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School of Education and Professional Studies

Professional Learning Hub



The better attuned we are to ourselves, the better attuned we are to the needs of our learners

Dr Tasha Riley comes from a unique teaching and facilitation background. She has delivered courses and workshops in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. She has taught to a wide range of audiences including those within primary and secondary schools, higher education institutions, community organisations, recovery centers, and correctional institutions. Her research interests focus in the areas of Indigenous and diversity education, teacher development, community participatory research, and social issues related to sexual health. Prior to her return to academia, Tasha worked as the education coordinator for AIDS Vancouver, a community health organisation in Canada. 

Teaching Philosophy

One goal of teacher education is to cultivate teachers' ability to think critically about the social context in which they teach and learn. As an educator, my aim is to encourage pre-service teachers to analyze the ways in which schooling and education are complicated by important social factors including identity, difference, multiculturalism, race, ethnicity, poverty, ability, gender, sexuality, and the competing purposes of education. While schools alone cannot correct social inequities, teaching is nevertheless an inherently political and moral enterprise and teachers’ attitudes and daily actions matter in building a more just and caring society. I encourage pre-service teachers to critically reflect on their personal assumptions about educational and social justice issues and the implications these assumptions may have upon their teaching practice.

Dr Tasha Riley

School of Education and Professional Studies

Lecturer in Understanding Diversity

Fields of Expertise

  • Social Justice in Education
  • Diversity Education
  • Indigenous Education
  • Critical Multicultural and Anti-racist Education
  • HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health Education

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Tasha has presented at a number of national and international conferences specifically about her research regarding teachers’ perceptions of different groups of learners including:

  • Australian Association for Research in Education. December, 2014 Deciding factors: Do factors beyond achievement influence teachers’ student placement decisions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners?
  • The Canadian Society for the Study of Education. June 2013, Boys are like puppies, girls aim to please: The influence teachers’ gender stereotypes may have upon teaching and assessment. Annual conference of 

Industry Experience

Tasha worked as the Education Coordinator for AIDS Vancouver, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness. She was awarded a M.A.C AIDS community development grant to co-develop their "Educate to Empower: Train the Trainer" program designed to train teachers and community leaders how to teach HIV/AIDS and related sexual health education.  Tasha has also worked as a Peer Education Trainer for Vancouver's West Coast Women's Legal Education Action Fund's "No Means No" program designed to inform students and teachers of students’ legal rights and responsibilities regarding sexual assault and harassment. She also assisted with the development and implementation of LEAF's "Workplace Rights Program" for elementary schools across British Columbia.

Tasha has been the recipient of various awards during her academic career which include:

  • SFU- Griffith Collaborative Research Grant, Simon Fraser University (2015-2016)
  • AEL New Researcher Grant, Griffith University (2012)
  • Outstanding Publication in the Canadian Journal of Education, Canadian Society for the Study of Education Association (2012)
  • AEL Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, Griffith University (2012-2014)
  • M.A.C AIDS Community Grant for "Educate to Empower: Train the Trainer Program" (2010)
  • Social Sciences and Humantities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship (2007-2009)

Research Expertise

Tasha has published in the fields of Indigenous and diversity education, teacher development, and sexual health education. Her current research considers the significance teachers’ expectations and attributions have upon their educational decision-making. Her co-written article entitled, Self-fulfilling prophecy: How teachers’ attributions, expectations and stereotypes influence the learning opportunities afforded Aboriginal students (Riley & Ungerleider, 2012) was awarded the outstanding English language article in the Canadian Journal of Education, Volume 35, 2012. Tasha along with Dr Michelle Pidgeon (Simon Fraser University) were awarded the Griffith University/Simon Fraser Collaborative Education Grant (2015-2016) to better understand the fields of Indigenous K-12 and post-secondary education, teacher education, and community collaborations ( -schools). In exploring the research and other related literature, they hope to better understand pathways to Indigenous success across the education system. 

Tasha's research highlights include:

  • · (2018). Australian teachers voice their perceptions of the influences of stereotypes, mindsets and school structure on teachers expectations of Indigenous students. Teaching Education, 1–22.
  • · (2018). The uncomfortable teacher-student encounter and what comes to matter. Teaching in Higher Education, 23(5), 619–630.
  • · (2017). Using Bayesian statistical modelling as a bridge between quantitative and qualitative analyses: illustrated via analysis of an online teaching tool. Educational Media International, 54(4), 317–359.
  • · (2016). Principals as Literacy Leaders with Indigenous Communities (PALLIC) building relationships: one schools quest to raise Indigenous learners literacy. Teaching Education, 27(2), 136–155.
  • · (2015). I Know Im Generalizing but...: How Teachers Perceptions Influence ESL Learner Placement. TESOL Quarterly,49(4), 659–680.

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