Questioning pedagogy, the social contexts and relations of schooling

Dr. Kathleen Gallagher
Dr. Gallagher's research focuses on questions of pedagogy, the social contexts and relations of schooling, and theatre as a powerful medium for expression by young people of their experiences and understandings. She is especially interested in questions of youth civic engagement and artistic practice, and the pedagogical and methodological possibilities of theatre.

Mentoring Future Scholars

The supervisor-student relationship is an important part of the graduate experience.

Dr. Gallagher provides mentorship as students explore their own research interests, and apprenticeship when students become collaborators on her international research team.

Listen to students' experiences with Dr. Gallagher as a supervisor.

Featured Work

New article announcement

New Article by Dr. Kathleen Gallagher and Dr. Urvashi Sahni in Gender and Education​

Check out Dr. Gallagher's new article with Indian collaborator Dr. Sahni, Performing care: re-imagining gender, personhood and educational justice.​

Youth find hope for the future through documentary play​

Read about Dr. Gallagher's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)-funded youth-centred #RadicalHope research and the role of drama in allowing us to better hear young people! ​
Towards Youth banner

Research brought to life through verbatim theatre​

Towards Youth is a verbatim theatre play based on the research of Dr. Kathleen Gallagher, written by Andrew Kushnir of Project Humanity. Towards Youth played at Crow's Theatre from February 25th-March 16th, 2019.

Curriculum Vitae

Academic History
  • Ph.D Drama and Self-Construction in a Single-Sex School for Girls. CTL, OISE, University of Toronto, 1998
  • M.Ed. Arts Education: The Living Curriculum. CTL, OISE, University of Toronto, 1995
  • B.Ed. Faculty of Education, Intermediate/Senior Division, Dramatic Arts and French, University of Toronto, 1989
  • B.A. (Honours) French Literature (with a specialization in French Theatre), University of Toronto, St. Michael's College, 1988
  • OCT Ontario Teachers' Certificate. Ontario College of Teachers.  Intermediate/Senior Division (Dramatic Arts, French), 1989 ARCT 
  • Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada (Piano), 1987

Fellowships & Honours
  • 2019 Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • 2017/2018 David E. Hunt Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching
  • 2018  University of Toronto President’s Impact Award for 2017-2022
  • 2018  Member of the University of Toronto President’s Impact Academy 2017-2022
  • 2017  Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Playwrights’ Colony Fellowship Award 2017. With playwright collaborator Andrew Kushnir, we have been awarded a residency at the Banff Centre to develop the trilogy of plays based on my ethnographic research.
  • 2016  UofT Alumni Award for Innovation and Contemporary Work in Drama and Education
  • 2015/2016  Selected as the University of Toronto's 2015 and 2016 nominee for the SSHRC Connection Impact Award
  • 2009  CRC Lecture Award. Winner of the Canadian Association of Women in Education (CASWE). Lecture: Gender, Race and Security in Schools.
  • 2008 Outstanding Books in Curriculum Studies Finalist for The Theatre of Urban: Youth and Schooling in Dangerous Times. (University of Toronto Press, 2007). Division B. American Education Research Association. Presented in New York City, New York, USA.
  • 2004 Nominated for Professor of the Year in the Initial Teacher Education Program
  • 2003  Harvard Graduate School and Kellogg Foundation funded Salzburg Seminar Fellowship. July 2-9, 2003 a think-tank on Leadership Across Cultural Boundaries and Geographic Borders, convened at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria.
  • 2001 Winner Outstanding Books in Curriculum Studies for Drama Education in the Lives of Girls: Imagining Possibilities. (University of Toronto Press, 2000). Division B. American Education Research Association. Award presented in Seattle, Washington, USA.
  • 2000 The Barbara McIntyre Distinguished Research Award.  Awarded at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
  • 1999  Professor of the Year Award in the Initial Teacher Education Program.
  • 1999  Most Distinguished Dissertation Research Award. American Alliance for Theatre and Education
  • 1997  William Pakenham Fellowship in Education. Faculty of Education. University of Toronto.
  • 1997   Rose M. Cassin Scholarship for Graduate Studies. Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association.
  • 1997   Graduate Assistantship. Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning. OISE/UT.
  • 1984   University of Toronto Entrance Scholarship.</li

Research Grants & Funding

Dr. Gallagher has received funding from a variety of internal and external funders since 1999. She has received significant funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund and Ontario Innovation Trust, The Canada Research Chair Program, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation, the Provost’s Office University of Toronto, the University of Toronto Connaught Grant, the Council of Ontario Directors of Educators, and from OISE and the University of Toronto. A detailed account of the Grants and Funded projects can be found in the attached pdf of Dr. Gallagher's current Curriculum Vitae (see button above).


Dr. Gallagher's scholarly interests include drama education/applied theatre; pedagogy, urban schooling, social inequality and space; qualitative methodology; anti-discriminatory education policy and practice; gender and identity.

Her graduate courses include
  • Qualitative Methodology: Challenges and Innovations
  • Applied Theatre and Performance in Sites of Learning
Dr. Gallagher holds a cross-appointment with the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto.


Dr. Gallagher hosts several speaking and other public engagements throughout the year.

Upcoming events:

  • February, 2021: Dr. Gallagher will be the keynote speaker at the Special Visual Forum on Community Engaged Research in a Time of Crises, hosted by the Community Engaged Research Initiative (CERi) at Simon Fraser University.
  • TBD 2021: Dr. Gallagher will present the keynote address at the 4th ELTE Workshop for Arts Education, Live the Culture - Play, Arts Education and Science (Budapest, Hungary)