|| John Portelli|
phone: (416) 978-1277
Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Justice Education
Centre for Leadership and Diversity
His main research and teaching interests are in philosophy of education and educational leadership and policy. More specifically his interests include:
Issues of equity in educational leadership and policy
Student engagement and student success
Students at risk and the critique of the deficit mentality
The curriculum of life and teaching controversial issues
Ethical Issues in Leadership
Since 1982 he has worked with educators in schools in several provinces. He has conducted workshops and professional development seminars on:
Critical thinking and reflective teaching
controversial issues in teaching;
ethical and social diversity issues in educational leadership: a case study approach;
curriculum of life;
'students at risk': beyond deficit mentality.
His research involves both philosophical and empirical work (mostly qualitative).
Recent research projects:
-Investing in Equity. Supported by the Council of Directors of Education
-Educational equity and inclusion in neoliberal times: Policy webs and school practice. Supported by SSHRC
-Pedagogies at Risk: Social Justice Teaching and Accountability Discourses. Supported by SSHRC
-Stakeholders’ Perspectives on induction for New Teachers: Critical Analysis of Teacher Testing and Mentorship. Supported by SSHRC.
-Toward an Equitable Education: Diversity, Poverty, and Students at Risk. Supported by SSHRC.
-Student Engagement in Learning and School Life. Supported by the J.W.McConnell Foundation with support from the Vancouver Foundation
John P. Portelli was born in Malta where after completing a B.A. (Philosophy & Maltese, 1975) he taught history and modern languages at a secondary school and philosophy at a junior college. In 1977 he was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship and commenced his studies at McGill University from where he obtained an M.A. (1979) and a Ph.D. (1984) in philosophy. He taught in several universities: The University of Malta (1980), McGill University (1982-1985), Dalhousie University (Killam Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1985-1986), Mount Saint Vincent University (1986 - 1999), and OISE (1999 - present) where he teaches in the Educational Administration Program, the Philosophy of Education Program, and the Initial Teacher Education Program. He is a fellow of St. Michael's College, University of Toronto. He was a visiting professor at The University of Malta (1992), Acadia University (1997), University of British Columbia (1998), and University of Verona (2010 and 2011). Since 1982 he has worked closely with teachers and school administrators in Canada and internationally. He is frequently invited to give keynote addresses and do workshops both nationally and internationally, and has been actively involved in policy work at the higher education level in Europe. Beyond his academic work, he has published two collections of poetry.
Recent Keynote Addresses and Workshops:
2011 October, The Immorality of Deficit Thinking in Education, School of Education, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.
2011 October, Curriculum of Life, Educate Together, Dublin, Ireland(workshop)
2011 July, Paulo Freire’s Ethics and Epistemology: Implications for Education and Leadership, Faculty of Education, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.
2011 June, No One Left Behind? Public Education in the Age of Neoliberalism, Faculty of Education, University of Graz, Austria.
2011 May, Student Engagement and Democratic Values: Challenges and Possibilities, Imagining Education Conference, Educate Together, University of Limerick, Limerick.
Student Engagement in Urban Schools: Beyond Neoliberal Discourses (with Brenda McMahon), North Carolina: Information Age Publishers (forthcoming February, 2012)
Leading for Equity: The investing in Diversity Approach (with Rosemary Campbell-Stephens) Toronto,ON: Edphil Books, 2009.
Taħt iċ-Ċirasa/Under the Cherry Tree. Collection of 37 poems and 100 haiku in Maltese with English translations. Malta: PEG Publishers, 2008.
Toward an Equitable Education: Poverty and Students 'at risk' (with Carolyn Shields and Ann Vibert). Toronto, ON: OISE, August, 2007.
Critical Democracy and Educational Leadership Issues: Philosophical Responses to the Neoliberal Agenda (Editor), special issue of Journal of Thought 42,1, 2007.
Key Questions in Education (with William Hare). San Francisco,CA: Caddo Gap Press and Edphil Books, Toronto, 2007.Honours and Awards
In 2005 he received the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Mentorship Award.
Three of his books won the American Educational Studies Association Critic Award (1997, 2001, 2008), and another of his books won the Canadian Association for the Foundations of Education Book Award. (1998)
Noted Scholar, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia (1998)
Invited Lansdowne Visiting Scholar at the University of Victoria in February 2012.