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Faculty of Community Services
kathryn-underwood

Kathryn Underwood

Title:

PhD

Telephone:

416-979-5000, ext. 2519

Email Address:

kunderwood@ryerson.ca

Specialization:

  • Inclusive curriculum, teaching and learning
  • Disability studies in education and childhood
  • Special education policy and practice
  • Early years service planning and delivery

Biography:

My work focuses on equity and disability issues in early childhood studies, as well as in education, care and intervention social policy and practice. My work takes up critical disability theory as a starting point for understanding how society responds to and constructs childhood through social institutions. My research has spanned work in family-school relationships, special education policy, and inclusive early childhood education and care policy, both in Canada and internationally. I have been involved with over 20 research projects, with funding from government, the not-for-profit sector, and private foundations.

Research Interests:

My research interests are in human rights and education practice, particularly with regard to disability rights and inclusive education. The focus of my research has been on how constructions of disability in education and early childhood program contexts are used to organize children. I am particularly interested in intersectional identities of all disabled children. I have also conducted a number of studies that focus on parent viewpoints and the work of families to engage with institutions.

My research uses multiple methodological orientations and methods, informed by many expert collaborators. This has allowed me to match the most appropriate methods to answer critical questions in early childhood disability studies.

Research interests:

  • Disability theory in education
  • Early years service system planning and evaluation
  • Equity and inclusion for young children and their families
  • Interdisciplinary methods

Research projects:

Inclusive Early Childhood Service System Project
Years:
2014-2025
Role: Project Director

Funded by:

  • The IECSS Project is funded through a partnership between the Corporation of the County of Wellington, District of Timiskaming Social Services Administration Board, City of Hamilton, City of Toronto and Ryerson University.

This project is also funded by the following grants:

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant #895-2018-1022. 
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grant #890-2014-0096. 
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Knowledge Synthesis grant #872-2016-0005
  • Development of the project was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant #PIH: 132311

Current Courses:

Teaching responsibilities:

  • CLD 445: Inclusion and Consultation
  • CLD 435 Theory and Practice of Family Support
  • DST 503: Rethinking Disability in Education
  • S18: Prevention science and disability studies: Strategies, programs and monitoring (University of Zagreb)

Teaching interests:

  • Disability studies
  • Inclusive early childhood education, care and intervention
  • Curriculum theory and evaluation
  • Social justice in early childhood and education contexts
  • Family support

Selected Publications:

Books:

  • Underwood, K. (2008). The construction of disability in our schools: Teacher and Parent perspectives on the experience of labelled students. R. Slee (Ed.) Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense.

Chapters:

  • Underwood, K. (in press). A Systems Understanding of inclusive childhoods: The Inclusive Early Childhood Service System project (IECSS). D. Jahr & Robert Kruschel (Eds.) Inclusion in Canada – Perspectives on Cultures, Structures and Practices.
  • Underwood, K. Chan, C. Koller, D. & Valeo, A. (2017). Understanding Young Children’s Capabilities: Approaches to Interviews with Young Children Experiencing Disability. In B. Kelly and B. Byrne (Eds.) Valuing Disabled Children and Young People: Research, policy, and practice. Routledge (184 pages)
  • Snoddon, K. & Underwood, K. (in press). "A social relational model of Deaf childhood in action?" In K. Runswick-Cole, T. Curran, and K. Liddiard (Eds), Handbook of Disabled Children's Childhood Studies: Building Understandings. Palgrave.
  • Frankel, E. Underwood, K., & Goldstein, M. (2017). Principles and practices of early intervention. In I. Brown & M. Percy (Eds), A comprehensive guide to intellectual and developmental disabilities (2nd ed). Baltimore, MD: Brookes.
  • Frankel, E. & Underwood, K. (2012). Early Intervention for Young Children. In I. Brown and M. Percy (Eds), Developmental Disabilities in Ontario (3rd Ed), Toronto, OADD.

Articles in refereed journals:

  • Snoddon, K. & Underwood, K. (2017) Deaf time in the twenty-first century: Considering rights frameworks and the social relational model of Deaf childhood. Disability & Society, 32(9), p. 1400-1415, doi:10.1080/09687599.2017.1320269 
  • Langford, R., Di Santo, A., Valeo, A., Underwood, K. & Lenis, A. (2017). The innovation of Ontario full day kindergarten educator teams: have they reproduced the split systems of care and education? Gender and Education
  • Underwood, K., Di Santo, A., Valeo, A., & Langford, R. (2016). Partnerships in Full Day Kindergarten classrooms: Early Childhood Educators and Kindergarten Teachers working together. Journal of Childhood Studies, 41(1), 36-45. 
  • Bancroft, R. & Underwood, K. (Summer 2015). A vision for inclusive childcare: From principles to policy. Our Schools/ Our Selves, 24(4), 95-106.
  • Valeo, A., & Underwood, K. (2015) Analysis of Special Education Tribunal Outcomes Using Luhmann’s Systems Theory. International Journal of Special Education.
  • Underwood, K. & Trent-Kratz, M. (2015). Contributions of parenting and family literacy centres in an early childhood services system. The School Community Journal, 25(1), 95-116.
  • Underwood, K., Chan, C., Koller, K. & Valeo, A. (2015). Understanding Young Children’s Capabilities: Approaches to interviews with young disabled children, Child Care in Practice. Jan. 15, 2014 
  • Snoddon, K. & Underwood. K. (2013). Toward a Social Relational Model of Deaf Childhood. Disability & Society, 29(4), 530-542. 
  • Thornton, C. & Underwood, K. (2013). Conceptualizations of Disability and Inclusion: Perspectives of Educators of Young Children. Early Years: An International Journal of Research and Development, 33(1), 59-73, Available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09575146.2012.682975#.VTj2PpMsCFU
  • Underwood, K. & Killoran, I. (2012). Parent and family perspectives on engagement: Lessons from the early years. Canadian Journal of Education. 35(4), 376 -414.
  • Graham, K., & Underwood, K., (2012) The reality of rurality: Rural parents’ experiences of early years services. Health & Place, 18(6), 1231–1239. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23034104
  • Underwood, K. & Frankel, E. (2012). The Developmental Systems Approach to Early Intervention in Canada. Infants & Young Children, 25(4), 286-296.
  • Underwood, K, Valeo, A. & Wood, R. (2012). Understanding Inclusive Early Childhood Education: A Capability Approach. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 13(4) 290-299.
  • Underwood, K. (2012). Mapping the early intervention system in Ontario, Canada. International Journal of Special Education. 27(2), 125-134. Available online: http://www.internationaljournalofspecialeducation.com/issues.cfm
  • Underwood, K. (2012). A case study of exclusion on the basis of behaviour (and experiences of migration and racialisation). International Journal of Inclusive Education, Volume 16, Issue 3, 313-329
  • Underwood, K. (2010). Involving and Engaging parents of children with IEPs Exceptionality Education International. Accepted March 12, 2010, 25 pages.

Other articles and policy submissions (last five years):

  • Underwood, K. & Parekh, G. (2016). Submission to Draft General Comment no. 4 Article 24 The right to inclusive education (January 15, 2016).
  • Parekh, G., & Underwood, K. (2015). Inclusion: Creating school and classroom communities where everyone belongs. Research, tips, and tools for educators and administrators. (Research Report No.15/16‐09). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Toronto District School Board
  • IECSS (2015). Policy Brief No. 4: Inclusive Early Childhood Service System project, Response to proposed regulations and changes to the Child Care and Early Years Act 2014, March, 2016. 
  • IECSS (2015). Document d’orientation No 4: Le projet de système inclusif de services à la petite enfance (SISPE), Réponse au projet de règlement et aux modifications à la Loi sur la garde d’enfants et la petite enfance de 2014, Mars 2016.
  • IECSS (2015). Policy Brief No. 3: Inclusive Early Childhood Service System project, Recommendations for creating and INCLUSIVE early childhood education and care system, September, 2015.
  • IECSS (2015). Document d’orientation No 3: Le projet de système inclusif de services à la petite enfance (SISPE), Recommandations pour créer un système INCLUSIF de services d’éducation et de garde à la petite enfance, Septembre 2015.
  • IECSS (2015). Policy Brief No. 2: Inclusive Early Childhood Service System project, submission to the Day of General Discussion (DGD) on the right to education for persons with disabilities, (15 April 2015,at Palais des Nations, Geneva), March, 2015.
  • IECSS (2015). Document d’orientation No 2: Le projet de système inclusif de services à la petite enfance (SISPE), Déposé à l’occasion de la journée de débat général sur le droit des personnes handicapées à l’éducation, qui se tiendra le 15 avril 2015 au Palais des Nations, à Genève, Mars 2015.
  • Underwood, K. (2015). Inclusive Early Childhood Service System project, submission to the Day of General Discussion (DGD) on the right to education for persons with disabilities, (15 April 2015,at Palais des Nations, Geneva)
  • IECSS (2014). Policy Brief No. 1: Inclusive Early Childhood Service System project, Décembre 2014. 
  • IECSS (2014). Document d’orientation No 1: Le projet de système inclusif de services à la petite enfance (SISPE), December 2014. Le projet de système inclusif de services à la petite enfance (SISPE)
  • Underwood, K., Frankel, E. & Langford, E. (2013) Response to the Ministry of Education Discussion Paper on the Modernization of Child Care. Submission to the Ministry of Education (Ontario).
  • Underwood, K. (2013). Everyone is Welcome: Inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care. Toronto, ON: Ministry of Education. Accessed online: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/inclusion.html
  • Underwood, K. & Langford, R. (2012). Issues that Matter: ASD identification.  Toronto, ON: Aktinson Centre for Society and Child Development,
  • Underwood, K. & Langford, R. (2011). Children with Special Educational Needs in Early Childhood. Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

Professional Affiliations:

  • Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity Award, Faculty of Community Services, 2012

Selected Publications & Presentations:

  • Church, K., Underwood, K. and Vorstermans, J. (2018). Tensions in disabled childhoods [photo exhibit]. Toronto, Canada.

Position Currently Held:

Associate Professor

Biography
Teaching
Research
Creative activity
Publications
Awards and honours

Contact details

Office assistant contact

  • Inclusive Early Childhood Service System Project office
  • 416-979-5000, ext. 7637

Office details

  • Office location: KHS 363-C, Kerr Hall South