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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Headshot of Alyson King

Alyson E. King
PhD

Assistant Professor

Director

Political Science
Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Developing pathways to a positive educational experience for underrepresented students.



  • PhD - History of Higher Education University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education 1999
  • MA - History of Education University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education 1993
  • BA - Canadian History & International Relations University of Toronto 1987

Education Interrupted: Learning Careers of Adults Living with Mental Illness

European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA) Access, Learning Careers and Identities Network Conference  Seville, Spain

2015-11-25


Participation and Persistence: An Analysis of Immigrant Visible-Minority Students at UOIT

ESREA Access, Learning Careers and Identities Network Conference  Seville, Spain

2015-11-25


Is Knowledge Power? An Exploration of an Historical Normative Framework for Literacy Policy, Adult Education and the Economy in Canadian Communities

The University of Warwick Lifelong Learning Annual Conference  Coventry, England

2015-06-29


Keep Stop Start: Assessing a Supported Education Program for Persons Living with Mental Illness

Hawaii International Conference on Education  Honolulu, Hawaii

2015-01-05


Supported Adult Literacy Education for Persons Living with Mental Illness: Quality of Life and Social Implications

Canadian Association for Studies in Adult Education Annual Meeting  Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario

2014-05-24


Helping them Help Themselves: A Case Study of OSSEP

Grand Rounds  Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, 2014


Minority Students @ UOIT: A Classroom Perspective on Issues of Retention, Panel Discussion: Current Practices and Future Directions: Supporting Marginalized Students in the Universities

Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education Annual Meeting  University of Victoria, British Columbia

2013-06-04


The Economy and Beyond: The Benefits of Lifelong Literacy

Canadian Association for Studies in Adult Education  University of Victoria, British Columbia

2013-06-02


Panel Facilitator and Commentator: New Directions in the History of Indigenous Education/Nouvelles orientations en histoire de l'éducation autochtone

Canadian Historical Association Annual Meeting  University of Victoria, British Columbia

2013-06-03


Jobs, Professions or Knowledge? Creating a New University in a Time of Political and Economic Conservatism

Canadian Society for Studies in Higher Education, Annual Meeting  Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario

2012-05-01

A Community College with Ivory Tower Pretensions: Creating a University Identity

Published in Canadian Journal of Higher Education April 1, 2016

The ways in which a new university, Ontario Tech University, was represented in local, regional, and national newspapers highlight the difficulties of identity creation for organizations. Drawing on theories of organizational identity and supplemented by interviews with Ontario Tech University's founding members, a qualitative analysis of newspaper articles about Ontario Tech University published between 2001 and 2004 demonstrates that the words and phrases used in these articles played an important role in establishing an image of UOIT that continues to impact its identity. These news reports also illustrate the complex relationships that existed between Ontario Tech University and its geographical, educational, and political contexts. Although Ontario Tech University was founded as a four-year baccalaureate degree-granting university, it was linked with its well-established neighbour, Durham College, with which it shared land and services. As a result, Ontario Tech University was viewed by some as no more than a “community college with ivory tower pretensions.”

View more - A Community College with Ivory Tower Pretensions: Creating a University Identity

Adventurous Children: Creating a Canadian Identity in Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids™

Published in Canadian Review of Comparative Literature / Revue Canadienne de Littérature Comparée March 1, 2016

There has been much written on what constitutes a Canadian identity, with no consensus or conclusion. I take a social constructivist perspective that what it means to be Canadian is something that is continuously evolving, and changes depending on geographic place, historical era, and personal background. In the case of Kayak magazine, adults, mainly men, are interpreting what it means to be Canadian and communicating that idea in ways that those adults believe will appeal to children. What is not known is how the child readers are interpreting and responding to that portrayal of Canada and Canadian identity. With a target audience of children aged 7 to 12 years, Deborah Morrison, President of Canada’s National History Society and publisher of The Beaver: Canada’s History Magazine, argues that Kayak is intended to speak “with the voice of the next generation and [be] unabashedly Canadian” (28); however, what constitutes being Canadian is not elaborated upon.

View more - Adventurous Children: Creating a Canadian Identity in Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids™

Exploring Identity and Multiliteracies Through Graphic Narratives

Published in Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education January 28, 2015

In a first-year, university-level communication course that examined issues of race, ethnicity, postcolonialism, diaspora, and coming-of-age using different points of view and modes of communication, students created graphic novel-style auto-ethnographies to reflect on their experiences with diaspora and identity creation. The assignment was an experiment in the use of a different pedagogical tool that pushed participants to move beyond the parameters of the traditional academic literacy afforded by a research essay. The themes of diaspora and coming-of-age were intended to speak to as many of the students as possible. For some, the two themes coincided, since several students were forced to grow up quickly when they immigrated to Canada as children or teens alone or with family. For instructors, these diverse experiences form the often invisible backdrop to any classroom.

View more - Exploring Identity and Multiliteracies Through Graphic Narratives

From the “Damsel in Distress” to Girls' Games and Beyond: Gender and Children's Gaming

Published in IGI Global January 1, 2014

In this chapter of the book Gender Considerations and Influence in the Digital Media and Gaming Industry, the authors critically assess the gendered nature of the products developed by the computer gaming industry. The chapter takes a historiographical approach to examining the nature of children's video and computer games as a type of toy that immerses children into current gender stereotypes even as they hold the potential for social change. New ways of bridging the gap between stereotypes and change are explored through a virtual world for children.

View more - From the “Damsel in Distress” to Girls' Games and Beyond: Gender and Children's Gaming

Helping Them Help Themselves: Supported Adult Education for Persons Living With Mental Illness

Published in The Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education November 1, 2014

This case study of the Ontario Shores Supported Education Program (OSSEP) illustrates the importance of a hospital-based education program for adult learners living with mental illness, and its impact on participants’ quality of life and hopes for the future. The findings demonstrate that supported education programs catering to the needs of adults living with mental illness have the potential to not simply provide skills for future employment, but to more broadly improve participants’ ability to manage daily life, increase self-confidence, and improve rehabilitation efforts. With ongoing cuts to community-based adult education programs, this research indicates the importance of ensuring specialized supported education programs are introduced and maintained for persons living with mental illness.

View more - Helping Them Help Themselves: Supported Adult Education for Persons Living With Mental Illness

Winners and Losers: Literacy and Enduring Labour Market Inequality in Historical Perspective

Published in Revue Interventions économiques February 13, 2013

In Ontario, job growth and economic prosperity have been linked to the knowledge-based economy (KBE), which is looked to as a panacea that will ultimately benefit the majority of the population. We argue, however, that there are a select few who are KBE “winners” and far more KBE “losers.” Literacy (or multiliteracies), defined broadly to include print, digital and visual literacies, and numeracy, is a major factor in the ability of individuals to access the labour market and the KBE in a truly meaningful way. The need for labour market-relevant literacy training policies, and the connection of literacy to the history of systemic privilege, power and labour market accessibility has been well identified by research but are not part of accepted policy practice. This research, along with the policy disconnect, is the focus of this paper.

View more - Winners and Losers: Literacy and Enduring Labour Market Inequality in Historical Perspective

Cartooning History: Canada's Stories in Graphic Novels

Published in The History Teacher February 1, 2012

In recent years, historical events, issues, and characters have been portrayed in an increasing number of non-fiction graphic texts. Similar to comics and graphic novels, graphic texts are defined here as fully developed, non-fiction narratives told through panels of sequential art. Such non-fiction graphic texts are being used to teach history in Canada and the U.S. following a trend in using images to allow students to see history in pictures.

View more - Cartooning History: Canada's Stories in Graphic Novels

Diversities of Resilience: Understanding the Strategies for Success Used by Underrepresented Students in Canadian Universities ($135,794)

SSHRC Partnership Development Grant April 1, 2016

As principal investigator of this collaborative two-year project with researchers from Ontario Tech University, Mount Saint Vincent University, the University of Winnipeg, and the University of the Fraser Valley, Dr. King's team will examine how underrepresented post-secondary students from across Canada are able to be successful in persisting to graduation.

Increasing Literacies Through Supported Education and Policies of Inclusion ($169,389)

SSHRC Insight Grant April 1, 2016

Dr. King is a co-investigator on this five-year research project with Ontario Tech University faculty to examine supported education programs for adults at psychiatric hospitals across Canada.

Participation and Persistence: An Analysis of Immigrant Visible-Minority Students at UOIT ($2908)

Ontario Tech University SSHRC Small Research Grant Program January 1, 2014

Dr. King is the principal investigator on this collaborative research project with Ontario Tech University faculty which strives to understand the prevailing facilitative factors (both structural and individual) that help immigrant visible minority university students to succeed.

Academic Integrity Project ($17,222)

Ontario Tech University Teaching Innovation Fund Grant January 1, 2014

This applied research project aims to develop new resources and tools for Ontario Tech University's academic integrity website; to create learning modules, quizzes, teaching assignments and activities, and case studies to assist in teaching the fundamentals of academic integrity at Ontario Tech University.

Supported Literacy Education for Persons Living with Mental Illness: Exploring Economic and Social Implications ($50,926)

SSHRC Insight Development Grant January 1, 2013

Dr. King is co-investigator of this two-year research project with Ontario Tech University faculty involving a case study of the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, in Whitby, Ontario. The aim is to understand the social, economic and political implications of low literacy skills for people living with mental illness.

Canadian Society for Studies in Higher Education

Canadian Historical Association

Ontario Women's History Network

Canadian History of Education Association

  • Mobilizing for Change (POSC 2300U)
    Students taking this course will learn about the major controversies and issues in the study of social movements and contentious politics. Different types of social movements will be explored as well as their origin, emergence and organization within the context of community/collective action. Emphasis will be placed on community leadership and the ability to prepare and aid in future social movements (online/conventional). The course content will give examples to students on how to best translate theory and policy into sustainable practice.
  • Political Economy of Global Development (POSC 3100U)
    Students taking this course will learn to analyze the social, economic, and political facets that underlie the dynamics and policies of international development. Furthermore, students will gain an in-depth knowledge of the history of international monetary and trade relations that encompass contemporary efforts to advance developing countries and cities. Special attention in the course content will be paid to changes in both political and corporate ideology, as well as financial regulations and monetary relations over the last forty years.