Research Team

Nicholas NG-A-Fook

Dr. Nicholas Ng-A-Fook is a Full Professor and Vice-Dean of Graduate Studies. He is the former Director of the Teacher Education and Indigenous Teacher Education Programs at the Faculty of Education. He is actively engaged in addressing the 94 Calls to Action put forth by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in partnership with local Indigenous and school board communities. His teaching and research are situated within the wider international field of curriculum studies. As a curriculum theorist, he draws on different life writing research methodologies—autobiography, ethnography, oral history, and narrative inquiry—to co-create, support, and sustain culturally responsive, relevant, and relational curriculum with school leaders and teachers who seek to serve their different communities. He is a Past-President of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, the largest research association in Canada. For his ongoing service to his field of study, in 2018 he received the Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies Ted. T. Aoki Distinguished Service Award. He is the co-editor for the University of Ottawa Press Education Series.

Dr. Nicholas Ng-A-Fook is the Principal Investigator of the Curriculum Theory Project research team.

To view CV with full list of publications, please click here.

Emma Barrett

Emma is an MA candidate in the Faculty of Education at uOttawa.

Emma graduated with an Honours BMus from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a BEd from The University of Western Ontario. Their research will focus on how gender inequality is represented in French-language instruction across education systems, and how current language use and practice fail to represent not only women, but also many gender non-conforming people in the LGBTQ2S+ community. They will examine recent efforts to bring about gender justice through neutral and inclusive French language, and how to best incorporate language evolution into the classroom.

Mark T. S. Currie

Mark T. S. Currie is a SSHRC-funded PhD Candidate in Education focusing his research on sociohistorical geographies and enacting antiracisms. His doctoral examines how the Ontario Black History Society’s walking tour in downtown Toronto acts as an educational tool for engaging and (re)shaping sociohistorical spaces as antiracist geographies. As a part-time professor, he has taught courses in teacher education on History education teaching methods and at the graduate level on conducting research in education. Mark has contributed and continues to contribute to SSHRC-funded research teams: Developing mobile media spaces for civic engagement in urban priority schools (Insight Grant); Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future (Partnership Grant); and Bâtir des liens: Mobiliser les histoires autochtones pour le changement social | Building Connections: Mobilizing Indigenous Histories for Social Change (Connections Grant). He is also the Graduate Student Representative with the Canadian History of Education Association (CHEA) and a member of the editorial team for the Journal of the Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies (JCACS). Mark holds a Master of Arts in Island Studies from the University of Prince Edward Island, for which he investigated postcolonial education and cultural identity on the Caribbean island of Dominica. He also achieved a Master of Teaching from Griffith University, for which he conducted action research on in-class student motivation in a secondary school in Cape Town, South Africa.

SSHRC Project: Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future as Research Assistant.

Melissa Daoust

Melissa Daoust is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. She has taught and continues to work alongside Mi’gmaq teachers who created and nurtured a land-based kindergarten programme. Her Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Fonds de Recherche du Québec- Société et Culture (FRQSC) funded Master’s thesis entitled “Another Brick in the Wall: A Narrative Inquiry Alongside Out-of-Doors Nipugtugewei Kindergarten Teachers” sparked her interest in pursuing her doctoral work on teacher knowledge in teacher education programmes.

SSHRC Project: Indigenizing PostSecondary Curricula with Indigenous Curriculum Specialists: A Pilot Collaborative Study at University of Ottawa as Research Assistant.

Lisa Howell

Lisa is a Canadian of Northern European Descent, and a visitor on the unsurrendered, ancestral lands of the Anishinaabe people in Ottawa. She’s been a teacher with the Western Quebec School Board since 2006, where she has taught and learned from many Anishinaabe, Inuk, and Cree students. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa, where she is also a part-time professor and researcher. Her SSHRC funded doctoral research seeks to deepen our understandings of how teachers might unlearn colonialism through ethical relationality. Lisa is also the lead research assistant on Just because we’re small doesn’t mean we can’t stand tall: Reconciliation education in the elementary school classroom. This SSHRC funded, multi-year project is a collaboration between the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

SSHRC Project: Just because we’re small doesn’t mean we can’t stand tall: Reconciliation education in the elementary classroom as Research Project Manager.

Madelaine McCracken

Madelaine McCracken (she/her) is Red River Métis with family ties to St. Laurent, Manitoba. She is an incoming PhD Graduate Student at the University of Ottawa. She obtained her Master of Education in June 2021 and conducted her Major Research Paper called, “Addressing Truth and Reconciliation: The Caring Society, Professional Learning, and Ontario Social Studies Curricula” under Dr. Nicholas Ng-A-Fook’s guidance and PhD Candidate Lisa Howell’s mentorship. She is conducting First Nations, Métis, and Inuit educational research in ethical partnership with the Caring Society and Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future. Both are SSHRC-funded projects where she is understanding how First Nations, Métis, and Inuit rights, perspectives, and values are represented in provincial and territorial curriculum expectations to support the development of professional learning opportunities for educators across Turtle Island. When she is not busy with research, she works full-time at the Caring Society as their Education and Public Outreach Coordinator. Madelaine is a determined advocate for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students of all ages.

SSHRC Project: Just because we’re small doesn’t mean we can’t stand tall: Reconciliation education in the elementary classroom as Research Assistant.

Nyein Mya

Nyein (she/her) is a PhD student at the University of Ottawa’s Education faculty. She has completed her BA at the University of Saskatchewan, and MEd at the University of Ottawa. In addition to her doctoral studies, Nyein has a professional background in teaching in LINC ESL education and language learning via VR and AI. Her research interests include “Canadian” citizenship, settlement and integration experiences, and immigrant and refugee identities in English language learning classrooms.

Patrick Philips

Patrick is a PhD student within uOttawa’s Faculty of Education. His Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded research focuses on unsettling colonial consciousness within educational research practices, re-imagining what scholarship might look like at the nexus of curriculum studies and futurity, data science and digital humanities, visualization and arts-based methods, and the difficult but vital work of unlearning what it means to live in and as data through listening to the lessons of Indigenous voices and relational ethics — and so what it means for non-Indigenous scholars to engender reconciliatory research and teaching within bodies and institutions that remain bound to colonial logics and reward structures.

Patrick further supports the uOttawa team within the national, SSHRC-funded Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future project, which seeks to understand how Canadian teacher education and its scholarship has or has not responded to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, including teachers’ roles in changing or maintaining Canada’s historical consciousness.

Patrick maintains a post-secondary teaching practice as a part-time instructor at uOttawa, continuing over a decade of commitment to service through teaching. He also maintains his own art practice in symbiosis with his thinking, writing, and everyday life.

SSHRC Project: Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future as Research Project Manager.

Bahareh Samsami

Bahareh Samsami is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education, at the University of Ottawa. She obtained her Master of Education in 2018 and Master of Health Professions Education in 2020. Bahareh has working experience in teaching and training in both adult learners and international students. She is a third-party assessor and training developer for various private career colleges, private health organizations, and training institutions across Canada. In addition, she provides online training consultations to various private companies. She is currently working as a program advisor at the Centre on Diversity and Inclusion/ Treasury Board of Canada for the Management Development Program. She also has been invited to become part of the Service Canada team for evaluating and assessing the CCPD program to analyze the curriculum gaps.

* A special thanks to former members of the research team: Aaron Sardinha Drake, Hembadoon Iyortyer, Carol Lee and Mélissa Villella.