At its best, the university classroom can be a place that cultivates a more just, inclusive, and fairer society. In order to achieve this general good, effective university pedagogy should promote freedom of expression, nurture responsible citizenship, and provide avenues for social mobility. My practice as an academic teacher is bolstered and shaped by my over 20 years of experience as an educator in academic settings, community-based venues, and informal classrooms. Solidly grounded in a vocation that spans more than two decades, my academic teaching supports four key principles: reflective practice, teaching across difference, social relevance, and student-centred learning.

Reflective practice

As an educator trained in the principles of critical adult education, I approach teaching as a dynamic and complex multi-directional process. This means harnessing the taught material in such a way that promotes students’ (and my own) self-actualization. This requires a pedagogical approach that prioritizes a deep contemplation on one’s own location in the world.

Teaching across difference

Teaching across difference means beginning from a place of humility. It means attending to students, the classroom, and the broader social context with understanding and sensitivity. It means building a community grounded in meaningful relationships that students may not develop otherwise.

Social relevance

I approach my classroom as a springboard to stimulate students’ active and critical engagement with the world around them. This has meant developing ethical and effective instructional methods that speak to the social realities of an increasingly diverse set of learners, often from traditionally marginalized and racialized communities.

Student-centred learning

By activating students’ prior academic and experiential knowledge, my goal is to generate classroom interactions that can trigger authentic connections to the course material, foster respect for differing points of view, and stimulate a critical reflection on students’ place in the world.


I believe my student-centred, socially relevant, reflective classroom creates a productive learning environment. I strive to teach across difference to ensure all students achieve their maximum potential.
Thesis Supervision

Stephanie McDonald, What Might a Transformative Height Pedagogical Experience Look Like? Bringing Transformative Learning and Height Psychology into Dialogue. Internal examiner: Dr. Carole Roy, External Examiner: Dr. Janet Groen, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.

Winner of the StFX Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award. Graduated Spring 2021.

Judith Haerdi April, When the Path Falls Away: Learning to Live Well with Food Hypersensitivities. Internal Examiner: Dr. Maureen Coady, External Examiner: Dr. Catherine Morley, Acadia University.

Winner of the StFX Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award. Graduated Spring 2020.

External PhD Examination

Cheryl O’Connell, A Survey Study to Explore Interdisciplinary Trades Education: Conceptual Framework to Practice. The School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph. Supervisor: Al Lauzon.

St. Francis Xavier University

J. Adam Perry, PhD

Assistant Professor of Adult Education

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