Dr. Kathy Sanford

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Dr. Kathy Sanford

Professor, Language & Literacy

PhD (Secondary Education), University of Alberta

MEd (Secondary English Education), University of Alberta

Graduate Diploma (Secondary English Education), University of Alberta

BEd (Secondary Music Education), Univeristy of Alberta

Office:  MacLaurin A526

Phone:  250-721-7804


Personal website

Faces of UVic Research:  Kathy Sanford

Dr. Kathy Sanford

  • School integrated teacher education

  • Community engagement

  • Gender issues and education

  • New/digital literacies

  • Videogames and learning

  • Assessment for 21st century learning

  • Electronic portfolios

  • Qualitative research methodologies

  • Autoethnography

I have been interested in feminist scholarship and issues of gender for a long time, and have been President of the Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education (CASWE), an association belonging to the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE).  I have been president of CSSE, and am currently the on-site Program Coordinator for CSSE in Victoria 2013.

I have taught both undergraduate courses in Language & Literacy, as well as Curriculum Studies courses at the graduate level (Issues of Assessment; Gender & Pedagogy).  I am very involved in teacher education, having served as Association Dean Teacher Education for a three-year period and have taught seminar and Professional Inquiry courses in the teacher education program.  My teaching is always connected to my research as I attempt to provide the best preparation for new and practicing teachers in a complex and challenging world. I am continually seeking ways to provide meaningful formative assessment opportunities to my students in order to enable success for all.

I have worked in formal educational institutions (schools and universities) for most of my career, and am currently working on exploring the ways in which learning happens in non-formal spaces, particularly in libraries, art galleries, and museums.

Research grants:

SSHRC Partnership Grant: Community first: impacts of community engagement CF:ICE

SSHRC Insight Grant -Youth Civic Engagement: Real Life Learning through Virtual Games Environments

SSHRC Standard Grant – An international study of contemporary adult non-formal educational practices in arts and culture institutions in Canada and Europe (co-investigator)

Completed Graduate Students:


Filler, Chris (2013)  Heart Knowledge: Towards (w)Holistic Ecoliteracy in Teacher Education

Madill, Leanna (2011)  Exploring parents’ involvement/engagement with video games and their adolescent children

Fisher, Paige (2010)  The Stories we Planted: A Narrative Exploration of Evaluative School Experiences

Waye, Laurie (2010)  Learning how to work with instructors of international EAL graduate students to better support their students’ development of academic writing skills 

Mimick, Kristin (2010)  An Exploration of how the Standards-based Education Movement is Impacting Educational Drama and the Practice of Teachers who use Educational Drama 

Achtem, Janice (2010)  Collectively coming to know: An ethnographic study of teacher learning in Toledo, Belize 

Martin, Judith (2009)  Relationships of power: Exploring teachers’ emotions as experienced in interactions with their peers

Ritchie, Mathy (2009)  Intercultural computer-mediated communication exchange and the development of sociolinguistic competence

Yeo, Michelle (2007)  Teacher Conceptualizations and Con(texts) of Language and Literacy


Cunningham, Brad (2012)  Throwing the book away: Incorporating students out-of-school literacies into a secondary English classroom

Balabuch, Allison (2011)  Exploring the Potential for Informal Language Instruction in the French Immersion Context

Maxwell, Aaron (2011)  An Appreciative Inquiry into the Strengths and complexities of the Cedar Hill Middle School learning community

Bonsor Kurki, Sarah (2011)  Investigating Adolescents’ Critical Literacy Practices

Brach, Laurel (2011)  Getting Real: Exploring the Impact of On-screen Teachers on Real World

Merkel, Liz (2010)  Sore sports and skin grafts: Recovering the self(s) through autoethnographic inquiries of becoming (a teacher) 

Haddon, Lori (2010)  Gesture and Language as a System of Embodied Learning

Morgan, Christina (2008)  Exploring the Role of Technology in Moving Rural Based Educational Institutions from Resourced Based to Resourcefulness Based

Luo, Lixin (2005)  Meaningful Learning: A case study of Chinese International students at the University of Victoria


French de Meija, Rachel (2010)  To Err is Human: A Phenomenological Study of the Meaning of Mistakes as Experienced by Psychiatric Nurse Instructors

Yamada, Satako (2008  Tensions and decisions in academic writing: Multilingual students’ text production through negotiations

Nielson, Anna (2008)  Behind the Minds of Bulgarian ESL High School Students

Piotrofski, Nadine (2008)  An Examination of gender differences in reading practices and preferences

Aileen, Carol (2007)  Conversations-not-had: Engaging girls at risk in critical discussions on education

Vincent, Mary (2007)  For a muse of fire: Writers workshop in a secondary school

Geres-Smith, Rhonda (2007)  Adolescent boys’ beliefs about writing: The factors that influence their engagement

Woods, Kathy (2006  Understanding Young Adolescents’ Literacies: Influences of Technology and Gender

Beiderwieden, Susan (2005)  The Public Image of Nursing: It matters – Nursing Students’ Perspectives

Madill, Leanna (2005)  Adolescent males examining gender: Stereotypes, multiple masculinities and me

Soomet, Karen (2005)  Promoting Anti-Racism in the French as Second Language Classroom: Culture, Ideology and Critical Media Literacy

Fisher, Paige (2005)  E-Portfolio as a story of learning

Nilsen, Anne (2005)  The effects of student peer and/or self-assessment on learning

Hansen, Ulla (2005)  Curriculum which encourages adolescent empowerment and relevance through exploration of cultural identity

Mathias, Patricia (2004)  Has authority failed our students? A student perspective of the high school institution

Espedido, Maryanne (2003)  A full circle: A reflection of a gathering place for young women

Storr, Brenda (2002)  Changing Assessment practices: Examining the impact on instructors in an English as a second language program

Clover, D., & Sanford, K. Eds. (2013). Lifelong Learning, the arts and creative cultural engagement book. Manchester University Press.

Hammett, R. & K. Sanford. Eds. (2008). Boys, Girls, and the Myths of Literacy and Learning. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Sanford, K., & Merkel, L. (2012). Gendered Identity Exploration through new literacies. English in Middle and Secondary Classrooms. Ed. James, K., Dobson, T., Leggo, C.

Sanford, K., & Merkel, L. (2012). Literacy and Videogames. English in Middle and Secondary Classrooms. Ed. James, K., Dobson, T., Leggo, C.

Sanford, K., & Bonsor Kurki, S. (2012). Outsiders in the Videogame World: Where are the Girls? Frånberg, Gun-Marie, Hällgren, Camilla & Dunkels, Elza (Eds.) (2012) Invisible Girl. Umeå, Umeå University.

Sanford, K., Williams, L., Hopper, T., McGregor, C. (2012). Decolonizing Teacher Education: Indigenous Principles informing Teacher Education. inEducation 18(2).

Hopper, T., Sanford, K., Bonsor Kurki, S. (2011). Stitching Together a Teacher’s Body of Knowledge: Frankie N Stein’s ePortfolio. E-Learning and Digital Media, 9(1).

Sanford, K., Merkel, L., & Madill, L. (2011). “There’s no fixed course”: Rhizomatic learning communities in adolescent videogaming. Loading, 5(8).

Sanford, K. & Merkel, E. (2011). Complexities of Gaming Cultures: Adolescent Gamers Adapting and Transforming Learning. E-Learning and Digital Media, 8(4).

Clover, D. & Sanford, K. (2010). Adult education and lifelong learning in arts and cultural institutions A content analysis. Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 16(2), 5-19.

Hopper, T., & Sanford, K. (2010). Program-wide E-portfolios: Creating new spaces for an “inside-out” approach to teacher education. Teacher Education Quarterly, 37 (1).

Sanford, K. (2010/2006). Gendered Literacy Experiences: The Effects of Expectation and Opportunity for Boys’ and Girls’ Learning. Reprinted in Bean, R., Heisy, N., Roller, C. Preparing Reading Professionals. International Reading Association, pp. 216-228.

Sanford, K. & Hopper, T. (2009). Videogames and Complexity Theory: Learning through Game Play. Loading Journal, 3(4).

I am available to speak on the following topics through the UVic Speakers Bureau:

  • Videogames and Learning

If you are interested to have me speak on any of these topics, please visit the UVic Speakers Bureau to make a booking.