Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures


Karen Magro

Associate Professor, English Language Arts, Adult Learning, and Educational Psychology

Contact: k.magro@uwinnipeg.ca

Karen Magro
Faculty of Education
University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9

Phone: (204) 789-1416

Fax: (204) 774-4134


Dr. Karen M. Magro is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education. Her research interests include transcultural literacies, adult learning and literacy, refugee and newcomer studies, social justice education, cultural and emotional literacies, creativity, and transformative approaches to teaching English language arts. She has taught in San Antonio, Sao Paulo, Bangkok, London, and in northern Manitoba. Karen has presented at over 70 workshops/conferences both nationally and internationally. Her new book Finding New Voice and Vision in Literacy Learning (ICIE, Ulm, Germany) will be out in the summer of 2016. Karen will be presenting her papers on exploring social justice themes through literature at Leicester University and St. Louis, Missouri in July, 2016. She recently co-wrote a chapter with Dr. Kathleen Pierce of Rider University in New Jersey ("Creative Approaches to Literacy Learning." Creative Intelligence in the 21st Century. Ed. D. Ambrose and R.J. Sternberg. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2016). Dr. Magro was the editor-in-chief of The International Journal for Talent Development and Creativity (ITDC) for five years and she also served as the editor for English Quarterly (Canadian Council of Teachers of English Language Arts) from 2009-2015. Karen hopes to explore cross cultural approaches to teaching newcomer adults during her sabbatical year. Part of that time will be spent completing research in Germany and Finland.

Degrees Received:

Doctor of Education, University of Toronto (1999)
Master of Education, University of Manitoba (1989)
Certificate of Education, University of Manitoba (1980)
B.A., University of Manitoba (1978)

Research Interests

Transformative learning theory; adult learning and development; life history research phenomenology; memoirs of children and adults from war affected countries; newcomer education; ecoliteracies and place based learning; interdisciplinary approaches to teaching literacy; UNESCO (United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization) Educational Initiatives

Current Projects

Perspectives of Transformative Learning Theory and Teaching Social Justice

I am currently exploring the way middle and senior high English teachers conceptualize social justice, and the way they are applying social justice themes from an interdisciplinary perspective to teach both classic and contemporary texts. I am also looking at the way EAL teachers in adult learning centres are using international texts as a way of bridging cultures and promoting intercultural proficiency. I am working with teachers on the UNESCO schools associated network to discuss possible future joint research projects between the University of Winnipeg, Faculty of Education and provincial schools.

Editing English Quarterly

I'm currently editing a new volume of English Quarterly: Expanding Voice and Vision in Literacy Education ( Canadian Council of Teachers of English Language Arts: Volume 43 (1-2): Publication Date: May, 2012. CCTELA ISSN 0013-8355.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Magro, K., ed. Finding New Voice and Vision in Literacy Learning. Ulm, Germany, International Centre for Innovation in Education, 2016.
  • Magro, K. "Innovative pathways and possibilities: A vision for creative and transformative learning." IJTDC, 3.2 (2015): 19-32.
  • Magro, K., and Pierce, K. "Creative Approaches to Teaching English Language Arts: Working toward a Transformative Vision in Literacy Education." Creativity in the 21 Century: Great Opportunities and Huge Challenges. Ed. D. Ambrose and R. Sternberg. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2016. 191-232.
  • Polyzoi, L., and Magro, K. "Inner landscapes: Transformative learning experiences of Canadian education interns in Greece." In Education 21.1 (2015): 1-32.
  • Magro, K., and Perry, L. "Exemplary educational programs: Connections across cultures." International Journal for Talent Development and Creativity 2/3.2/1 (December 2014/June 2015): 199-202.
  • Magro, K. "Philosophical orientations in adult education." Pathways of adult learning: Professional and education narratives. Ed. J.Groen and C. Kawalilak. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2014. 87-88.
  • Magro, K. "Exploring Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and The Penelopaid through the lens of social justice." American Notes 22.1 (2013): 20-28.
  • Magro, K. "Teaching Social Justice in Literacy Education." Enacting Curriculum for ‘Frames of War’. Ed. R. Naqvi and H. Smit. Boston: Rowan Little Publishers, 2012. 78-95.
  • Magro, K. and P. Ghorayshi. Adult Refugees and Newcomers in the Inner City of Winnipeg: Promising Pathways for Transformative Learning. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2011.
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