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Emma Cooper


University Assistant Professor in Literacy Education

E-mail Address




  • 2019 - PhD (Education), Western University
  • 2013 - MT (Master of Teaching), OISE/University of Toronto
  • 2011 - Honours BA, University of Toronto

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Ontario College of Teachers (non-practicing)
  • General Teaching Council of Scotland
  • Book Reviews Editor, The Curriculum Journal

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Emma’s research interests include curriculum studies, multimodal literacies, and social semiotics. She is primarily interested in and motivated by contributing to research that fosters inclusive meaning making opportunities for children through the transformation of literacy curricula and pedagogies. Emma is currently involved in research projects focused on digital storytelling with biliteracy curricula (Collaborator) and academic reading pedagogies (research team member). Her previous publications are inclusive of curriculum development, initial teacher education, literacies (e.g., digital literacy, multiliteracies, multimodal literacy), and social semiotics. Emma is Book Reviews Editor for The Curriculum Journal.

Academic Area/Links

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Research Topics

  • Multimodal literacies/pedagogies
  • Social semiotics
  • Curriculum studies
  • Initial teacher education (literacy)

Current Research Project(s)

  • Role: Collaborator
    Project: Composing stories across the borders: Promoting equity through digital storytelling with biliteracy curricula (funding: SSHRC)
    PI: Z. Zhang
  • Role: Research team member
    Project: (academic) Reading Pedagogies of Equity (funding: SSHRC)
    PI: R. Heydon

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  • Postgraduate
    • Available to supervise PhD students.
  • Course involvement:
    • Primary PGCE
    • MEd and MPhil (Primary Education route, Research Methods strand)
    • EdD (Supervisor, Examiner)
    • PhD (Assessor)

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Principal and Recent Publications

Heydon, R., Akiwenzie, E., Cooper, E., Ghannoum, H., Havord-Wier, D., Johns, B., MacAlpine, KA., McKee, L., Nagle, J., Neeganagwedgin, E., Pawlick-Potts, D., Poczobut, S., Ruthes Coelho, C., Stooke, A., Tran, A., & Zhang, Z. (2023). Guidelines for virtual early childhood and family learning: An equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization-informed systematic review of the literature. Journal of Early Childhood Research.

Zhang, Z., Heydon, R., & Cooper, E. (2023). Household curricula during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Collective Biography. British Educational Research Association (BERA) Blog.

Cooper, E., & McKee, L. (2021). Leadership, management, and governance. In R. Heydon (Regional Ed.), M. Waniganayake (Ed.-in-Chief), Bloomsbury education and childhood studies (Vol. Canada, Set: Early Childhood Education). Bloomsbury.

Ghannoum, H., & Cooper, E. (2020). [Review of the book Multimodal perspectives of language, literacy, and learning in early childhood: The creative and critical ‘art’ of making meaning, by Marilyn J Narey (Ed.)]. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 1-5.

Heydon, R., Eaton, C., Black, S., Cooper, E., & O’Neill, S. (2020). Intergenerational singing and wellbeing. In R. Heydon, D. Fancourt, & A.J. Cohen (Eds.), The Routledge companion to interdisciplinary studies in singing (Volume 3, Chapter 27). Routledge.

Heydon, R., Stooke, R., Cameron, A., Cooper, E., & O’Neill, S. (2020). Making visible the literacy practices of elders through the day in the life methodology: Considerations for literacy education across the lifespan. Literacy, 54(2), 60-68.

Cooper, E., & Heydon, R. (2019). Inclusion and marginalization of youth. In R. Heydon (Regional Ed.), K. Tilleczek (Ed.-in-Chief) Bloomsbury education and childhood studies (Vol. Canada, Set: Youth). Bloomsbury.

Heydon, R., & Cooper, E. (2019). Introduction to Canada. In R. Heydon (Regional Ed.), W.M. Corsaro (Ed.-in-Chief) Bloomsbury education and childhood studies (Vol. Canada, Set: Childhood). Bloomsbury.

Khattar, R., Callaghan, K., & Cooper, E. (2019). Initial teacher education. In R. Heydon (Regional Ed.), M. Waniganayake (Ed.-in-Chief), Bloomsbury education and childhood studies (Vol. Canada, Set: Early Childhood Education). Bloomsbury.

Khattar, R., Heydon, R., Cooper, E., & Callaghan, K. (2019). Seeing over the wall: Growing policy from learning with families in contexts. In L. Gibbs & M. Gasper (Eds.), Challenging the intersection of policy with pedagogy (pp. 107-123). Routledge.