Dr Debbie Pushor

Walking Alongside: A Pedagogy of Working with Parents and Families


In this workshop for parents and educators, Dr. Debbie Pushor will discuss Green & Christian’s (1998) notion of “accompanying” and Noddings’ (2002) notion of “caring about” to present an understanding of the position of educators as one of walking alongside parents and family members in the education and schooling of their children.  Through the lenses of both parents and educators, she will share many examples of authentic ways in which teachers are using parent knowledge to guide their work with children and youth. In doing so, Debbie will address the questions, ‘How can what parents know enhance schooling experiences for children?  How can parent knowledge, used alongside teacher knowledge, inform decisions made in schools and enhance curricular programming and outcomes for children?’ There will be time in this interactive workshop for small group discussion among participants and for planning ways for parents and educators to walk alongside one another, relevant to your own school/home context.  


Debbie Pushor, PhD, is the mother of three adult sons, Cohen, Quinn, and Teague, and partner to Laurie. She works as a Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.  In her program of research, Debbie has engaged in narrative inquiries into parent knowledge and into parent engagement and leadership.  In her undergraduate and graduate teaching, Debbie makes central an often absent or underrepresented conversation about the positioning of parents in relation to school landscapes.  Debbie, in collaboration with the Parent Engagement Collaborative, published a book entitled, Portals of Promise: Transforming Beliefs and Practices through a Curriculum of Parents (Sense Publishers, 2013).  Living as Mapmakers: Charting a Course with Children guided by Parent Knowledge (Sense Publishers, 2015), co-written with the Parent Engagement Collaborative II, builds from and extends this earlier work.