Karen Meyer

Scarfe 2230


Associate Professor


I pull a thread holding together my research, teaching and writing and unravel teaching storylines in all sorts of evocative yarns. I recall a starting point fifteen years ago alongside teachers in a Master’s program I named “Urban Learners.”  Since then, ten cohorts of urban teachers have graduated and accomplished research ventures, all unique, all close to their hearts and lives. How fortunate I am to be one of the learners.

In the last few years, my work with teachers extends to Dadaab Refugee Camp in Northeastern Kenya, again connecting my research, teaching and writing. As a member of a research team and Teacher Education Program in Dadaab, I have grasped the urgency of “emergency” education given the challenges, perilous and long term, of displaced communities. UNICEF reports that around the world, 50 million children have been displaced by violence and conflict. I see my task, albeit humble, as bringing the voices of the Dadaab teachers into the global discourse of curriculum and education. Creating the course, Principles of Teaching, and teaching it there has provided me the challenge of truly engaging relevancy and context, global and local perspectives.

Finally, my writing finds a place in all that I do. This past year, I studied and wrote poetry, and produced a chapbook, By a Thread, embracing in part my experience of visiting and teaching in Kenya, of meeting many strong and remarkable people. Here at UBC, I often teach a graduate course about writing I call “Alternatives in Scholarly Writing,” which I hope inspires writing as a method of inquiry, as the creative means wherein we communicate our passion and represent all aspects of our research.

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Selected Publications

Published Poem: Hoos (Shade)
McLarnon, M., Richardson, P., Wiebe, S., Balsawer, V., Binder, M., Browning, K., Conrad, D., Fels, L., Gouzouasis, P., Human, A., Kim, E. A., Leggo, C., Lemieux, A., Mantas, K., Meyer, K., Morelli, S., Nellis, R., Vaudrin-Charette, J. (2015). The School Bus Symposium: A Poetic Journey of Co-created Conference Space. Art Research International: A transdisciplinary Journal, 1(1), 141-173.

Urban Learner Course:
Meyer, K. & Velani, M. (2014). Cinema and Pedagogy: An Urban Education Seminar. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Vol 11 (2), 1-15.

Methodology (Participant Action Research):
Meyer, K. & Fels, L. (2013). Imagining Education: An Arendtian Response to An Inmate’s Question. Canadian Journal of Education. Vol. 24 (4), pp. 298-316.

Fels, L. & Meyer, K. (2011) Angel words within prison gates: Participatory action research as action towards restorative justice. In International perspectives on restorative justice in education. J. Charlton, PJ Verrecchia, D. Polizzi, (Eds.). ON Canada: Centre for the Study of Crime, Restorative Justice and Community Safety. 25pp.

Books about teaching and learning:
Cohen, A. Porath, M., Bai, H., Leggo, C., Meyer, K. & Clarke, A. (2014). Speaking of Learning…Inclinations, Inspirations and Innerworkings. Rotterdam: Sense Publications.

Cohen, A., Porath, M., Clarke, A., Bai, H., Leggo, C. & Meyer, K. (2012). Speaking of Teaching…Recollections, Revelations, and Realizations. Rotterdam: Sense Publications.

Dadaab Refugee Camp Research:
Karen Meyer, Cynthia Nicol, Siyad Maalim, Mohamud Olow, Abdikhafar Ali, Samson Nashon, Mohamed Bulle, Ahmed Hussein, Ali Hussein and Hassan Hassan. Living, Learning and Teaching in Dadaab Refugee Camp: Contradictions and Critical Perspectives (chapter accepted 2016, IAACS Manifesto).

Cynthia Nicol, Karen Meyer, Siyad Maalim, Mohamud Olow, Abdikhafar Ali, Samson Nashon, Mohamed Bulle, Ahmed Hussein, Ali Hussein and Hassan Hassan. A Living Narrative of Curriculum: Educational Experiences in Dadaab Refugee Camp (chapter accepted 2016, Canadian Scholars’ Press).