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Centre for Urban Schooling

Centre Associate Team


Indigo Esmonde | Joseph Flessa | Kathleen Gallagher | Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez | Lance McCready | David Montemurro | Alan SilvermanNicole West-Burns


Indigo Esmonde, PhD

Research Interests:
Indigo Esmonde is an Associate Professor in the department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Professor Esmonde’s research interests are in sociocultural theories of learning, mathematics learning in and outside of schools, and issues of power and identity in learning.

Professor Edmonde is currently Associate Chair, Graduate Studies, in the department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning and is a  member of the Editorial Panel for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education and on the Editorial Board for the Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education.

Recent Publications
Esmonde, I. (2013). “Nobody’s rich and nobody’s poor… it sounds good, but it’s actually not!”: Affluent students learning mathematics and social justice. Journal of the Learning Sciences. Published online first at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10508406.2013.847371
Esmonde, I. & Langer-Osuna, J. (2013). Power in numbers: Student participation in mathematical discussions in heterogeneous spaces. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 44(1), 288-315.
Esmonde, I. (2011). Snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails: Genderism and mathematics education. For the Learning of Mathematics, 31(2), 27-31.
Esmonde, I., & Caswell, B. (2010). Teaching mathematics for social justice in multicultural, multilingual elementary classrooms. Canadian Journal for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education. 10(3), 244-254.
Esmonde, I., Brodie, K., Dookie, L., & Takeuchi, M. (2009). Social identities and opportunities to learn: Student perspectives on group work in an urban mathematics classroom. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education. 2(2), 18-45.

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Joseph Flessa, PhD

Summary of interests: Professor Flessa teaches in (and has coordinated) the graduate programs of Educational Leadership and Policy Program in the Department of Leadership, Higher, and Adult Education.  His research interests include urban educational leadership, urban educational policy and politics, and schooling and inequality. Current projects include a multi-year study of school improvement in high poverty elementary schools in Chile; assessing parental involvement policies for Ontario schools; and professional development for school principals in diverse schooling contexts.

Recent Publications/presentations/ interesting activities
Flessa, Joseph (2014) "Learning from School Leadership in Chile," Canadian and International Education /Education canadienne et internationale: Vol. 43:Iss. 1,Article 2.
Flessa, J. (2012).  Principals as middle managers:School leadership during the implementation of Primary Class Size Reduction in Ontario. Leadership and Policy  in Schools  Vol.11, No.3, pp. 325-343.

Over the past few years Flessa has embarked on more comparative/ international educational research.  During the fall of 2014 he was visiting scholar at the Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile.
Professor Flessa was the invited keynote speaker at the 2014 National Symposium of the Family-School & Community Partnerships Bureau of the Australia Council of State School Organizations in September 2014; also in September 2014 he gave an invited presentation at the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership in Melbourne. In October Professor Flessa was the keynote speaker at the Ciclo Ser Director at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Kathleen Gallagher, PhD

Summary of interests: Applied Theatre and Performance; Qualitative Methodology; Critical Youth Studies; Socio-Spatial Inequality

Recent Publications/presentations/interesting activities:
Gallagher, K. (2014) Why Theatre Matters: Urban Youth, Engagement, and a Pedagogy of the real. Toronto, Buffalo, London: University of Toronto Press.
Gallagher, K. (2011). Roma Refugee Youth and Applied Theatre: Imagining a future vernacular. NJ (National Journal of Drama Australia). 35:1-12.
Gallagher, K. (2014). Poetry, metaphor and performance: literacy as a philosophical act. In J. Rowsell and K. Paul. The Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies
Gallagher, K. A.Wessels and B. Yaman Ntelioglou (2013).‘Listening to the affective life of injustice’: Drama Pedagogy, Race, Identity and Learning. Youth Theatre Journal. 27:7-19.
Gallagher, K., & Wessels, A. (2013) Between the frames: Youth spectatorship and theatre as curated, ‘unruly’ pedagogical space. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. 18(1): 25-43.

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Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández, PhD

Summary of interests: Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, where he is also editor of the journal Curriculum Inquiry and Director of the Centre for Media and Culture in Education. He teaches courses in curriculum theory, the arts in education, and popular culture. His articles have been published in education journals like the Harvard Educational Review, The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, the Review of Educational Research, and the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. His book, The Best of the Best: Becoming Elite at an American Boarding School (Harvard University Press, 2009) is based on a two-year ethnographic study of the lives of students at an elite boarding school in the US. This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (USA), and a Research Training Grant from the Spencer Foundation. He is co-editor of the edited collections Cultural Studies and Education: Perspective on Theory, Methodology, and Practice (with Heather Harding and Tere Sordé-Martí, 2003, Harvard Education Press), Curriculum Work as a Public Moral Enterprise (with James Sears, 2004, Rowman and Littlefield), and most recently, Educating Elites: Class Privilege and Educational Advantage (with Adam Howard, 2010, Rowman & Littlefield). His current research focuses on the experiences of young artists attending specialized arts high schools in cities across Canada and the United States, with support from a Research Grant from SSHRC. He is also the Principal Investigator of Proyecto Latin@, a participatory action research project with Latin youth in the Toronto District Board. His theoretical work focuses on the relationship between creativity and solidarity. He is particularly interested in the creative possibilities that arise from the social and cultural dynamics of urban centers. The movements and encounters that define urban spaces generate particular cultural dynamics with the potential to reshape human relations. He lives in Toronto with his wife Bonnie, and his children, Mercedes Irene, 14 and Alejandro Tomás, 9.

Recent Publications/presentations/interesting activities:
Gaztambide-Fernández, R. (2013). Why the arts don’t do anything: Toward a new vision for cultural production in education. Harvard  Educational Review 83(1), 211-237. [Winner of the 2013 Publication  Award from the Arts Researchers and Teachers Society, Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies]
Gaztambide-Fernández, R., VanderDussen, E, & Cairns, K. (2014). “The mall” and “the plant:” Choice and the classed construction of possible futures in two specialized arts programs. Education and Urban Society,  46(1), 109-134
Gaztambide-Fernández, R. (2011). Musicking in the city: Reconceptualizing urban music education as cultural practice. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, 10(1), 14-45
Translated into Spanish and published as: (2014) “Musiqueando” en la ciudad: Re-Conceptualizando la
educación musical urbana como práctica cultural. Revista Internacional de Educación Musical 2,, 48-63.

Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez has also appeared on TVO's The Agenda discussing different issues related to urban education. Here are the links: Panelist in “Binders full of non-white guests needed?” March 11, 2013, http://ww3.tvo.org/video/189089/binders-non-white-guests-needed

Panelist in “Is specialized education fair?” February 6, 2012,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gk8-5G8EPw

Interview, “Latin American Dropout Rate” February 18, 2011. http://www.tvo.org/TVO/WebObjects/TVO.woa?videoid?794531951001
Panelist in “The Debate: What you bring, or what you get?” February 2, 2011. http://www.tvo.org/TVO/WebObjects/TVO.woa?videoid?776132974001

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Lance McCready, PhD

Summary of interests:  Lance T. McCready, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Urban Education in the department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education (LHAE), Adult Education and Community Development program (AECD)  at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (OISE/UT). He is an interdisciplinary social scientist whose research, writing activism and service focus on youth, education and health promotion in schools and community organizations. He has a strong interest in working with marginalized and racialized populations of men and boys.

Lance is Principal Investigator of Educational Trajectories of Young Black Men in Canadian Urban Centres, an exploratory study of young black men’s perceptions of schooling, work and postsecondary educational attainment in Canadian urban centres and Connected Communities of African/Caribbean/Black Men: A Strengths-Based Research Program. He is Co-Principal Investigator of an evaluation of the Impact of Black CAPs Revised 3MV Intervention on BMSM Youth in Toronto. He also serves as Co-Investigator on studies of 1) How the use of Internet and mobile-apps for socio-sexual purposes affect young gay men’s knowledge and risk perceptions of HIV/AIDS, their sexual behaviours, and access to and uptake of prevention and care services, 2) The Influence of Internet Communication Technologies on Experiences of Resiliency for Sexual Minority Youth, 3) Experiences of Black Fathers in Toronto, 4) School-Community Programs for Vulnerable Boys. His first book, Making Space for Diverse Masculinities, is one of the one of the only book-length critical ethnographies written about the experiences of gay and gender non-conforming Black male youth in urban secondary schools.  

Recent Publications/presentations/interesting activities:
Craig, S.L. McInroy, L. McCready, L., Di Cesare, D., & Pettaway, L (2014). Connecting without fear: clinical implications of the consumption of information and communication technologies by sexual minority youth and young adults. Clinical Social Work.
McCready, L. T. and Mosely, P. (2014). Black queer teachers and Black teacher education. In Y. Sealey-Ruiz and C. Lewis (eds.) Teacher Education and the Black Community: Implications for Access, Equity and Achievement. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
McCready, L. T., James, C., Chavannes, V., Foster, N., Tewelde, Y., Kellen, A. Hay, B., and Eugene, C. (2014). Gathering our voices: The lived experiences of black fathers in Toronto. Toronto, ON: Black Daddies Club.
Blackburn, M. and McCready, L. T. (2013). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning people and issues in urban education. Handbook on Urban Education. Oxford and London: Routledge (pp.129-145).
McCready, L. T. (2013). Queer of colour analysis in education: Interruptions and pedagogic possibilities. Conclusion to special issue on queer of colour knowledge production. Curriculum Inquiry, 43(4), 512-522.
McCready, L. T. (2010). Making space for diverse masculinities: Identity, intersectionality, and engagement in an urban high school (pp. i-140). New York: Peter Lang.

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David Montemurro

Summary of Interests: Internationalization of Initial Teacher Education Critical Global Citizenship Education in Global Cities CRRP in UrbanSchools 

Recent Publications/presentations/ interesting activities:
Learning & Teaching Global Matters in Local Classrooms, Editor

Alan Silverman

Alan Silverman is currently teaching Principles of Teaching in the CTEP program at OISE.


Nicole West-Burns, PhD

Summary of interests: Equity/Anti-Oppressive Education; Black student achievement; Africentric Education; Professional learning connected to issues of equity through collaboration and critical practitioner inquiry

Recent Publications/presentations/interesting activities: 
Current research project in collaboration with Toronto District School Board and related conference presentation in November 2014 at the International Conference on Urban Education: Exploring Critical Consciousness in Toronto’s Urban Classrooms:  A Critical Practitioner Inquiry Approach to Understanding and Improving Black Student Achievement 

Article on beginning teachers engaging in equity work: West-Burns, N., Murray, K. and Watt, J. (2013).
Voices of Equity.  Journal of Staff Development. 34 (6), 34-37.



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