Tonya Callaghan, PhDDual PhD in (1) Curriculum Studies, and (2) Women and Gender Studies Ontario Institute for Studies in Education; Faculty of Arts and Science University of Toronto, Canada
Master of Education (thesis route)Dept. of Educational Policy Studies; Theoretical, Cultural, and International Studies in Education University of Alberta, Canada
Bachelor of Education Faculty of Education --> Major: Secondary English; Minor: Educational Technologies University of Calgary, Canada
Bachelor of Arts Faculty of Arts --> Major: English Literature; Double Minors: French Literature and Art History University of Calgary, Canada
Areas of Research
I taught secondary English Language Arts for over ten years in Canadian, international, rural, urban, Catholic and non-Catholic environments. When a promising drama student in the Catholic high school where I was teaching committed suicide after suffering several months of homophobic bullying due to his sexual orientation, I decided to take action regarding the Catholic school system's sanctioned and institutionalized homophobia by engaging in research about it. My resulting Master's thesis was later published as the book, That’s so Gay! Homophobia in Canadian Catholic Schools. My doctoral thesis Holy Homophobia was recognized with the following awards: The American Educational Research Association Queer Studies Dissertation of the Year, The Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal, and The Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education Outstanding Dissertation. Holy Homophobia explores curriculum and educational policy implications of religiously-inspired homophobia. An updated version of my dissertation was published in 2018 as a book with The University of Toronto Press under the title: Homophobia in the Hallways: Heterosexism and Transphobia in Canadian Catholic Schools. The overarching goal of my research agenda is to integrate theory and practice so that educational stakeholders become motivated to free members of sexual and gender minority groups from religiously-inspired heterosexist oppression. I specialize in critical social justice theories, anti-oppression education, and anti-homophobia education. I employ qualitative research methodologies to conduct my research projects.
Working with this supervisor
I have provided below a series of bulleted points that characterize the “ideal” graduate school applicant. Don’t worry – you don’t have to possess all of these attributes, but having a few of them will help you succeed in graduate school. I am providing this list more as a way to give you an idea of what you can work towards to help you prepare a successful application. Please address some of these points in the form below. • Competitive GPA ; • Strong writing ability and grasp of English grammar (as evidenced by a clear, concise writing style in your statement of intent and resume or CV); • Supportive letters of recommendation; • Interest in conducting research with perhaps some prior research experience; • Ideas about what research topics and areas of inquiry are of interest to you personally and professionally and why; • Evidence of ability to think creatively and critically; • Ability to bring your intellect, attention to detail, professionalism, and experience working independently and interdependently to your research topic; • Open to learning about diversity and social justice, including a willingness to explore and critically examine your own beliefs, feelings, and values as they relate to cultural identity (e.g., sexual orientation, gender identity, race, class), privilege, power, and oppression. • A readiness to articulate (1) why the program you are applying to is a good fit for your goals and values and (2) how your current research interests align well with those of the professor (or professors) you hope will supervise you.