Dr. Avril Aitken » Faculty

Dr. Avril Aitken » Faculty

Dr. Avril Aitken

Full Professor
Phone: 819-822-9600 ext. 2657
Photo of Dr. Avril Aitken

B.Ed., M.Ed. (McGill), Ph.D. (Ottawa)

My work involves theorizing curriculum in teacher education, engaging in collaborative inquiry with educators in rural and remote communities, and inquiring into the identity-making venture of teachers – in particular its implications for the self, others, and change. I seek to understand the place of teacher education curricula in addressing critical global issues and in promoting democratic, diverse and sustainable communities.

Among other courses, I teach the final year Interdisciplinary Integrative Course; this involves future teachers in drawing on their previous learning experiences in the program and collaboratively considering the transformational possibilities of their practice, particular when framed in relation to social and environmental justice, equity, and sustainability.

I have a long relationship with the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach, with whom I worked as an educator for 16 years. Since 1997 I have collaborated with community members and the local school team on the Naskapi medium of instruction initiative. My interests in sustainable living and in the significance of Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies for teacher education are directly connected to this experience of teaching and collaboration.

I have been working in the School of Education since 2006; before coming to Bishop’s, I collaborated with school and school board teams from across the province of Quebec on a range of initiatives related to changes in policy, program and practice.

Research

Recent research initiatives include:

Individual Investigation:

  • Teaching practica in Indigenous Communities: Understanding the university–community partnership [2014– 2017]

Co-Investigation:

  • Bishop’s and the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach; An exploration of partnerships [2015-2018]
  • Pre-service Teachers’ Responses to Reconciliation – [2016–2018]
  • Pre-service Teachers’ Stories of Identity through Digital Self-portraits – Part II [2012-2014]

Publications

Refereed book chapters

Aitken, A. (accepted) Accounting for the Self: Teacher Education in a Post-Truth and Reconciliation Context. In A. Phelan & W. Pinar (Eds.) Reconceptualizing teacher education world wide: A Canadian contribution to a global challenge. Ottawa: Presses de L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa Press.

Aitken, A., & Radford, L., (accepted) Teaching for Reconciliation: Insights from an Augmented Reality Project – In M. Hanne & A. Kaal (Eds.) Looking both ways: Narrative and Metaphor in Education. UK: Routledge.

Aitken, A. & Radford, L. (accepted) The curriculum theorist in the classroom:  Encountering the self through a framework for socio-environmental equity. In N. Ng-A-Fook, A. Ibrahim, Pinar, W. F., Smith, B., & Hebert, C. (Eds.). Understanding the Tasks of Curriculum Theorists: A Global Manifesto.  London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Aitken, A. & Robinson, L. (in press). “Walking in two worlds” in the plurilingual classroom: Learning from the case of an intergenerational project. In S. Stille & S.M.C. Lau (Eds.) Plurilingual pedagogies: Critical and creative endeavors for equitable language (in) education. Amsterdam: Springer.

Aitken, A. (2017). Remembrance as a Digitally Mediated Practice of Pedagogy. In K. Llewellyn & N. Ng-A-Fook (Eds.) Oral History and Education: Theories, Dilemmas, and Practices (pp. 231-250). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Radford, L. & Aitken, A. (2015) Digital dream-work: Becoming teachers’ stories of trauma. In N. Ng-A-Fook, J. Reis  & A. Ibrahim, (Eds.). Provoking Curriculum Studies: Strong Poetry and the Arts of the Possible in Education (pp. 150–160). NY: Routledge.

Aitken, A. (2013). Finding “stories of identity” through digital self-portraits. In K. Sanford & T. Strong-Wilson (Eds.). The Emperor’s New Clothes?: Issues and Alternatives in Uses of the Portfolio in Teacher Education Programs (pp. 180 – 196). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Aitken, A. (2010). Comprendre le processus de construction identitaire: Une démarche essentielle chez les enseignants. In L. Lafortune, S. Fréchette, N. Sorin, P.A. Doudin, & O. Albanese (Eds.). Approches affectives, métacognitives et cognitives de la compréhension (pp. 183 – 200). Quebec, Presses de l’Université du Quebec.

Aitken, A. & Kreuger, E. (2010). Working within and against governance in Quebec:
Understanding competency evaluation in the field placement. In T. Falkenberg & H. Smits (Eds.). Field experiences in the context of reform of Canadian teacher education programs (2 vols., pp. 67-78). Winnipeg, MB: Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.

Refereed articles in scholarly journals

Aitken, A., & Radford, L. (accepted). Learning to teach for reconciliation in Canada: Potential, resistance and stumbling forward. Teaching and Teacher Education.

Aitken, A. (2015). If Education is the Key to Reconciliation, How Will Professional Development Contribute to Unlocking the Process? Learning Landscapes 9(1), 15-22.

Radford, L. & Aitken, A. (2014). Becoming Teachers’ Little Epics and Cultural Myths — Writ Large in Digital Stories. McGill Journal of Education – Special Issue: “Multimedia in/as Scholarship” 49(3), 641-660.

Aitken, A., & Radford, L. (2012). Aesthetic archives: Pre-service teachers symbolizing experiences through digital storytelling. Journal of the Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies. [Special issue] Volume 10.

Aitken, A. (2010). Becoming an academic: Professional identity on the road to tenure. Journal of Educational Thought. [Special issue] 44(1), 55-68.

Aitken, A. (2008). The novice with expertise: Is there a leadership role for pre-service teachers in times of educational change? Learning Landscapes 1(2), 127-139.

Non-refereed books

Lafortune, L., Prud’homme, L., Sorin, N., Aitken, A., et al. (2011). Manifeste pour une école compétente. Quebec, Presses de l’Université du Quebec. [A collective text of 29 authors representing all universities in Quebec with faculties or schools of education].

Lafortune, L. with Chantale Lepage, Franca Persechino, Kathleen Bélanger and Avril Aitken (2009). A professional accompaniment model for change, Quebec, Presses de l’Université du Quebec.

Lafortune, L. with Chantale Lepage, Franca Persechino, Kathleen Bélanger and Avril Aitken (2009). Guide for accompanying change, Quebec, Presses de l’Université du Quebec.

Lafortune, L. with Chantale Lepage, Franca Persechino and Avril Aitken (2009). Professional competencies for accompanying change, Quebec, Presses de l’Université du Quebec.

Refereed papers presented at scholarly meetings (2008 to present)

Aitken, A. & Young, A. (2014, May 30). Les obstacles et les leviers de croissance pour l’EDD. Concilier Innovation et Planification, AQPERE, 6e colloque écodéveloppement des institutions d’enseignement du Quebec. Université de Sherbrooke, QC.

Strong-Wilson, T., Chang-Kredl, S., Radford, L., Yoder, A., Aitken, A. (2014, May 27). Currere Tales: Returning to the Archive. Borders without Boundaries, CSSE Conference 2014, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON.

Radford, L. & Aitken, A. (2014, May 26). Digital filmmaking, critical incidents and reparation: A theory and practice of teaching and learning. Borders without Boundaries, CSSE Conference 2014, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON.

Aitken, A., & Radford, L., (2014, April 4). Curricular and Pedagogical Possibilities of Digital Filmmaking: Unraveling and Provoking New Forms of Thought for Educators. American Educational Research Association Annual Congress – Philadelphia.

Strong-Wilson, T., Yoder, A., Aitken, A., Chang-Kredl, S., Radford, L. (2014, April 2). Curriculum Matters: On Our Elaborate Detour. American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, 2014, Philadelphia, PA.

Radford, L. & Aitken, A. (2014, April 1). Revelatory Curriculum: Digital Storytelling as Research and Pedagogy in Teacher Education. American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, 2014, Philadelphia, PA.

Bures, E.M., Aitken, A., Beauchamp, C. & Haigh, C. (March, 2014). Approaches to delivering a graduate programme in Education to professionals in diverse locations: From Face-to-face, live courses to a medley of hybrid and distance offerings. Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 2014, Jacksonville, Florida.

Aitken, A., & Radford, L., (2013, June 4). Working the Spaces of Complicated Places and Times: Interdisciplinarity and Sustainability in Teacher Education. @ the Edge, CSSE Conference 2013, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.

Brushwood-Rose, C., Radford, L., & Aitken, A. (2013, June 3). Symposium: Troubling Stories: The Promise and Challenge of Digital Storytelling in Education. @ the Edge, CSSE Conference 2013, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.

Aitken, A., Kreuger, E., Lau, S. M. & Kingsley, J.  (2013, June 2). Collaborative Learning: Teacher Educators and Associate Teachers Act on a Close Reading of Teacher Competencies. @ the Edge, CSSE Conference 2013, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.

Aitken, A., Radford, L. & Young, A. (2013, March 13). Beyond perceived barriers to Education for Sustainable Development among pre-service teachers: A study of curriculum for Teacher Education. The 57th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Educational Society. New Orleans, Louisiana.

Aitken, A., (2013, February 23). Remembrance as a Digitally Mediated Practice of Pedagogy. 6th Biennial Provoking Curriculum: As Strong Poets Conference. University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON.

Aitken, A., & Radford, L., (2013, February 22). Digital Dream-work: Becoming Teachers’ Stories of Trauma. 6th Biennial Provoking Curriculum: As Strong Poets Conference. University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON.

Aitken, A., & Radford, L., (2012, May 26). Learning to teach: Pre-service teachers symbolizing experiences through digital storytelling. Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies Bi-Annual Pre-Conference – Art in Times of Conflict: Curricular Explorations. Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, ON.

Radford, L., Aitken, A., & Karagiosis, N. (2011, October 22). Vulnerable sites and guises: Studies of adult symbolizing experiences in three venues of education. 5th Biennial Provoking Curriculum Conference – Provoking Curriculum Studies as an Aesthetics of Vulnerability. University of Alberta, Edmonton, AL.

Aitken, A. & Robinson, L. (2011, July 1). Inquiring Together: Participatory Action Research for Literacy Learning and Naskapi Language Preservation. BILINGLATAM IV –  De  escuelas y sociedades bilingües a escuelas y sociedades multilingües, interculturales e igualitarias.

Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca. Oaxaca, Mexico. [From schools, bilingual schools and societies to multilingual intercultural schools and egalitarian societies]

Aitken, A. (2011, May 11). Les enseignantes et enseignants associés en action dans le contexte du changement dans la formation à l’enseignement : une professionnalisation de et pour qui? Curiosité, diversité, responsabilité: Le 79e congrès de l’Acfas. Université de Sherbrooke et Université Bishop’s, Sherbrooke, QC.

Aitken, A. (2011, May 1). Pre-service Teachers Grapple with the Role in Promoting a Sustainable Future. The 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Educational Society. Montreal, QC, May 1 – 5.

Aitken, A. & McKenzie, A. (2010, Oct. 22). Naskapi curriculum development – 1997-2010: The challenges, goals, and outcomes of a participatory action research project. The 42nd Algonquian Conference. Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, October 21 – 23.

Aitken, A. & Robinson, L. (2010, Sept. 18). Learning together: Community-based participatory action research for literacy learning and language preservation. First Nations, Lasting Nations: Community and University Partnerships in Indigenous New England. University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, September 18 – 19.

Aitken, A., Kreuger, B., Kingsley, J., Beauchamp, C., & Bures, E. (2010, June 1). Meeting the identified needs of associate teachers in a context of change through collaborative action research. Connected Understanding, CSSE, Concordia University, Montreal, QC.

Aitken, A. & Kreuger, B. (2009). Pages from the Quebec Context: Bishop’s University Works Out the Meaning of Competency Development in the Professional Placement. 3rd Working Conference on Research in Teacher Education in Canada. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, November 5 – 7.

Kingsley, J., Aitken, A., Beauchamp, C., Bures, E., Millington, D. & Orzechowski, R. (2009, Oct. 14) Expanding notions of community in teaching: Six teachers educators develop a conceptual framework for a teacher education program. EDGE Conference: Inspiration and Innovation in Teaching and Teacher Education, St. John’s, October 14 – 16.

Aitken, A. & Lafortune, L. (2009, Oct. 14). Teacher identities under construction: Finding the meanings of success when leading peers through change. EDGE Conference, St. John’s, October 14 – 16.

Lafortune, L. & Aitken, A. (2009, Oct. 14). A Framework of Eight Professional Competencies for Accompanying Change. EDGE Conference, St. John’s, October 14 – 16.

Baker, B. A., Aitken, A. & Hetherington, A. (2009). The Development of an English Proficiency Test for Teacher Certification in Quebec. Language Testing Research Colloquium: Reflecting on 30 Years: Learning, Transparency, Responsibility and Collaboration, Denver, March 17 – 20.

Aitken, A. (2008, June 5). La notion d’identité professionnelle : Comprendre son rapport avec connaissances professionnelles et action. 15th AMSE-AMCE-WAER Conference, Mondialisation et éducation vers une société de la connaissance, Marrakesh, Morocco.

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