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Faculty of Community Services

Marni Binder




416-979-5000, ext. 7130

Email Address:


  • Creative arts.
  • Literacy.
  • Holistic education (spirituality of children, mindfulness).
  • Multimodal literacies.
  • Child art, visual narrative.
  • Arts-based education research.

I am an associate professor in the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University. Prior to coming to Ryerson in 2007, I worked in the preservice and graduate programs at the Faculty of Education, York University. I have also worked extensively with primary-aged children, as well as with junior-aged children as an educator in the inner city schools of Toronto for 23 years.

I have presented at international conferences such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and at the European Early Childhood Educational Research Association (EECERA). As well, I have presented at the Canadian Society for Studies in Education (CSSE) annual conferences. In 2007, I was an invited keynote at a conference in Criciúma, Santa Catarina, Brazil, speaking on the Imaginative landscape of the child: Experiencing the multiple literacies of child art. 

Research Interests:

Research interests:

  • Arts-based education research.
  • Arts-based education.
  • Multimodal literacies.
  • Children’s visual narratives.
  • Spirituality and mindfulness through holistic education in the lives of young children.

Research projects:

  • Project: Holding space for voice: Musings, metaphors, and creative openings in teaching and learning.
    • Years: 2015-2016
    • This self-study explores multimodal conversations of art-making and how this informs personal and professional risk-taking and role-modeling in the teaching and learning environment.
  • Project: Mindfulness practice as a strategy in teaching-learning of university students
    • Year: 2014-2015
    • Role: Co-investigator
    • Principal Investigator: Schwind, J.
    • Co-principal Investigator: McCay, E.
    • Co-investigators: Beanlands, H., Schindel-Martin, L., Martin, J.
  • Project: The importance of the arts in the everyday lives of young children
    • Year: 2014
    • Recent cross-cultural research explored the importance of the arts in the everyday lives of young children in Bali, Indonesia. Six artists were interviewed in Bali, Indonesia from different art forms such as visual arts, dance, wayang (shadow puppetry), gamelan (music), mask- making and topeng (mask-dancing).
  • Project: Child perspectives on disclosure of adverse events in paediatrics: A pilot study
    • Year: 2013- 2016
    • Role: Co-principal Investigator
    • Principal Investigator: Donna Koller
  • Project: Multimodal meaning-making: Connecting children globally through digital postcards
    • Year: 2013
    • Principal Investigator: Reesa Sorin
    • Co-principal Investigators: Jason Nolan, Roger Wilkinson and Philemon Chigeza.This project explored the use of blogs through a cross-cultural arts-based collaborative project between two kindergarten classrooms in Canada and Australia.
  • Project: The stories children play: How storying empowers voice in young children
    • Year: 2011/12
    • This project examined the significance of a storytelling curriculum and the use of multimodalities with kindergarten children.
  • Project: How the visual arts transform literacy understanding of identity texts in young children
    • Year: 2009
    • Role: Principal Investigator
    • Co-principal Investigator: Sally Kotsopoulos

Current Courses:

  • CLD314: Literacy in the Early Years
  • CLD215: Creative Arts 1
  • 8928S: Transformative Literacy (graduate course)

Selected Publications:


  • Miller, J. P., Nigh, K. Binder, M. J., Novak, B., Crowell, S. (Eds.) . (2018). The international handbook of holistic education. New York, NY: Roultedge.
  • Binder, M. J. & Kind, S. (Eds.) (2017). Drawing as language: Celebrating the work of Bob Steele. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.


  • Binder, M. J. (2018). Part II: Teaching- learning-curriculum. In J. P. Miller, K. Nigh, M. J. Binder, B. Novak, & S. Crowell (Eds.), The International handbook of holistic education (pp. 57- 59). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Binder M.J., Martin J., Schwind J.K. (2018) Exploring mindfulness in teaching–learning scholarship through a reflective conversation. In: N. Lemon & S. McDonough (Eds.) Mindfulness in the academy (pp. 83- 96). Switzerland AG: Springer.
  • Guiney Yallop, J. J. & Binder, M. J. (2017). From the edges of lateness: Finding our place in the curriculum. In E. Lyle (Ed.), At the intersection of selves and subject: Exploring the curricular landscape of identity (pp. 153- 162). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
  • Binder, M. J. (2017). "I wanna tell you a story": Exploring the multimodal storytelling voices of children's lived experience. In S. Garvis & N. Pramling, Narratives in early childhood education: Communication, sense making and lived experience (pp. 11- 28). New York: Routledge.
  • Binder, M. J. & Kind, S. (2017). Introduction. In M. J. Binder & S. Kind, Drawing as language: Celebrating the work of Bob Steele (pp. xix- xiii). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
  • Binder, M. J. (2017). In conversation with Bob Steele. In M. J. Binder & S. Kind, Drawing as language: Celebrating the work of Bob Steele (pp. 1-12). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
  • Binder, M. J. (2016). Spirituality and the arts: Interwoven landscapes of identities and meaning. In M. de Souza, J. Bone & J. Watson (Eds.), Spirituality across disciplines: Research and practice (pp. 285-297). New York: Springer.
  • Binder, M. J., Sorin, R., Nolan, J. & Chu, S. (2015).  Multimodal meaning-making for young children: Partnerships through blogging. In S. Garvis & N. Lemon (Eds.). Understanding digital technologies and young children: An international perspective (pp. 92-111). Milton Park Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge.
  • Binder, M. (2010). Places and spaces: Exploring social studies through architecture. In M. Blatherwick & H. Pearse, What works: Innovative strategies for teaching art (pp. 21-24). Victoria, Canada: The Canadian Society for Education through Art.
  • Binder, M. (2008). Experiencing multiple literacies through picture books. In D. Booth (Ed.). It’s critical! Strategies for deepening and extending comprehension (pp. 120-122). Markham, Canada: Pembroke Publishers.

Journal articles:

  • Binder, M. J. (2018). Bringing the arts to the everyday lived experiences of young children. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 3(2), 262-284.
  • Piotrowski, S. A., Binder, M. J. Schwind, J. K. (2017). Primary teachers' perceptions of mindfulness practices with young children. LEARNing Landscapes, 10(2), 225-240.
  • Schwind, J. K., McCay, E., Beanlands, H., Schindel Martin, L., Martin, J., & Binder, M. (2017). Mindfulness practice as a teaching-learning strategy in higher education: A qualitative exploratory pilot study. Nurse Education Today, 50, 92-96.
  • McLarnon, M. A., Richardson, P., Wiebe, S., Balsawar, V., Binder, M., Browning, K., Conrad, D., Fels, L., Gouzouasis, P., Human, A., Kim, E., Leggo, C. Lemieux, A. Mantas, K., Meyer, K., Morelli, S., Nellis, R., & Vaudrin-Charette, J. (2016). The school bus symposium: A poetic journey of co-created conference space. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 1(1), 141-173.
  • Binder, M. (2014). The storied lives children play: Multimodal approaches using storytelling. Canadian Children 39(2), 11-20.
  • Binder, M. J. (2012). Teaching as lived research. Childhood Education, 88(2), 118-120.
  • Binder, M. (2011). Contextural worlds of child art: Experiencing multiple literacies through images. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. 12(4), 367-384
  • Binder, M. & Kotsopoulos, S. (2011). Multimodal literacy narratives: Weaving the threads of young children's identity through the arts. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 25(4), 339-363.
  • Binder, M. (2011). Remembering why: The role of story in educational research. in education: exploring our connective educational landscapes, 17 (2). (14 pages)
  • Binder, M. J. (2011). "I saw the universe and I saw the world": Exploring spiritual literacy with young children. International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 16(1), 19-35.
  • Binder, M. J.  & Kotsopoulos, S. (2010). Living ishly: The arts as mindful spaces in the identity journeys of young children. Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, 23(2), 21-27).

Book reviews:

  • Binder, M. J. (2016). Book review. Arts-based and contemplative practices in research and teaching: Honoring presence. International Journal of Education through Art, 12(1), 227-229.
  • Binder, M. J. (2015). Book review. Emergent teaching: A path of creativity, significance, and transformation. Journal of Transformative Education. 13(2), 186-188. First published online January, 2015. DOI: 10.1177/1541344614566283

Professional Affiliations:

  • Provost's Innovative Teaching Award, Ryerson University, 2016-2017.
  • Sue Williams Excellence in Teaching Award, Ryerson University, 2013.
  • Co-authored article with Sally Kotsopoulos, Multimodal literacy narratives: Weaving the threads of young children's identity through the arts, in the Journal of Research in Childhood Education received an Honorable Mention in the Association for Childhood Education International's (ACEI) 2011 Distinguished Education Research Article Award Program.

Selected Publications & Presentations:

In 2014, I contributed images and poetic text to a research blog titled: We are not ourselves, created by colleagues at Southern Cross University in Australia to explore walking and mapping and “unravel the harmonics of collaboration in educational research.”

Position Currently Held:

Associate Professor (On sabbatical leave from January 2019 – June 2019)

Creative activity
Awards and honours

Contact details

Office details

  • Office location: KHS 363-O, Kerr Hall South.
  • Hours available: Please contact.
  • Appointment preference: Please contact.