Jump to Main Content
Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size

Additional Qualifications Online Application System

You may use this system to:

  • Apply for Additional Qualifications courses
    (Note that a valid email address and credit card are required)
  • Check the registration status of your application
  • Update your current contact information
Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning

Shelley Stagg Peterson
Program Coordinator, Language and Literacies Education Program

phone: (416) 978-0329
email: shelleystagg.peterson@utoronto.ca  
email: shelleystagg.peterson@utoronto.ca

Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Centre for Educational Research on Languages and Literacies

Research Overview

Dr. Shelley Stagg Peterson is a Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at OISE/UT. Her research interests focus on: supporting and assessing young children's multimodal communication in play environments; action research; rural education; feedback on writing; writing assessment and instruction; and children's literature.

Dr. Stagg Peterson is a former International Literacy Association board member and has served as President and Past-President of the Toronto Reading Council.

She has authored several books on topics ranging from the teaching of children's literature to using graphic novels in classrooms to writing across the curriculum. She is the recipient of the Arbuthnot Award for Excellence in Teaching Children's Literature from the International Reading Association.

Curriculum Vitae


Academic History

Ph.D. University of Alberta, Elementary Education, 1994
M.Ed. University of Alberta, Educational Administration, 1990
B.Ed. University of Alberta, Elementary Education, 1983

Teaching Overview

Prof. Stagg-Peterson teaches the following courses:

CTL 3029H Children's Literature as a Foundation of Literate Behaviour across the Curriculum
CTL 3030H Theory and Practice in Elementary Literacy Instruction
CTL 3032H Teaching Writing in the Classroom
CTL 3033H Literacy Research Methodologies
CTL 5302 Play, Language and Literacy in Primary Classrooms
CTL 7000 Language Arts Curriculum and Instruction (Primary/Junior/Intermediate)
CTL 7010 Issues in Numeracy and Literacy (Primary/Junior)

Representative Publications


Portier, C., & Peterson, S.S. (2017). Creative collaborative curriculum activities: Playful learning pre-kindergarten to grade two. Toronto, ON: NOW Play Press.

Swartz, L., & Peterson, S.S. (2015). This is a great book! Markham, ON: Pembroke.

Peterson, S.S. (2010). Teaching with graphic novels in grades 4-12 classrooms. Winnipeg, MB: Portage & Main Press.

Peterson, S. S., Booth, D., and Jupiter, C. (Eds.). (2009). Books, media and the internet: Children’s literature for today’s classrooms. Winnipeg: Portage and Main Press.

Peterson, S. S. (2008). Writing across the curriculum: All teachers teach writing.2nd Ed. Winnipeg: Portage & Main Press.

Peterson, S. S., & Swartz, L. (2008). Good books matter. Markham, ON: Pembroke.


Peterson, S.S. (2013). Creating spaces for print and new literacies in pre-service literacy classes. In C. Kosnik, R. Simon, P. Williamson, J. Rowsell, & C. Beck (Eds.),  Literacy teacher educators: Preparing teachers for a changing world, (pp. 93-105).  Rotterdam, NL: Sense Publishers.

Peterson, S. (2006). Influence of gender on writing development. C. MacArthur, S. Graham, & J. Fitzgerald (Eds.), Handbook of writing research (pp. 311-323). New York: Guilford.


Eisazadeh, N., Rajendram, S., Portier, C., & Peterson, S.S. (2017). Indigenous children’s use of language during play in rural northern Canadian kindergarten classrooms. Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, 22, 1-16.

Peterson, S.S. (2017). Developing a play-based communication assessment through collaborative action research with teachers in northern Canadian Indigenous communities. Literacy, 51(1), 36-43.

Peterson, S.S., & Greenberg, J. (2017). Teacher intervention to support oral language and literacy in dramatic play contexts. Texas Reading Association Journal, 5(1), 10-23.

Peterson, S.S., Portier, C., & Murray, A. (2017). The role of play in kindergarten and grade one: Parents’ perceptions. Journal of Childhood Studies, 42(1), 1-10.

Portier, C., & Peterson, S.S. (2017). Rural northern Canadian teachers’ discoveries about young children’s oral language. Language and Literacy, 19(2), 109-126.

Peterson, S.S. (2016). Research in Canada’s northern rural and Indigenous communities: Supporting young children’s oral language and writing. The Reading Teacher, 70(3), 383-387.

Peterson, S.S. (2016). Supporting young children’s vocabulary through play. What Works? Research into Practice #62, 1-4.

Peterson, S.S., Anderson, J., Budd, K., Kendrick, M., McTavish, M., McIntyre, L., Ntegliolou, B., & Riehl, D. (2016). Rhetorics of play in kindergarten curricula across five Canadian provinces. Canadian Journal of Education, 39(3), 1-26

Peterson, S.S., Horton, L., & Restoule, J.P. (2016). Toward a shift in expectations and values: What we’ve learned from collaborative action research in northern Indigenous communities. Canadian Journal of Action Research, 17(2), 19-32.

Peterson, S.S., & Malec, A. (2016). Assessing children’s use of language in dramatic play contexts. Florida Reading Journal, 51(3), 7-13.

Peterson, S.S., McIntyre, L., & Forsyth, D. (2016). Supporting young children’s oral language and writing development: Teachers’ and early childhood educators’ goals and practices. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 41(3), 11-19.

Peterson, S.S., & Portier, C. (2016). Teaching vocabulary and writing in kindergarten through dramatic play centers. Colorado Reading Journal, 27, 25-32.

Portier, C., & Peterson, S.S. (2016). Revision and participation patterns in grades 5 and 6 wiki writing. Language and Literacy, 18(1), 110-129.

Peterson, S.S. (2015). Dramatic play supports children’s writing in kindergarten and grade one. Michigan Reading Journal, 48(1), 44-48.

Wajskop, G., & Peterson, S.S. (2015). Dramatic play as a meaning-making and story-making activity. Early Childhood Education, 43(1), 17-20.

McClay, J., & Peterson, S.S. (2014). A “great balancing act:” Becoming dexterous and deft with new literacies pedagogy. Teaching/Writing: The Journal of Writing Teacher Education.

Peterson, S.S. (2014). Award-winning authors and illustrators talk about teaching writing. The Reading Teacher, 67(7), 498-506.

Peterson, S.S. (February 2014). How can teachers support struggling writers? What Works? Research into Practice, #49, p. 1-4. Toronto: Ontario Student Achievement Division.

Peterson, S.S. (2014). Peers and teachers supporting students’ writing lives: “It’s a juggling act sometimes.” Voices from the Middle, 21(3), 13-17.

Peterson, S.S. (2014). Supporting primary students’ writing through reading. talk, and literate dramatic play. Oklahoma Reading Journal.

Peterson, S.S., & McClay, J. (2014). A national study of teaching and assessing writing in Canadian middle grades classrooms. McGill Journal of Education, 49(1), 17-40.

Peterson, S. S. (2012). A five discourses analysis of writing curriculum and support documents across Canada. Curriculum Inquiry, 42(2), 260-284.

Peterson, S.S. (2012). Action research supporting students’ oral language in northern Canadian schools: A professional development initiative. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 27(10) 1-16.

Peterson, S.S., McClay, J., & Main, K. (2012). An analysis of large-scale writing assessments in Canada (grades 5-8). Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 57(4), 424-445.

Research Grants and Contracts

Year: 2016
Individual or Group: Group
Grantor: SSHRC
Purpose: Connection
Amount: CA$22,842

Year: 2016
Individual or Group: Group
Grantor: CIHR
Purpose: Research
Amount: CA$10,000

Year: 2013
Individual or Group: Group
Grantor: SSHRC
Purpose: Research
Amount: CA$2.8 million

Year: 2011
Individual or Group: Group
Grantor: Ontario Federation of Libraries
Purpose: Research
Amount: CA$36,000

Year: 2011
Individual or Group: Individual
Grantor: SSHRC SIG
Purpose: Research
Amount: CA$1952

Year: 2010
Individual or Group: Individual
Grantor: SSHRC RDI
Purpose: Research
Amount: CA$38,783

Year: 2010
Individual or Group: Individual
Grantor: Northern Ontario Educational Leaders
Amount: CA$30,000

Individual or Group: Group
Grantor: SSHRC
Purpose: Research
Amount: CA$147,704

Year: 2010
Individual or Group: Group
Grantor: Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario
Purpose: Research contract
Amount: CA$30,000

Year: 2009
Individual or Group: Group
Grantor: International Reading Association
Purpose: Research
Amount: US$10,000

Year: 2009
Individual or Group: Individual
Grantor: Small Scale SSHRC
Purpose: Research
Amount: CA$ 1600

Year: 2008-2010
Individual or Group: Group
Grantor: Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
Purpose: Research
Amount: CA$35,000

Year: 2008
Individual or Group: Group
Grantor: SSHRC SIG at York University
Purpose: Research
Amount: CA$ 3000

Year: 2007
Individual or Group: Group
Grantor: Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario
Purpose: Research contract
Amount: CA$35,000

Year: 2007
Individual or Group: Group
Grantor: Ontario Ministry of Education
Purpose: Contract
Amount: CA$40,000

Honours and Awards

2010 Arbuthnot Award for Excellence in Teaching Children's Literature, International Reading Association $800.00
199-2000 OISE Student Teachers' Union Professor of the Year Award

Professional Activities

2012-2015: Elected member of the International Literacy Association board
2010-2013: Member of the Children's Literature and Reading SIG of the International Reading Association's Notable Books for a Global Society committee
2008-present: Chief editor of the Journal of Classroom Research in Literacy, an online peer-reviewed journal I initiated as a forum for classroom-based research.
2006-2011: Chief editor of Language and Literacy,
2006-2007: Local Area Chair of the Annual Convention of the International Reading Association, 2007. Involved overseeing 7 subcommittees in preparation for conference of 12,000 delegates.
2002- 2010: Served as President and Past-President of the Toronto Reading Council, a council of the International Reading Association, throughout these years.

Invited Addresses:
Notable multicultural books for grades 5-12 classrooms. Novel Learning Experience Conference. North Bay, ON: May.
Feedback as a tool for teaching writing. Reaching Higher Conference. Kingston, ON: March.

Teachers' written feedback on boys' and girls' writing. Invited symposium for the SIG Writing EARLI. Amsterdam: August.

Issues and practices in providing feedback on student writing: Results of two research studies. Invited to present my research at the British Columbia Regional National Council of Teachers of English Research Pre-Conference. Vancouver: October.

Gender issues in literacy. Senior Alumni Association, University of Toronto. Toronto: October.

Supporting boys' and girls' writing. Keynote address for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board's Scribblefest. Kitchener, ON: May.

Other Information

Recent International Presentations
Parr, J., Stagg Peterson, S., & Lindgren, E. (2017, May). The positioning of writing in early years curricula: International perspectives. Paper presented at the Litum Symposium, Umea, Sweden.

Porter, C., & Friedrich, N. (2017, May). Exploring dramatic play as a context for meaningful writing in northern rural and Indigenous Canadian classrooms. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Toronto, ON.

Peterson, S.S., Portier, C., & Friedrich, N. (2017, June). Multimodal communication during play in rural northern Canadian kindergarten classrooms. Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for Research in Language Education, Tallinn, Estonia.

Peterson, S.S., Bottle, J., Neekan, D., Wesley-Naim, S., & McLean, A. (2017, July). Indigenous children's verbal, nonverbal and written communication connected to dramatic and outdoors play. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the International Literacy Association, Orlando, FL.

Peterson, S.S., & Beardy-Meekis, N. (2017, November). Supporting young children's multimodal meaning-making and cultural learning through play in Aboriginal head start classrooms. Poster presented at the National Association for Education of Young Children annual meeting. Atlanta, GA.