilson, in press; Peter Lang). 

Avril Aitken is an associate professor from the School of Education of Bishop's University, in Sherbrooke, Quebec. She inquires into the implications of teachers’ beliefs and desires, particularly how such factors influence perceptions of self and others, pedagogy, and the possibility of educating for a more democratic, diverse, and sustainable world. These interests have emerged from work in public education and a three-decade relationship with one Indigenous community in the sub-arctic of Quebec, the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach. She collaborates with colleagues in both official languages, which has resulted in publications and presentations in English and French. Additionally she works on policy research and inquiries with direct theory-to-practice effects. Her current research, in collaboration with Dr. Linda Radford of the University of Ottawa, looks at digital filmmaking as research/pedagogy in Teacher Education. This research looks at what might be revealed about the circumstances that result in pre-service teachers resisting or abandoning social justice pedagogies. Related writing can be found in publications such as the book, The Emperor’s New Clothes?: Issues and Alternatives in Uses of the Portfolio in Teacher Education Programs, and a recent issue of Journal of the Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies. She is currently the co-2nd Vice President of CACS, and co-Chair of the annual CACS conference.


Robert Christopher Nellis is a continuous faculty member in the Bachelor of Education Program at Red Deer College. His research interests are media, critical theory, and theorizing teacher education experience.

Erika Hasebe-Ludt is a Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Lethbridge.  Her curriculum studies research focuses on language, literacy, and literary métissage in Canadian and transnational contexts of teacher education.

Vice Presidents

Paul Zanazanian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, Canada. His research expertise centers on explorations of the workings of historical consciousness in the development of ethno-cultural, civic, and national identities, with a particular focus on the dynamics of such processes in both formal and informal school settings. He has particular interest in the politics of history teaching; national historical narratives and issues of inclusion and exclusion; and a specialized expertise in problems of history, community vitality, and identity in complex communities, such as English-speaking Québec. Emerging from an interdisciplinary research trajectory in history and educational foundations, his work is both theoretical and empirical in nature, and presents concrete outcomes in terms of pedagogical mindsets and tools. Currently, Dr. Zanazanian is studying the ways in which educational practitioners employ their historical consciousness for developing a sense of professional identity and agency. As an extension of this interest, he is also examining the historical consciousness of Québec’s English-speaking community leaders and how this impacts their social posture in their public role as group educators or trendsetters. This research project has contributed to Dr. Zanazanian’s overall quest to develop new ways in which history or its teaching can be used to help strengthen weakening historic minorities and to foster their vitality and growth in autonomous and distinct manners, while being mindful and respectful of other groups. For more information, please visit here.


Aparna Mishra Tarc is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, York University. She was a former elementary school teacher in Manila, Hanoi and Cambridge, ON. She presently serves as secretary/treasurer of Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies. She has served as an executive member of the Postcolonial SIG for AERA. Her work involves supporting beginning teachers to respond to the lived realities of students residing in under-resourced and/or historically marginalized "urban" communities in the GTA. To support her work in teacher education Mishra Tarc conducts scholarship investigating the problem of learning from the unthinkable experience of others. She has published numerous articles in international journals including: Educational Theory, Race, Ethnicity and Education, Curriculum Inquiry, Changing English and Pedagogy, Culture and Society.

Communications Team

Diane Watt is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Werklund Foundation Centre for Youth Leadership Education at the University of Calgary. She completed her award-winning doctoral dissertation in the concentration, Society, Culture, and Literacies at the University of Ottawa. It engages the high schooling experiences of Muslim, female youth in Ontario and visual representations of Muslim women in the North American news media. Diane teaches Languge Arts, Writing Across the Curriculum, Curriculum Design and Evaluation, Schooling and Society, and Diversity Education to teacher candidates. She also teaches graduate courses including, Language and Literacies; Cultural Studies; and Bilingual, Multilingual, and Minority Contexts of Language Education. Her postdoctoral work involves media-making with Muslim youth. Diane has published book chapters, and articles in the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, the Journal of Media Literacy Education, and The Qualitative Report. She completed her undergraduate degree in Honours English Literature and her Teacher Education at Simon Fraser University. Earlier in her career she taught at the Elementary and Secondary School levels in Mission, British Columbia. During the 1990’s she lived with her family in Pakistan, Syria, and Iran.

Cristyne Hebert is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education at York University. Her work explores narratives of teaching and learning, epistemic oppression in education, educational reform, reflective and autobiographical inquiry and, most recently, aesthetic experience, through curricular and philosophical lenses. Her current research has taken her to the United States, where she is examining the standardization of reflective practice in teacher education by way of the implementation of the Education Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA), an assessment model based on Schon’s reflection-in-action. The research takes up the potential tensions between reflection and standardization, tensions that may reveal themselves through actions and conversations in teacher education classrooms, and in the testimony of teacher educators and teacher candidates. While in the field, Cristyne is auditing classes on narrative research and aesthetic education at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She is also a graduate student representative for the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies and has a forthcoming chapter (co-authored with Jane Griffith) that will appear in Provoking Curriculum Studies. When in Toronto, Cristyne teaches philosophy, English, history, and sociology at a local community college. 

Webmaster and Chairperson of Publications

Bryan Smith is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa, currently engaging in research spanning anti-racism education, social studies methods and curriculum studies. At the present time, he is studying the construction of the national “we” in textbooks across the grade eight Ontario curriculum, seeking to understand how it is that “our” national identity is contained, limited and made exclusive through various banal linguistic techniques. In response to the containment of national identity around a set of limited notions, he explores how the increasingly important digital spaces that our students regularly inhabit might offer an opening through which students can re-articulate the banality of this exclusive “we.” Bryan is also the lead developer on the Digital Residential Narratives Project, a collaborative enterprise that seeks to make available the excluded residential school narrative through the dissemination of mobile and Internet based applications. His work has appeared in Transnational Curriculum Inquiry, the Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy; he has a forthcoming chapter in Provoking Curriculum Studies, edited by Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, Awad Ibrahim and Giuliano Reis and forthcoming work in the journal "in education".

Graduate Student Representatives

Heather Phipps is a PhD candidate in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University where she specializes in Curriculum and Literacy. She has taught in Kindergarten, elementary and secondary classrooms in Alberta and Québec, as well as undergraduate courses in the B.Ed. program in TESL and Kindergarten/Elementary Education at McGill. Heather completed her MA in Second Language Education at McGill University. Her research interests include multiculturalism, qualitative and ethnographic research methodologies, multi-literacies, indigenous education, language, identity, agency, and creativity. Heather's doctoral research explores young children's responses to multicultural Canadian children's literature, within a culturally and linguistically diverse urban Montreal classroom, and the role of story in creating socially just communities.

Amarou Yoder is a second year PhD student in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University.  Her research interests include curriculum studies, memory studies, Mennonites, and non/violence. She is pleased to be supervised by Dr. Teresa Strong-Wilson.  Prior to her current aspirations as an emerging scholar, Amarou taught secondary language arts and coached competitive speech and debate  for eight years at an urban high school in Washington State.  She became an English teacher, after successive and thoroughly-relished degrees in art history (medieval) and English literature, because her mother suggested that she might look into getting a real job.  This series of conversations ultimately culminated in an M.Ed.  and certification. Her mother might remember this all very differently.  Amarou enjoyed (and still does) working with adolescents, and finds reading, thinking, reflecting on, and writing about teaching and learning even more exciting than Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscripts.

Tasha Ausman is currently a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa.  With a graduate background in the fields of Education (University of Ottawa) and English Literature (University of Alberta), a Bachelor of Education in Intermediate/Senior Biology and Chemistry (University of Ottawa), as well as undergraduate studies in Physiology and Developmental Biology (University of Alberta), her research areas include curriculum studies, Screenplay Pedagogy, Third Spaces and hybridity, film, cultural studies, and most recently, mathematics education.  As well, she is a permanent teacher with Western Quebec School Board in senior mathematics, chemistry, and biology.  She currently has publications in Transnational Curriculum Inquiry (2011) and Multicultural Education Review (2012).

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