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International Women’s Day: Powerhouse team of OISE women selected to research STEM curriculum

By Lindsey Craig  

March 8, 2018

science girls

The Ontario Ministry of Education, through a second-stage procurement process, selected six professors from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto to conduct a research report on STEM education, that will inform Ontario’s education system.

“For this group of female professors from OISE – who specialize in STEM research education– to have been chosen to conduct this research is huge,” said Dr. Mary Reid, one of Canada’s leading experts in mathematics and teacher education.

“While the research may inform many aspects of STEM education overall, it is extremely significant to have so many STEM experts contributing to the research who bring a female perspective to the table,” said Dr. Sheliza Ibrahim Khan, a science education faculty member in OISE’s Master of Teaching program.

Those who work in science, technology, engineering and math have a major impact on society, yet STEM professions have long been male-dominated fields.  “Education is the key to changing that,” said Dr. Reid.

OISE’s Dr. Michelle Dubek is a science education specialist who describes how education can close the gender gap in STEM careers.

“This work begins in the early years where educators foster the interests of young girls in STEM fields. Girls should be able to see themselves reflected in STEM curriculum and have opportunities to work with role models.”

The all-female group from OISE was selected on February 2, 2018.

Meet the group of OISE professors below:

Michelle Dubek


Dr. Michelle Dubek (Ontario Certified Teacher, [OCT]) is an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE. She holds a PhD in Science Education from OISE and has 10 years of elementary (grades K-8) teaching experience, including special education and fine arts teaching. Dr. Dubek’s scholarship examines progressive science education pedagogies and the integration of science, technology, mathematics, arts, and engineering (STEAM) across the curriculum.



Rebecca Hughes

Dr. Rebecca Hughes is a Sessional Lecturer at OISE, where she teaches courses in literacy and educational technology. She holds a PhD in the area of critical literacy from OISE, a Master’s degree in the area of educational technology from the University of British Columbia, and a BEd from the University of Victoria. Dr. Hughes’ current research is grounded in inclusive education in the areas of gender, equity, and media literacy. Her current research examines the social impact of online video games marketed to girls.


Sheliza Ibrahim Khan

Sheliza-Ibrahim-KhanDr. Sheliza Ibrahim Khan is a Sessional Lecturer at OISE, who recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in STEM Education at Western University, exploring mathematics integration through STEM outreach. Her research interests are in the area of critical pedagogy, place-based education, science education, sustainability, STEM, and knowledge mobilization. Dr. Ibrahim Khan currently teaches courses such as Educational Research Inquiry and Current Issues in Science & Technology. She completed her BSc (Hons) in Biology at the University of Toronto, MSc in Science Communication at Queen’s University, and PhD in Science Education at York University.

Follow Dr. Ibrahim Khan: @strawberryjedi on Twitter and Instagram 
Web: drsheliza.com
Blog: The Social Learner


Christina Phillips


Dr. Christina Phillips (Ontario Certified Teacher, [OCT]) earned her PhD in Science Education from OISE (2017). She is a science educator with the York Region District School Board and has taught a wide range of science and mathematics courses including general science, mathematics, senior biology and senior chemistry to grade 9 through grade 12 students. Dr. Phillips teaches introductory research methodology courses and ‘Integrating Science, Mathematics and Technology Curricula’ in her current role as a Sessional Lecturer at OISE. Dr. Phillips’ research explores current and critical issues in curriculum, environmental education and science education using socio-cultural perspectives and discourse analysis.


Mary Reid

mary-reidDr. Mary Reid (Ontario Certified Teacher, [OCT]) is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education and is the Elementary Coordinator of the Master of Teaching Program in the department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE. She completed her EdD at the University of Calgary in the area of Mathematics Education. Dr. Reid has held various educational roles including classroom teacher, instructional leader, education officer at the Education Quality Accountability Office (EQAO), vice-principal, and principal. She has published research in the areas of math content knowledge of elementary preservice teachers, math anxiety in the classroom, the gender gap in STEM, and building efficacy for math teaching. 

Follow Dr. Mary Reid on Twitter: @DrMaryReid
Web: Dr. Mary Reid


Lesley Wilton

Lesley-WiltonLesley Wilton (Ontario Certified Teacher, [OCT]) is a Sessional Lecturer and Course Lead of Integrating Technology into the Classroom at OISE, where she also teaches courses in educational applications of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), research and literacy. She holds a PhD in Education from OISE. Dr. Wilton is an elementary teacher at Peel District School Board and has previously taught in the extended BEd program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. She is the Committee Chair of the Biggar Hedges MT Awards, 2017-2018. Her research interests include online learning, teaching with technology, TPACK, pre-service teaching, social practices and new literacies. 

Follow Dr. Lesley Wilton on Twitter: @LesleyWilton