Adolescent Literacy and English Language Arts


Associate Professor, Faculty of Education (Home) and Director,

Coordinator, Curriculum and Pedagogy , Faculty of Education, Graduate Program

Coordinator, Multiliteracies , Faculty of Education, Preservice Program

Centre Researcher, Centre for Education Research & Innovation (CERI) 2010-present

Cross Appointment: Department of Medical Imaging
Affiliate Appointments:
Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research, Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Faculty of Social Science
Health Professions Education, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Graduate Program, Faculty of Health Sciences

Research Associate: Professional Practice, Education and Learning (ProPEL) Stirling University, Stirling, UK.

Research Fellow, Centre for Education Research & Innovation (CERI) 2011-2012

Core Member, Interdisciplinary Network for Scholarship in Professions' Research in Education (INSPiRE)

Research Interests
My research generally focuses on the question, How do our abilities to read 'texts' and to use and understand multimedia/other technologies shape our ability to communicate and learn?
Following 18 years in professional practice, I became curious about the policies, decisions and practices surrounding learning environments that stimulate and engage educators' intellectual curiosity. I am keenly interested in what we, as educators, can achieve in participatory encounters across disciplinary sectors and with our learners.

My work often adopts a sociocultural approach to literacy that first ask 'What is the nature of literacy in this setting' and then critical and feminist approaches that help us to see and understand whose interests are served, what assumptions are at play and the consequences involved. I have been particularly interested in using critical narrative inquiry methodologies along with socio-material constructs to understand the actions produced within a particular setting as people engage in their environments.

Selected Research Projects

A few of the projects I have recently been working on are,

  • leading a 'cloud based' mulitliteracies project investigating opportunities to leverage technology to both tailor curricula to the user and also engage users in knowledge production and new processes to 'assess' literacy (Co-Applicants: Dr. Bill Cope, Dr. Mary Kalantzis Dr. Sharon Rich, Dr. Jennifer Rowsell; Collaborators: Drs. Luigi Iannacci, Robyn Henderson, Brad Melhenbacher, Sothy Khieng );

  • conducted a narrative analysis of the experiences of the first medical responders to the Fukushima nuclear accident; developing a curricular response and working with the responders at Fukushima Medical University to integrate the lessons learned into a reconceptualized 'Science Technology Society' curriculum;
  • collaborated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Division of Human Health (NAHU) to investigate the impact of e-learning and m-learning programs we have developed for member states, funded by the IAEA;
  • investigating how knowledges circulate (patient, family, professional and 'non-human') in a busy clinical setting (Dr. Mark Goldzmidt, Dr. Sandy deLuca, Dr. Noreen Houda, Dr. Lisa Faden and Dr. Tara Fenwick);
  • leading a project investigating Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Supervision, funded by an Education Cluster Grant with collaborators Dr. Lorelei Lingard, Dr. Meredith Vanstone, Dr. Anne Kinsella, Dr. Pam McKenzie & Dr. Tim Wilson;
  • Participating on a team of researchers taking an arts-based approach to understanding surgeon's experiences of difficult surgeries (PI Dr. Sayra Christancho)
  • conducted a narrative analysis of experiences and decisions of cancer patients in Cambodia (Dr. Soveacha Ros, Dr. Rethy Chhem);
  • collaborated with Dr. Roz Stooke (PI) on a Graduate Student Writing research project, funded by the Faculty of Education and the Teaching and Learning Support Centre;
  • led an investigation of scholarship in medical education across Canada with the support of an Academic Development New Research and Scholarly Initiative Award: Major Grant;
  • led an investigation into research methodologies that may better capture multiliteracies through web-based social interaction networks (funded by SSHRC);
  • participating in School Based Mental Health projects to (PI: Susan Rodger, Collaborators, Allan Leschied);
  • participated in RURAL EDUCATION AND LITERACIES (REAL) RESEARCH NETWORK (PI Mike Corbett, Acadia & B. Green, Charles Sturt;).

Past Experiences
Acting Associate Director, Centre for Education Research & Innovation (CERI) 2012-2013
Director of Continuing Teacher Education, Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario.
Director, Centre of Education in Medical Imaging, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario.

In addition to my teaching and research, I have worked with students, instructors and faculty in the fields of education, medicine, health sciences, policing and construction technology to develop pedagogical expertise in both the on-site and virtual environments.

Selected Service:
Appointed Member, Editorial Review Board, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy.

Past President, Language & Literacy Researchers of Canada, 2011-2013

Advisory Panel, Connecting Practice and Research in Literacy, Ministry of Education and Training, Ontario

Prior to entering the University setting in 2000, I worked in a school system for sixteen years. My teaching experience, in addition to teaching in the 'regular' classroom setting spanning all grades, included:

  • FSL
  • Self-contained Behaviour Class
  • Self-contained 'Mixed Exceptionalities'
  • Itinerant Learning Resource Teacher (Early Years to Intermediate) Inclusive model
  • Central Office Program Staff with profile including "Giftedness"

Faculty of Education,
University of Western Ontario
1137 Western Rd. London, ON
N6G 1G7
Office: 1030
519 661-2111, x. 88557
email: khibbert [at] uwo [dot] ca
Twitter: @khibbert, @Salty_Chip
Skype: kathyhibbert
The Salty Chip Blog (

The WORDLE has been created from my dissertation: Examining Enunciative Space in an Online Community of Practice