As an academic in a professional school of education my work involves research, writing and teacher education at the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as working with/in the community to understand and enhance early literacy teaching and learning.
Since 1993 I have engaged in collaborative action research with other scholars, parents, teachers and community literacy workers to understand more clearly what it is that mothers do to educate their children with/in literate communities, and to examine and enhance the literacy work that professionals and para-professionals do with families.
This ongoing research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council , The Literacy Secretariat and Health Canada, has been disseminated through the normal academic channels with conference presentations and articles co-authored with professionals and mothers, The pig's tale, for example. It has also given rise to the development of 'texts' for public and para/professional audiences- such as interactive quilt exhibit, and the Parenting for a Literate Community Program.
Some of my most rewarding work has been in the evaluation of programs for parents and children. Working as an evaluation consultant within a model of participatory evaluation, I help parents and para-professionals plan, implement, interpret and disseminate the results from the evaluation of their community based programs. Through this work I am able to see, with ever deepening admiration, the intelligence, thoughtfulness, strength and determination which so called at risk populations' bring to the education and care of their young children.
Research and development with/in the community has given me new perspectives on how the politics of exclusion work, and prompted me to seek a greater emphasis in UNB's teacher education program on home-school literacy connections and maternal thought and practice. This led my developing two courses for primary school teachers: Connecting Home and Schooled Literacies, and Parental Involvement in Schooling, as well as my involvement in the development of the recently established graduate program, Critical studies in education.
Presently I am: teaching Connecting Home and Schooled Literacies on-line
to a group of experienced teachers in Trinidad and Tobego - a wonderfully
educative experience for me; writing a book for children and parents;
co-authoring a chapter with Leslie Allan for the National Foundational
Training Manual for Family Literacy Practitioners, and, continuing to
research community based literacy work with practitioners from the field
and a colleague, Dr. Pam Whitty, in a project entitled E/Merging Literacies
of Home, Family, and Community: Valuing the Literacies of Community Workers
and Mothers . More information about my research and publications can
be found on this site.