In brief: Research news - Spring 2021

The Faculty of Education has a proud tradition not only of producing great educators, psychologists and information studies professionals, but great research. Here are some recent stories you may have missed about UAlberta education researchers and the important work they do to improve teaching, learning, policy and professional practice in Alberta, in Canada and around the world.

PhD student explores how to help young immigrants reach post-secondary education

Educational Psychology PhD student Jasmine Nathoo is using PhotoVoice, a research method incorporating photography, to help young Syrian women in Edmonton document their daily realities and discuss the barriers to pursuing their educational goals.

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Education professor named Canada Research Chair in Deaf Education

Educational Psychology professor Joanne Weber has been named the first-ever Canada Research Chair in Deaf Education.

“This is very exciting news because this appointment is the result of decades of hard work by the Canadian Deaf communities to secure the recognition of the federal government of the role of American Sign Language (ASL), Langue de Signe Quebecois (LSQ) and Indigenous Sign Languages in the lives of Deaf Canadians,” Dr. Weber said.

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New resources aim to help teachers, students build hope during the pandemic

A new project from University of Alberta researchers is helping bring the power of hope to schools during the pandemic. Working with teachers from Edmonton’s public and Catholic school divisions, researchers in the Faculty of Education and one of its research units, Hope Studies Central, have co-developed hope-focused activities that teachers can blend into the existing classroom curriculum.

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Education researchers probe patron-perpetrated sexual harassment of library workers

Danielle Allard and Tami Oliphant, professors in the School of Library and Information Studies, characterize patron-perpetrated sexual harassment of library workers as an invisible problem—so invisible that when they conducted an environmental scan of research on the topic, they found almost no research about it in their field. And it’s so prevalent a problem that a survey they sent to library workers across Canada received more than 500 responses, describing harassing behaviours that ranged from inappropriate comments on physical appearance and demands for personal information to sexual assault.

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Comics and the dreamy, anxious underworld of teacher education

The iconic image of a student staring out the classroom window daydreaming of anything but the lesson at hand might be a reality that teachers try to avoid. David Lewkowich, a professor of Secondary Education, doesn’t see these moments as a distraction but as an important part of what is happening in the classroom.

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Education professor gives future teachers Black history lessons they can take to their own classrooms

Elementary Education professor Kathy Robinson drew on the talents of fellow professors, sessional instructors, grad students and non-academic staff to create a series of brief profiles featuring key figures and events in Black Canadian history.

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Arts-based education helps Indigenous youth see themselves as leaders

Getting teens to picture themselves as tomorrow’s leaders can be a big ask, but making it playful can spark their excitement. That’s what happened when University of Alberta drama educator Diane Conrad got together with 40 Indigenous youths for a weekend workshop that had them moving their bodies to share their ideas, and then bringing those thoughts to life in a comic book.

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Concussions affect elite athletes’ mental health, new study suggests

“Athletes get injured all the time and they have to deal with the stress of that,” said Martin Mrazik, a concussion researcher in the Department of Educational Psychology. “As we do more research, we want to know if these psychological outcomes from brain injuries are different from psychological outcomes from injuries in general."

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