Dr. Ruthanne Tobin

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Dr. Ruthanne Tobin

Associate Professor, Language & Literacy

PhD (English Language Arts Education), University of Victoria

MEd (English Language Arts Education), University of Victoria

BEd (Teaching Second Languages), University of Montreal

BA (French Literature), Dalhousie University

Office:  MacLaurin A557

Phone:  250-721-7785

Email:  

Personal website

  • Language and literacy teaching

  • Personalized learning

  • Differentiated instructional practices

  • Critically reflective teacher development

My research interests are shaped by 15 years in both classroom and consulting roles for children who find school challenging for a variety of reasons.  During my first career, I have served as Learning Support Teacher for students with learning difficulties in both regular and French Immersion programs (K-7) and as a Support Teacher for English Language Learners (K-12).  My research interests include: language and literacy teaching, personalized learning, differentiated instructional practices and critically reflective teacher development.

I teach pre-service and graduate courses in the areas of literacy learning and differentiated instruction.  My graduate students are focused on work in supporting students who find literacy learning challenging.  For example, one MEd student is exploring the use of ethno-drama to understand best teaching practices for students in poverty.  A doctoral student is examining the dimensions of classroom community that may facilitate literacy learning for English language learners.

My current research project: “Personalized Learning in Middle School” is funded by a grant from the Constructivist Educational Research Network (CER-Net).  Co-researcher on this project is Dr. Donna McGhie-Richmond.  We are investigating one Middle school’s journey in implementing a personalized learning approach in their school.

In Press Tobin, R. & Tippett, C. “Possibilities, Promises, and Potential Barriers: Learning to Plan for Differentiated Instruction in Elementary Science”. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education.

2010 Tobin, R. Differentiation: Respectful Responses to Diverse Literacy Learners In M.C. Courtland & T. J. Gambell (Eds.) Literature, Media & Multiliteracies in Adolescent Language Arts (2nd Ed.). Vancouver: Pacific Educational.

2009 Tobin, R. Descriptive Case Study Approach. In Mills, A., Durepos, G. & Wiebe, E. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Case Study Research. Sage Publications.

2009 Tobin, R. High Quality Analyses in Case Study Research. In Mills, A., Durepos, G. & Wiebe, E. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Case Study Research. Sage Publications.

2009 Tobin, R. Rival Explanations. In Mills, A., Durepos, G. & Wiebe, E. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Case Study Research. Sage Publications.

2009 Tobin, R. Essential Understandings for Novices in Case Study Research. In Mills, A., Durepos, G. & Wiebe, E. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Case Study Research. Sage Publications.

2008 Tobin, R. Conundrums in the Differentiated Literacy Classroom. Reading Improvement, 45(4).

2008 Tobin, R. & McInnes, A. Accommodating differences: Variations on differentiated literacy instruction in grades 2/3 classrooms. Literacy, 42(1).

Conference Presentations

2012 Tobin, R. Differentiated Instruction in Science: Teacher Perspectives. Paper presented at the annual Hawai’i Conference on Education, Honolulu, Jan. 5-8

2012 Tobin, R., & Tippett, C. D. Possibilities, promises, and potential barriers: Learning to plan for differentiated instruction in elementary science. Poster accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver

2012 Tobin, R. Interpreting Personalized Learning in the 21st Century: Administrator Perspectives at One Canadian Middle School Paper presented at conference on Equity & Reform in Shanghai, China. Nov.9-11.

2012 Tippett, C. D., Yore, L. D., Tobin, R., & Shymansky, J. A. Teacher uptake of science literacy ideas: A cross-case analysis of large-scale, district-wide, and single school projects. Annual International Conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education, Clearwater, FL. Jan.

2011 Tippett, C. D., & Tobin, R. Learning to Plan for Differentiated Instruction in Elementary Science. Paper presented at the annual international conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education, Minneapolis, MN. (Jan. 3-7)

2011 Tobin, R. When you know better, you do better: A retrospective analysis of case study research. Paper presented at the annual Hawai’i International Conference on Education, Honolulu (Jan. 4-7).

2010 Tobin, R. The challenges of providing differentiated instruction in language and literacy” Findings from 10 Grades 2/3 classrooms. Paper presented at the annual Hawai’i International Conference on Education, Honolulu (Jan. 5-8).