Anna Kirova, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Education - Elementary Education

Contact

Professor, Faculty of Education - Elementary Education
Email
anna.kirova@ualberta.ca
Phone
(780) 492-0913
Address
732A Education Centre - South
11210 - 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G5

Overview

About
Anna Kirova is Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Faculty of Education. Her credentials include a PhD in Early Childhood Education from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria (1987), and a PhD in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from the University of Alberta, Edmonton (1996). Prior to her appointment at the University of Alberta in 2000, she was a faculty member in the Department of Human Development and Child Studies at Oakland University, Michigan, USA (1996-2000).

Awards and Fellowships

2013    Alberta Teacher Association (ATA), Early Childhood Education Council, Advocate for Young Children Award, AB, Canada
2012    Lansdowne Distinguished Professor Scholarship, University of Victoria, BC, Canada
2009    Faculty of Education Graduate Teaching Award (University of Alberta)
2005    Alberta Teacher Association (ATA) Research Award, AB, Canada
2003    University of Alberta Graduate Students’ Association Academic Staff Award, Canada
1997    Michigan Association for Mediated Learning Outstanding Presentation Award, MI, USA
1996    Faculty Research Fellowship, Oakland University, MI, USA
1995-1996     Alice E. Wilson Award, Canadian Federation of University Women, Canada
1994-1996    Social Studies and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship, Canada
1994-1996     Walter H. Johns Graduate Fellowship, University of Alberta, Canada
1993-1994    Province of Alberta Graduate Fellowship, Canada

Current Projects

International Project:
Refugee crisis in Europe, migration and border issues in Canada and Europe
Funded by: EU’s Erasmus and Jean Monnet Action
http://www.eucanet.org/dialogue-on-migration/experts/kirova-anna

Creating Welcoming Learning Communities Project: A webinar series, developed to provide year-round supports for educators and school administrators to help students with refugee experiences be successful in their new learning environments and develop a sense of belonging to the community.
https://welcominglearning.ualberta.ca


Research
Dr. Kirova’s  appointment at the University of Alberta marked the beginning of a long-term research program that focuses on various aspects of the relationship between young immigrant children’s social competence and their social adjustment to school. To understand fully the culturally and linguistically diverse children’s experiences in school, her research examined the nature and experience of childhood that has been interrupted by immigration as well as the lived experiences of immigrant children in their day-to-day living between languages and cultures. The findings from this line of research challenged the dominant discourse of children and childhood in which children from nondominant cultural/ethnic backgrounds have often been treated as abnormal, lacking agency, competence, and knowledge. The creative relation-making processes in which children engaged as they perceived and reshaped relatedness among the scattered and conflicting events and experiences inevitably involved their families, the various communities they lived in, and society as a whole. Her research’s findings deepened our professional understanding of this process by providing insights into pedagogical policies and practices in which we need to engage in order to build a truly multicultural society. Her wide-ranging repertoire of research methods includes hermeneutic phenomenology, arts-based methodologies, and community-based participatory action research aimed at gaining insights into human phenomena by including vulnerable populations in research that is both meaningful and empowering.  Her most recent collaborative research in developing an intercultural early learning program for newcomer children in which children maintain their home language and culture while learning English has resulted in a government document providing guidance to early childhood educators in supporting young English language learners’ bilingual and bicultural identities which has potential to lead to socially just institutional reform in schools and curriculum development and implementation.

Teaching

My goal in teaching students at all levels is to create learning environments in which they can not only build on their experiences in working with young children in various capacities but also critically reflect on these experiences through the examination of the social, cultural and historical discourses that influenced their beliefs and assumptions about childhood and early childhood education. In the context of teacher preparation programs, a beginning point for acquiring this type of knowledge is a dialogue. Dialogue provides the milieu for discussion of the most critical questions in the field of early childhood education: How do we construct our notions of the young child and the role of early childhood institutions? What is our understanding of who the young child is, can be and should be? What is the role of early childhood educators, the parents the community and the society in educating and caring for children?  I believe my mission as a teacher educator is to engage pre- and in-service teachers in such a dialogue and thus to help them gain a better understanding of what it means to educate children and young people in today's complex world with its uncertainties and conflicting views, values and aims. I am confident that my own cultural background and personal experiences of living and teaching in different cultural settings help students better understand the spectrum of viewpoints about ways of raising and educating children and young people of other ethnic, gender, socioeconomic, language and cultural backgrounds.

In my teaching, I guide students’ learning to pose critical questions, to use a variety of ways to gather information that pertains to these questions, and to present their new understandings to others. I strive to provide students with opportunities to make decisions, to solve problems, to consider different points of view, and to provide alternative solutions. I guide them through different strategies of investigation by creating situations in which they have to apply knowledge, seek various ways of accessing new information, or both. I have high expectations for all my students and am willing to work hard with them to produce quality, meaningful work. I provide students with clear guidelines outlining the steps they need to take. Wishing to encourage choice and creativity, however, I do not prescribe what they should do at each step. The feedback I provide is constructive, guiding students' writing without taking away their personal goals and ideas. As a result, the students have a strong sense of ownership of their work and pride in their accomplishments.

As an instructor of Master’s and Doctoral level courses, I support students to gain confidence in their capacity to become researchers and leaders in the field. In these courses, I strive to create a forum, both face-to-face and online, for dialoging about some fundamental questions the nature of teaching and learning in the global times we live in.

Courses

EDEL 495 - Seminar in Group Projects in Elementary Education II

Prerequisite: consent of Department. Sections may be offered in a Cost Recovery format at an increased rate of fee assessment; refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students.

Winter Term 2021
EDEL 555 - Home/School/Community Relations

This course is designed to investigate the teacher's role in improving communication among the school, home, and community. Sections may be offered in a Cost Recovery format at an increased rate of fee assessment; refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students.

Fall Term 2020
EDEL 557 - Research in Program Development in Early Childhood Education

Prerequisite: EDEL 556 or consent of Department. Sections may be offered in a Cost Recovery format at an increased rate of fee assessment; refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students.

Winter Term 2021
EDEL 660 - Advanced Research in Education

This is a required course for doctoral students in the Department of Elementary Education. Provides students with opportunities to explore issues in educational research from a philosophical and historical perspective. Prior to choosing methods and data sources, a researcher must first be aware of and be able to defend their theoretical framework which is based on an understanding of ontology, epistemology, methodology and ethics. The purpose of this course is to expose students to the perspectives, issues and questions in these four areas so that they may begin to develop a philosophical understanding of the research process. Prerequisite: EDEL 567 or consent of the Department.

Winter Term 2021
EDFX 498A - Field Experience in the Elementary School

Prerequisite: permission of Professional Officer, Field Experiences. Sections may be offered in a Cost Recovery format at an increased rate of fee assessment; refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students.

Fall Term 2020
EDFX 498B - Field Experience in the Elementary School

Prerequisite: permission of Professional Officer, Field Experiences. Sections may be offered in a Cost Recovery format at an increased rate of fee assessment; refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students.

Winter Term 2021

Browse more courses taught by Anna Kirova

Scholarly Activities

Research - Selected books and articles by Dr. A. Kirova
For a full list of Dr. Kirova's published work, please refer to her CV.

Books Edited

  • Emme, M. & Kirova, A. (Eds.). (2017). Good Questions: Arts-based Approaches to Collaborative Research with Children and Youth. Thunder Bay, ON:  National Art Education Association. Available on:

    nbsp;   Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Good-Question-Arts-based-Approaches-Collaborative-ebook/dp/B075LWSQRR/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505531466&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=michael+j+emme     Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/good-question/id1283458852?mt=11

  • Adams, L., & Kirova, A. (Eds.). (2007). Global migration and education: Schools, children and families. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.


Books Authored

  • Prochner, L., Cleghorn, A., Kirova, A., & Massing, C. (in press). La formación de docentes en     entornos diversos: Espacios donde las visiones del mundo se entrecruzan. Cali, Colombia: Universidad del Valle. (en español)

  • Prochner, L., Cleghorn, A., Kirova, A., & Massing, C. (2016). Teacher education in diverse settings: Making space for intersecting worldviews. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

 
Book Chapters

  • Pente, P., Massing, C., Kirova, A. (in press). Collaborative landscapes as Deleuzian assemblage: Aesthetic notions of place explored by immigrant preschool teachers, parents and children. In J. Iorio and W. Parnell (Eds.). Meaning Making in Early Childhood Research: Pedagogies and the Personal. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Prochner, L., & Kirova, A. (2018). Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada. In J., L. Roopnarine, J., E., Johnson, S., Quinn & M., Patte (Eds.). International Handbook of Early Childhood Education. (pp. 392-408). New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Kirova, A., Massing. C., Cleghorn, A., & Prochner, L. (2018). Complexities of insider-outsider positioning in a comparative education study in comparative education contexts. Collaborative Research Methodologies in Diverse Early Care and Education Contexts. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Georgis, R., Gokiert, R. & Kirova, A. (2018) Research Considerations in Collaborative Early Childhood Partnerships with Immigrant and Refugee Communities: Researcher Reflections. Collaborative Research Methodologies in Diverse Early Care and Education Contexts. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Kirova, A., & Emme, M. (2017). Co-Researching with Children: Children as Researchers as a Movement and a Construct. In M. Emme and A. Kirova (Eds.) Good Questions: Arts-based Approaches to Collaborative Research with Children and Youth. (pp. 229-250). Thunder Bay, ON:  National Art Education Association.

  • Prochner, L., Cleghorn, A., Kirova, A., & Massing, C. (2017). Preparing early childhood educators in diverse settings: Making space for integrated worldviews. In F.-M. Konrad, P. Erath, & M. Rossa (Eds.), Pädagogische, didaktische und methodische Aspekte einer bildungstheoretischen Vertiefung der Arbeit mit Kindern (pp.151-168). Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt.

  • Ogilvie, L., Kirova, A., Dastjerdi, M., & Chiu, Y. (2017). Best Practices in Early Childhood Development Programs in Newcomer Populations. In A. R. Vallman, E.T. Anderson, and J. McFarlane (Eds.) Canadian Community as Partner: Theory & Multidisciplinary Practice (4th edition). (pp. 395-403). Pittsburgh, PA: Wolters Kluwer Press.

  • Prochner, L. & Kirova, A.  (2016). Kindergarten at the Dewey School, University of Chicago, 1898-1903. In H. May, K., Nawrotzki, and L. Prochner (Eds.), Kindergarten Narratives on Froebleian Education: Transnational Investigations. (pp. 99-121). London: UK: Bloomsbury.

  • Kirova, A. (2016). Challenges and rewards in working with displaced children and families: Early childhood practitioners' strategies for engaging with linguistic and ethnic diversity. In A. Farrell and I. P. Samuelson (Eds.) Diversity: Intercultural learning and teaching in the early years. (pp. 130-155) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Kirova, A. (2015). Critical and Emerging Discourses in Multicultural Education Literature: An (Updated) Review. In S. Guo and L. Wong (Eds.) Multiculturalism in Canada: Theories, Policies and Debates (pp. 239-255). Rotterdam, The Netherlands:  Sense Publishers.

  • Kirova, A., & Pente, P., & Massing, C., D. (2014). Cultural negotiations of sense of place through shared parent-child art-making in a preschool for immigrant children. In M., McCabe & C., A. Brewer (Eds.), Working with families and children of immigrants, refugees, and migrant workers in Canadian educational settings (pp. 89-112). Edmonton, AB: Brush Education Inc.

  • Kirova, A. (2013). Children’s Representations of Cultural Scripts in Play: Facilitating Transition From Home to Preschool in an Intercultural Early Learning Program for Refugee Children. In V. Pacini-Ketchabaw & L. Prochner (Eds.) Re-Situating Canadian Early Childhood Education (pp. 146-172). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

  • Kirova, A., & Emme, M. (2012). Immigrant children’s bodily engagement in accessing their lived experiences of immigration: Creating poly-media descriptive texts. In N. Friesen, C. Henriksson, & T. Saevi (Eds.), Hermeneutic Phenomenology in Education: Method and Practice (pp. 141-162).  Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

  • Kirova, A. (2012). Creating Shared Learning Spaces: An Intercultural, Multilingual Early Learning  Program for Preschool Children from Refugee Families. In F. McCarthy & M. Vickers (Eds.) Refugee and Immigrant Student: Achieving Equity in Education (pp. 23 - 44). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

  • Kirova, A. (2007). Redefining my professional identity: A journey as a new Canadian. In A. Asgaharzadeh, E. Lawson, K. Oka, & A. Wahab (Eds.). Diasporic ruptures: Globality, migrancy and expressions of identity. (pp. 53-69). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

  • Kirova, A. (2007). Moving childhoods: Children’s lived experiences with immigration. In L. Adams & A. Kirova (Eds.), Global migration and education: Schools, children and families (pp. 185-199). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.


Refereed Articles

  • Lambrev, V., Traykov, B. & Kirova, A. (accepted). Constructing Roma Students as Ethnic “Others” Through Orientalist Discourses in Bulgarian Schools. International Studies in Sociology of Education.

  • Kirova, A., & Jamison, N. (in press). Peer Scaffolding techniques and approaches in preschool children’s multiliteracy practices with iPads. Journal of Early Childhood Research.

  • Salami, B., Hegadoren, K., Kirova, A., Meharali, S., Nsaliwa, C. & Chiu, Y.  (2017). “And When a Certain Health Issue Happen, They Try to Cover it”: Stakeholder Perspective on the Health of Temporary Foreign Workers in one Canadian Province. Social Work in Health Care. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00981389.2017.1379458

  • Enns, R., Okeke-Ihejirika, P., Kirova. A. & McMenemy, C. (2017). Refugee Health Care in Canada: Responses to the 2012 Changes to the Interim Federal Health Program. Special Issue, International Journal of Migration and Border Studies 3(1), 24-42.

  • Kirova, A., Massing, C., Prochener, L. & Cleghorn, A. (2016). Shaping the “Habits of Mind” of Diverse Learners in Early Childhood Teacher Education Programs through PowerPoint: An Illustrative Case. Journal of Pedagogy-Special Issue: Resisting normal science in education 7(1), 59-78. DOI 10.1515/jped-2016-0004

  • Kirova, A., Massing, C., Prochner, L., Cleghorn, A. (2016). Educating early childhood educators in Canada: A bridging program for immigrant and refugee childcare practitioners. Journal of Contemporary Educational Studies, 2, 64-82. http://www.sodobna-pedagogika.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/2016_2_5_Kirova_ang.pdf 

  • McCoy, J., Kirova, A., & Knight, W., A. (2016) Gauging Social Integration among Canadian Muslims: A Sense of Belonging in an Age of Anxiety. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 48(2), 21-53.

  • Jamison, N., & Kirova, A. (2016). Scaffolding preschool children’s multiliteracy practices through the use of iPads. Journal of International Association of Laboratory Schools, 6(1), 1- 11.

  • Salami, B., Kirova, A., Hegadoren, K., Meharali, S., Chiu, Y. & Nsaliwa, C. (2016).  The Challenges Encountered by Immigrant Serving Agencies in Addressing the Health of Temporary Foreign Workers. Social Work in Public Health,31 (5). Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19371918.2016.1160347.

  • Kirova, A, & Prochner, L. (winter, 2015). The Issue of Other-ness in Pedagogical Theory and Practice: The Case of Roma. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, Inclusion and Education Rights of Roma Children Theme Issue, 61(4), 381-398.

  • Prochner, L., Cleghorn, A., Kirova, A., Massing, C. (2015). Early Childhood Teacher Education in Namibia and Canada. Comparative Sciences: Interdisciplinary Approaches, 83-94.

  • Paradis, J., Kirova, A. (2014). English second language learners in preschool: Profile effects in their English abilities and the role of home language environment. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 38(4), 342 - 349.

  • Kirova, A., & Hennig, K. (2013). Culturally Responsive Assessment Practices: Examples from an Intercultural Multilingual Early Learning Program for Newcomer Children. Power and Education, 5 (2), 107-119.

  • Hennig, K., & Kirova, A. (2012).The role of cultural artifacts in play as tools to mediate learning in an intercultural preschool program. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 13 (3), 226-241.

  • Dachyshyn, D., & Kirova, A. (2011). Classroom Challenges in Developing an Intercultural Early Learning Program for Refugee Children. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 57.

  • Kirova, A., & Emme, M. (2009). Immigrant children’s bodily engagement in accessing their  lived experiences of immigration: Creating poly-media descriptive texts. Phenomenology & Practice, 3(1), 59-79.

  • Kirova, A., & Emme, M. (2007). Critical issues in conducting research with immigrant children. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education: An International Journal, 1(2), 83-107.

  • Kirova, A. (2006). A game-playing approach to initiating conversations about loneliness: Negotiating meaning, disturbing power, and establishing trust. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, Theme Issue: Researching With Children and Youth, 52, 127-148.

Publications

Challenges and rewards in working with displaced children and families: Early childhood practitioners' strategies for engaging with linguistic and ethnic diversity.
Author(s): Kirova, A.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: In A. Farrell and I. P. Samuelson (Eds.) Diversity: Intercultural learning and teaching in the early years.
Page Numbers: 130-155

Critical and Emerging Discourses in Multicultural Education Literature: An (Updated) Review
Author(s): Kirova, A
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: In S. Guo and L. Wong (Eds.) Multiculturalism in Canada: Theories, Policies and Debates
Page Numbers: 239-255

Children’s Representations of Cultural Scripts in Play: Facilitating Transition From Home to Preschool in an Intercultural Early Learning Program for Refugee Children
Author(s): Kirova, A.
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education: An International Journal
Volume: 4
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 1-18

Redefining my Professional Identity: A Journey as a New Canadian.
Author(s): Kirova, A
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: In A. Asgaharzadeh, E. Lawson, K. Oka & A. Wahab (Eds.). Diasporic Ruptures: Globality, Migrancy and Expressions of Identity
Page Numbers: 53-69

When the child feels left alone.
Author(s): Kirova, A
Publication Date: 2002
Publication: In M. van Manen (Ed.), Writing in the dark: Phenomenological studies in interpretive inquiry
Page Numbers: 156-165