Dr. Carla DiGiorgio

PHONE: 902.217.9509
EMAIL: carla.digiorgio@acadiau.ca
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment


PhD, University of South Australia, December 2005 
The interaction between identity, power and practice in a minority language school: A case study. 
Winner of annual book award for Canadian Society for Studies in Education SIG 
Teaching interests  
History of education; history of psychology; history of disability; history of indigenous people in Canada; research methods 
Research interests  
Capital and power in Canadian and world educational systems: Using a Bourdieusian lens to analyze relationships between stakeholders in schools, minority language and culture, and indigenous perspectives  


Student supervision  
  • Dalhousie University, Dept. of Psychology, Feb. 2019-2020.  Committee member for PhD student Matt Orr.  Thesis topic: Social skills programming for children with autism and ADHD. 
  • Cape Breton University, 2017-2018.  Committee member for a student in the M.Ed. (Sustainability Creativity Innovation)  
  • Cape Breton University, 2017: Master’s supervisor status 
  • Ed 07:770 Master’s thesis committee member Brandon University 
  • Ed Graduate practicum supervision for two students, Brandon University 
  • UPEI: supervised the following students to completion 
  • Julia Gaudet: A case study of special education service delivery in Prince Edward Island’s Eastern School District. Successfully defended August 14, 2008.   
  • Jennifer Connell: International Baccalaureate program in PEI defended April 6, 2010; 
  • Anna Baldacchino: Reggio-inspired early education in PEI defended January 2011;  
  • Kendra MacLaren: Caring in special cohort high school classes for at-risk youth defended April 5, 2011;  
  • UPEI: supervised the following students for two years: 
  • Joanne MacVicar: English as a second language in inclusive settings defended Nov. 2011; 
Present and recent research 
2018: Cape Breton University Research Grant ($6750).  Experiences of indigenous teachers and teachers in indigenous communities. Principal investigator. 

2017-present: Inter-University Research Network and Cape Breton University RP Grant ($22073).  Mentoring culturally diverse schools to improve learning in mathematics and literacy through participatory action research. Principal investigator. 

2017: Cape Breton University Research Policy Grant ($2650). In the eye of the storm: What does the discussion around inclusive education in the current labour dispute between teachers and the Nova Scotia government tell us about relationships of power between stakeholders in education?  Principal investigator. 

Teaching philosophy 
I approach teaching from the point of view of a facilitator of knowledge development.  I wish my students to see themselves in their learning, and to participate fully in the integration of new knowledge with those things they already know about themselves and their environment.  Knowledge comes from life experience and relationships as well as more formal learning experiences, and I see my role as helping students to integrate these worlds as much as they can.  This makes learning meaningful and proactive, spurring students on to develop new skills, experiences inside and outside of university, and to develop themselves as people first.   

My classes are a combination of learning requisite skills such as writing and reading, listening and note taking, reflection and observation, in the context of a community of learners who come together with a common interest in the subject.  All have different possible trajectories for what they might do with this new knowledge and skill, and I can help them to see themselves moving forward in their goals.  Classes for me are an opportunity to come together to talk about the topic, and to motivate and inspire each other to see things in new ways.  I expect my students to prepare for class, and to work hard on writing, research and presentation.  Once we are together, we bring our learning together and discuss and build from others’ ideas to create a constructive new way of seeing a topic.   

In my one-on-one interactions with students, I mentor them to see themselves as academic learners as well as liaisons to their chosen communities.  Students will bring their knowledge to that community with integrity.  Students’ interactions with the community are very important in community development, as we learn to appreciate the nuances of difference and commonality between us and the people we are seeking to understand.  These skills must be discussed, and decisions are made about how research will be carried out, and how it will benefit the subjects as well as the academy of knowledge and policy and practice with which that research interacts.  I truly love teaching, and I also love my work.  I bring myself to my work and teaching every day with as much understanding of learning and community as I can, and I invite my students to do the same.  I model my own approach to teaching, learning and researching for my students, and encourage them to practice and build their leadership skills in a way that works for them. This is what I understand to be the joy of my profession.