Adolescent Literacy and English Language Arts


Associate Professor, Faculty of Education (Home)
Centre Researcher, Centre for Education Research & Innovation (CERI) 2010-present

Acting Associate Director, Centre for Education Research & Innovation (CERI) 2012-2013

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 interests include the 'scholarship of teaching and learning' (Boyer, 1990), the pedagogy of multiliteracies (The New London Group, 2000) communities of professional practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991), and the pedagogical potential of e-learning and mobile technologies. In particular, my interests lie in looking at 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 with learners. I am interested in sociocultural approaches 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.

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 (with Dr. Sharon Rich, Dr. Jennifer Rowsell, Dr. Bill Cope, Dr. Mary Kalantzis and collaborator Dr. Luigi Iannacci);

  • conducting 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;
  • collaborating 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;
  • partnering on a project 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)
  • conducting a narrative analysis of experiences and decisions of cancer patients in Cambodia (Dr. Soveacha Ros, Dr. Rethy Chhem);
  • collaborating 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;
  • leading an investigation of scholarship in medical education across Canada with the support of an Academic Development New Research and Scholarly Initiative Award: Major Grant;
  • leading 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);
  • participating in RURAL EDUCATION AND LITERACIES (REAL) RESEARCH NETWORK (PI Mike Corbett, Acadia & B. Green, Charles Sturt;).

Past Experiences
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.

Negotiating Literacy Learning: Multimodality and Governmentality

Available July 16, 2015!

ImageHamilton, M., Heydon, R., Hibbert, K. & Stooke, R. (Eds). (2015). Negotiating spaces for literacy: Multimodality and governmentality. London, UK: Bloomsbury.

This volume addresses two strong currents that are sweeping through the contemporary educational field. The first is the opening up of possibilities for multimodal communication as a result of developments in digital technologies and the sensitivity to multiliteracies. The second is the increasing “governing” of their teaching and the imposition of inappropriate testing regimes, with the resulting narrowing of opportunities for diverse expressions of literacy; curricular and pedagogical practices are being pulled out of alignment with the everyday informal practices and the interests of teachers and learners within education.

Bringing together an international team of scholars to examine the tensions and struggles that result from the current educational climate, the book provides a much-needed discussion of the intersection of technologies of literacies, education and self. It does so through diverse approaches, including philosophical, theoretical and methodological treatments of multimodality and governmentality, and a range of literacies - early years, primary, workplace, digital, middle, secondary school, indigenous, adult and place. With a range of examples throughout education and in different parts of the world, the book allows readers to explore a range of multimodal practices and the ways in which governmentality plays out across domains. - See more at:


“Deeply political and richly illustrated across different populations and varied settings, Negotiating Spaces for Literacy Learning is an engaging collection that features cutting-edge research by international scholars. By pushing and expanding fields in literacy studies like multimodality, the editors and chapter authors couple multimodal theory with theoretical frameworks like actor network theory to complicate the contemporary field of literacy education. Read this edited book and you will appreciate how much the field of multimodality and multiliteracies has moved on.” – Jennifer Rowsell, Canada Research Chair, Brock University, Canada

“In Negotiating Spaces for Literacy Learning an all-star cast discusses the tensions between liberation and control in the digital age. This is the deepest discussion of multimodality and multiliteracies to date.” – James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies and Regents' Professor, Arizona State University, USA

The Salty Chip: A Canadian Multiliteracies' Collaborative

This 'Multiliteracies' Collaborative has been developed in response to working with teachers and students as co-researchers over a number of years, at a time when our understanding of literacy has broadened to include 'texts' that go beyond the dominant print literacy to viewing literacies as plural, complex, social and cultural practices. In this multiliteracies' collaborative, we are interested in collectively sharing and better understanding how teachers and students create meaning in the context of using multiliteracies' activities in pursuit of learning. In many ways it is a learning ecosystem; its growth is dependent upon the community that engage with it.

The Salty Chip is a space for teachers and students to share and build upon their work as they develop their use of multiliteracies. It seeks to capture cultural and linguistic diversity and to make use of new and emerging communication technologies that consider pedagogy in a participatory culture. Students and teachers produce and exchange multimodal uses of text at home or at school (sound, text, images, video or combinations). Tags and categories allow users to design, upload, download, modify, and redesign their multiliteracy 'activities-in-use'. The community 'upvotes' the best, supporting ongoing improvement and refinement of our knowledge and use of multiliteracies and their possibilities.

Follow our activities on Twitter: @Salty_Chip
or on our blog:

The Salty Chip

Check it out!
I gratefully acknowledge the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Image Text Sound and Technology (SSHRC ITST) award, and the Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario for funding this project.
Principal Investigator: Dr. K. Hibbert, University of Western Ontario
Collaborators: Dr. M. Katchebaw, University of Western Ontario
Dr. Jennifer Jenson, York University

I also wish to thank the creative students, teachers, faculty and tech teams I have had the privilege of working with over many years. Together, we have learned new ways of making meaning.

ATM Confessions: Curriculum project aimed to support financial literacy learning

Frustrated and dissatisfied with the haphazard and unfocused curriculum development in the financial literacy field, we asked, ‘in what ways are our youth engaging in learning outside of school, and how might we tap into that momentum?’ The resource that emerged, ATM Confessions: A Financial Literacy Library, sprang organically from the interactions, discussions, and debates of a research and development partnership between The Investor Education Fund (IEF) the Faculty of Education at The University of Western Ontario (UWO) over a five-year period. Positioning students and teachers as collaborators at the center of the research and development process allowed us to get to the heart of what would engage the populations we were seeking to help. The resulting curriculum project is a culmination of numerous digital learning objects which we developed and leveraged within a social networking system designed around the metaphor of an ATM machine. Access to the resources is available to anyone, with special supports built in for teachers who register and make use of the materials with their classrooms. You can access the ATM Financial Literacy Library at:

ATM Confessions: A Financial Literacy Library
You can review the full story of this curriculum project in Education Canada's
special themed issue: Innovation: Challenging the Status Quo published in November 2009, 'Online ATM Helps Youth Smarten Up About Spending'.

Principal Investigator: Kathy Hibbert

Thank you to the extraordinary efforts of our team over the years:

Curriculum and Learning Object Development: Liz Coulson, PhD
Flash Development: Mary Lynne Snedden, HiLight Design
IT Management, Colin Couchman, Graham Newbigging
Faculty: Sharon Rich, PhD, George Gadanidis, PhD.
Staff Support: Barron Mertens, John Routledge, Ruth Heard, Daryn Bee
Research Assistants: Courtney Riley, Eben Schaeffer, CJ Callaghan

and our partners at the Investor Education Fund, in particular
Chris Allum, Investor Education Specialist
Tom Hamza, President, Investor Education Fund

Shackleton's Expedition, 100 Years Later

Descendants of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton and his courageous team are currently retracing the 1908 'Nimrod' Expedition that saw Shackleton's group come to within 97 m of the South Pole. The group is intent upon finishing the job that their ancestors began, while raising funds for the foundation in Shackleton's name and celebrating the team's achievements.

Shackleton is widely recognized as one of the most inspirational leaders of all time. The Shackleton Foundation has been established in his name with a mission "to support individuals of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds who exemplify the spirit of Sir Ernest Shackleton: inspirational leaders wishing to "make a difference", in particular to the less advantaged". For more information, see

You can follow the groups' movements at

The Shackleton family motto is Fortitudine Vincimus, 'By endurance we conquer'.

Kathy (Shackleton) Hibbert

Engaging Reflection in Health Professional Education and Practice

Under the leadership of Dr. Anne Kinsella, our group has sought $20,000 Aid to Research workshops and conferences (supplemental list). This inaugural interdisciplinary conference calls together scholars interested in advancing knowledge and scholarship about the place of "reflection" in health professional education and practice. Those who work in the field perceive a widespread need for a scholarly community that brings interdisciplinary groups together to exchange knowledge and to think together about pressing issues and key questions for advancing the field. This conference is a first step in that direction.

Please view the website for this conference at:

Collaborators on this SSHRC application are Bartlett, D. Bryant, L. Deluca, S. Ferguson, K. Goldszmidt, M., Hibbert, K. Hinds, J.,Hobson, S.,Jenkins, K., Kirkwood, K., Leipert, B., Lucy, D., Magalhaes, L., Ng, S., Orchard, C., Pitman, A., Vanstone, M., Wedlake, M.

Interdisciplinary Initiative, University of Western Ontario

Under the leadership of Dr. Anne Kinsella and Dr. Allan Pitman, our group of interdisciplinary scholars was awarded $91,400 to establish a Network for the Interdisciplinary Scholarship of Professional Education.

The aim of this interdisciplinary initiative is to foster an intellectual community and interdisciplinary network for the scholarship of professional education. The initiative adds value by creating opportunities for researchers and graduate students across fields to interact and exchange knowledge. The project aims to: (a) break down silos by creating opportunities to interact across disciplines, (b) identify scholars and graduate students in the field through the development of a virtual network and community of practice, and (c) build capacity for researchers and graduate students to advance knowledge and contribute to the scholarship of professional education.

A partnership between the Faculties of Education, the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and The Faculty of Health Sciences is proposed, with the potential involvement of other faculties over time. This proposal complements the work of various groups at Western, such as the Continuing Teacher Education Program, the Office of Interprofessional Health Education and Research, The Group for the Advancement and Advocacy of Medical and Dental Education Scholarship, The Centre for Education in Diagnostic, Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, The Clinical Education Advisory Group, and graduate programs in The Faculty of Education and n Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (Health Professional Education Field) among others.

Collaborators on this project are MacMillan, B., Chhem, R., Hibbert, K., Goldszmidt, M., Orchard, C., Wamsley, K., Nisker, J., Bartlett, D., DeLuca, S., Kirkwood, K., Van Deven, T.

Academic Development Fund: New Research and Scholarly Initiative Major Grant

On May 1, 2008 I was awarded an Academic Development Fund: New Research and Scholarly Initiative Major Grant to allow the work completed in the Centre for Education, Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry to be expanded across Canada.

Imaging research is increasingly integral to health care, drug discovery, cell biology and other life sciences. The demand for imaging services has increased exponentially - a trend that promises to continue. These pressures require innovative responses within the education and training of imaging professionals of the future. Recognizing the growing need to do things differently, a partnership was formed at Western between the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry’s Department of Medical Imaging, and the Faculty of Education. The ‘Centre for Education in Medical Imaging' was charged with the mandate to strengthen curriculum design and implementation, support and guide the art of teaching, and advance educational scholarship in medical imaging education. Over the past year, a pilot research project yielded an in-depth needs assessment of the department and investigated the ways in which scholarship is currently institutionalized. This grant has allowed us to continue that research across Canada.

Dr. Kathy Hibbert
Dr. Rethy Chhem and Dr. Teresa Van Deven

Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Image, Text, Sound & Technology (ITST)

In the Spring of 2008, I was awarded a SSHRC ITST grant for the project,
Money matters: Advancing adolescent financial literacy on their terms. The funding will allow us to build upon work I have been doing for the past four years with the non-profit group, the Investor Education Fund, aimed at improving students' access to engaging financial literacy.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Kathy Hibbert
Collaborators: Dr. Mike Katchabaw, UWO
Dr. Jennifer Jenson, York University
I would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Liz Coulson, PhD Candidate, UWO, who has worked diligently as a Research Assistant with me in this area for a number of years.

Adolescent Literacy and English Language Arts

On July 1 2008, I began a tenure track position as Assistant Professor, Adolescent Literacy and English Language Arts. I am interested in looking at ways in which we can engage adolescent learners, classroom teachers and faculty in literacy projects that allow us to further develop a pedagogy of multiliteracies. After visiting Southeast Asia, in particular, Cambodia, I have developed a keen interest in how we might collectively engage in projects with underdeveloped countries, leveraging the approaches afforded through technology in ways that serve to enhance the richness that reciprocity offers.

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