This story is published in YFile’s New Faces Feature Issue 2019, part one. Every September, YFile introduces and welcomes those joining the York University community, and those with new appointments. Watch for part two on Sept. 27.
Four new faculty members join the Faculty of Education this fall: Lucille Angus, Darren Hoeg, Gail Prasad and Rachel Silver.
“The Faculty of Education is excited to welcome these new colleagues whose research, scholarship, and teaching will address important questions and issues in education within both a local and international context,” said Lyndon Martin, dean of the Faculty of Education.
Angus has a long history with York, and joins the Faculty of Education as an assistant professor, teaching stream, in the area of early childhood education after completing a PhD and MEd in the department. Her doctoral research delved into the large problematic of how studying the child is also a way of humanizing the child. This inquiry connected interviews with young children on the subject of language with explorations of children’s literature and with the histories of psychoanalytic and phenomenological theories in the lecture halls of post-war European teacher education. These historical, literary and phenomenological constellations of knowledge confirm her teaching interest in attending to how education learns from the way pedagogical knowledge has been constructed in relation to studies of the child with an eye to opening discussions to the wider world of children’s experiences.
Angus’s pedagogy works to intervene in the demands that students feel as they enter the profession, which come to encompass the norms of practice and the limits of pedagogical imagination in early years education. The work of early childhood can feel bounded by constraints of learning and safety, care and socialization, and the professionalization of development. Angus’s pedagogical orientation is deeply interested in what it means to be introduced into the experiences, politics and histories of the field of early childhood amidst the pressures of the currencies of our times.
Darren Hoeg joins the Faculty of Education as an assistant professor, teaching stream, in the area of secondary science education. He is committed to social and ecological justice in his teaching and research and is particularly interested in considering how the body is entangled with materialities of teaching in science teacher education, and human-non-human materialities in student learning.
Hoeg holds a PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and an MEd from York University. His research interests include environmental education, sociocultural theory and science education, and science education and identity.
Gail Prasad joins the Faculty of Education as an assistant professor in the area of second language acquisition and learning. Her work focuses on multilingual/plurilingual pedagogies in K-12 settings, with a particular interest in developing child-led language inquiry.
Prior to coming to York, Prasad was an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at Madison, she developed a research-practice partnership with the Madison Metropolitan School District that allowed university-based researchers (faculty and graduate students) to work alongside teachers and students to examine how to develop both students’ and teachers’ critical multilingual language awareness and to leverage linguistic diversity as a resource for learning in multilingual and multicultural classrooms.
Prasad completed her PhD at OISE/UT in 2015 in the Languages & Literacies Education program. Her doctoral research explored children’s social representations of plurilingualism by engaging elementary students across English, French immersion and French-language schools in both Toronto and Montpellier, France, as co-ethnographers of their diverse language and literacy practices.
As a collaborative classroom-based researcher, she has drawn on arts-informed research methodologies to support children and youth in making their voices and perspectives visible. She has engaged students as co-researchers through painting, photography, portraiture and collage, as well as multimodal bookmaking. Most recently, she was awarded second prize in the BAAL international Competition for Visual Representations of Multilingualism.
Rachel Silver’s research connects insights from the field of comparative and international education and the anthropologies of gender, sexuality and policy. She joins the Faculty as assistant professor in the area of global migration and education.
Using ethnographic methods, she explores the drivers of diverse migration trajectories in and out of Africa, and the gendered consequences of these trajectories for youth. Specifically, Silver shows how formal education interacts with systems of production and reproduction in migratory contexts to shape young people’s lives and possibilities for mobility. She pays particular attention to sexuality as a contested terrain on which larger struggles over moral and political authority are waged in moments of transition.
Silver has conducted extensive fieldwork in Southern and Eastern Africa, including in Malawi and in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps, and with refugee communities resettled in the U.S. These experiences have led her to consider the relationship between gendered and sexual practices, material resources and opportunities for mobility through education. Her future research in Canada and abroad will continue to explore how moral sense-making relates to educational and post-educational opportunities for young people.
One area of inquiry she will pursue is the gendered consequences of climate change on life courses in Malawi. Specifically, she will examine how youth and their families make decisions about school-going, reproduction, and livelihood strategies amidst new forms of physical, social and economic insecurity. Silver looks forward to teaching courses at York that focus on globalization, migration and education; international development and education; and gender/sexuality.