Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education
Alana Butler

Alana Butler

Coordinator of Equity, Diversity &Inclusion, Assistant Professor of At-Risk Learners&Student Success
613-533-6000 x 75298

BSc, B.Ed., MA (Toronto), PhD (Cornell University, Ithaca, New York)

Assistant Professor of At-Risk Learners and Student Success

Alana Butler is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. In 2015, she completed a PhD in Education from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York with a specialization in Learning, Teaching, and Social Policy. She has 15 years of teaching experience in a range of settings that includes preschool, ESL, secondary school, adult literacy, and university. In 2011, she was awarded a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada for her study of Black student experiences in U.S. and Canadian higher education. From 2015-2016, she was a research collaborator on a SSHRC funded study entitled ‘Can We Talk About Race?’ Confronting Colour-blindness in Early Childhood Education’ at Ryerson University. Her current research agenda focuses on at-risk children and their families in elementary and secondary school settings.

Research Interests

  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion policies and practices from k-12 to higher education
  • At-risk children/youth and their educational attainment
  • ‘Race’, culture, and gender studies in education
  • Immigration and settlement studies
  • Multicultural education
  • Qualitative research methodology

Research Funding


SSHRC Insight Development Grant

Funder: Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada

Project title: Beating the Odds: An intergenerational examination of cultural barriers to postsecondary education for low-income Ontario youth

Role: Principal Investigator

Co-applicant: Dr. Liying Cheng, Queen’s University

Amount: $57,304


Dean’s Collaborative Grant

Funder: Queen’s Faculty of Education

Project title: Moving to the big school: An exploration of the kindergarten transition process for underserved parents of children with autism, Principal investigator(s): Dr. Jordan Schurr, Dr. Kristy Timmons, Queen’s University.

Role: Co-investigator

Amount: $15,000


Dean’s Collaborative Grant 

Funder: Queen’s Faculty of Education

Project title: Sistema‐Inspired Music Education: Student Experiences of Social and Emotional Development, Identity and Inclusion

Role: Co-investigator

Principal investigator(s): Dr. Benjamin Bolden, Queen’s University

Amount: $12,500


SHHRC Institutional (Explore) Grant

Funder: Queen’s Faculty of Education

Project title: Sistema Music Education: Low-income Student Experiences of Learning and Social Inclusion in Kingston

Role: Principal Investigator

Co-applicant: Dr. Benjamin Bolden

Amount: $5,000



SEED Grant

Funder: Queen’s University Faculty of Education

Project title: : Voices of ‘At-Risk’ Canadian Youth: Resisting Stereotypes and Fostering Resilience

Role: Principal Investigator

Amount: $5,000


RFS # 3312 A Process and Outcomes Evaluation of Youth Job Connection

Funder: Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU)

Principal Investigators: Dr. Benjamin Kutsyuruba and Dr. Christopher De Luca, Queen’s University

Role: Co-investigator

Amount: $293,072


Black Youth Action Plan (Innovative Supports for Black Parents) Program Evaluation

Funder: Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Role: Co-Principal Investigator with Tana Turner (private consultant, owner of Tana Turning Consulting Ltd.)

Amount: $298,000



Parents Reaching Out

Funder: Ministry of Education, Parent Engagement Office

Role: Principal Investigator

Project: Mentoring Circles for Diverse Parents and Families in ‘At-Risk’ Communities to Support Student Success.

Amount:  $8,600


2014 - 2016

SSHRC Insight Development Grant

Funder: Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada

Project title: Collaborator: Can we talk about race? Confronting colour-blindness in early childhood education settings

Principal Investigator: Dr. Rachel Berman, Ryerson University

Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Beverly-Jean Daniel, Ryerson University

Role: Collaborator

Amount: $33,553


Selected Publications

Butler, A., Teasley Severino, C., and Sánchez Blanco, C. (forthcoming, 2020). A Decolonial Approach to Disrupting Whiteness, Neoliberalism, and Capitalist Pedagogy in Western Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). In Trifonas, P. (Ed.) Handbook of Theory and Research in Cultural Studies and Education. Singapore: Springer International Publishing.

Teasley Severino, C. and Butler, A. (forthcoming, 2020). Intersecting Critical Pedagogies to Counter Coloniality. In S. Steinberg (Ed.) The SAGE Handbook of Critical Pedagogies. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Butler, A. (2019). Socioeconomic Inequality and Student Outcomes in Canadian Schools. In L.Volante, S. Schnepf, Jerrim, J., and D. Klinger (Eds). Socioeconomic Inequality and Student Outcomes: National Trends, Policies, and Practices. (pp. 169-187). Singapore: Springer Ltd.

Luzius-Vanin, C. and Butler, A. (2019). Closing the Gaps: A Compassionate View of Mental Health Beyond the Medical Model. In A. Jule (Ed.). The Compassionate Educator (pp 91-111). Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Butler, A. (2019). Quiltmaking Among African American Women as a Pedagogy of Care, Empowerment, and Sisterhood. Gender and Education, Vol. 31(5): 590-603.

Guicciardi, E., Nagel, R., Szwiega, S., Chow, B., Nezon, J., Bian, H. and Butler, A.(2019) Evaluation of a Sensory-based, Food-Education Program on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption among Kindergarten Children. The Journal of Child Nutrition and Management. 43(1): 1-13.

Escayg, K., Butler, A., Webb, D., Murray, T., Henderson, S. (2019). Narratives of Resistance: The Experiences of Black Women as Teachers, Leaders, Mothers and Academics. In R. Jeffries (Ed) Queen Mothers: Articulating the Spirit of Black Women Teacher-Leaders. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Butler, A. (2018). Socioeconomic Inequality and Student Outcomes in Canadian Schools. The Knowledge Forum, vol.1, issue 1, pp. 10-12.

Berman, R., Daniel, B., Butler, A., McNevin, M., and Royer, N. (2017). Nothing, or Almost Nothing, to Report: Early Childhood Educators and Discursive Constructions of Colorblindness. The International Critical Childhood Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 6 (1): 52-65.

Mirchandani, K. and Butler, A. (2013). “Beyond Inclusion and Equity.”  In A. Konrad, P. Prasad, & J. Pringle (Eds.) Handbook of Workplace Diversity (pp.475-488). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Butler, A. (2013). Moving Beyond Borders: A History of Black Canadian and Caribbean Women. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 45 (3): 159-161.

Butler, A. (2010). Inclusive Schooling and Minority Education: Reflecting on Challenges and Opportunities. In G. Dei (Ed.) Learning to Succeed: The Challenges and Possibilities of Educational Achievement for All (pp.217-248).  Youngstown, New York: Teneo Press.

Ministry Reports

Turner, T., Boyce, T., & Butler, A. (2019). Assessment of the Needs of Black Parents in Ontario. Toronto, ON: Turner Consulting Group Inc.

Turner, T., Campbell, P., Debrah, M., Boyce, T., & Butler, A. (2019). Jurisdictional Scan: Programs and Services for Black Parents in Ontario. Toronto: ON: Turner Consulting Group Inc.

Kutsyuruba, B., De Luca, C., Butler, A., Godden, L., Hussain, A., Youmans, A., Stroud Stasel, R., Shewchuck, S., & Nesbitt, H. (2018). Needs of NEET youth: Pathways to positive outcomes. Kingston, ON: Social Program Evaluation Group, Queen’s University