Congratulations to Dr. Heather Phipps on successfully defending her PhD at McGill University in Montreal on Wednesday, November 23 under the supervision of Dr. Teresa Strong-Wilson and Dr. Claudia Mitchell. Committee members included Dr. Anne Burke (Memorial University), Dr. Mary Maguire (McGill), and Dr. Mela Sarkar (McGill). The external examiner was Dr. Rahat Naqvi (University of Calgary).
Phipp’s dissertation, Children Speaking with Children: Visualizing Engagement Through Contemporary Canadian Picture Books in French Classrooms, is an ethnographic study situated in a public primary school in urban Montreal. It documents young children’s responses to Canadian children’s literature in Grades 1 & 2 French classrooms. Her study highlights the ways in which children engage and respond to both the words and images in diverse Canadian literature, and how they reflect on their own lived experiences in relation to the picture books. Her future research interests include inquiry related to issues of belonging, identity, and community for children and teachers in the context of minority language education in francophone and French immersion schools in the Saskatchewan context and in diverse multilingual contexts across Canada.