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Faculty of Community Services

Rachel Berman




416-979-5000, ext.7695

Email Address:


  • Mothering, parenting, family engagement, perspectives of children and youth.
  • Methods of inquiry, including social research with children and critical qualitative inquiry.
  • Feminist and Critical Race Theory.
  • 'Race' in early childhood settings.


I received a BA in History at Queen’s University, and graduated summa cum laude from York University with a BA in Psychology. I completed an MA in Human Development and Family Relations at the University of Connecticut, followed by a PhD in Family Studies at the University of Guelph. Prior to joining the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson in 2000, I taught feminist research methods at York University and at McMaster University. I am a member of the Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education Association, the Association for Research on Mothering, the Canadian Sociology Association, and the Women's and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes, and an adjunct member to the graduate program in Gender, Feminist & Women's Studies, York University.

Research Interests:

Research projects:

  • Currently, I am the Principal Investigator on a SSHRC funded project entitled, Can we talk about race? This project examines ways to foster conversations about race in early childhood settings.
  • During 2008-2011, I was part of the SSHRC funded multi-university, interdisciplinary project examining adolescent well-being in military families
  • From 2006-2009, I was involved in a community based project funded by the Canadian Council on Learning that sought success stories and examined barriers to immigrant women's English language learning.
  • From 2002-2005, I participated in a community based research project funded by Human Resources Development Canada that developed an evaluation toolkit based on what family support program participants value.

Current Courses:

  • CS 8904: Theoretical Frameworks for Early Childhood Studies
  • CS 8930: Social Research with Children 
  • CLD 332: Families in Canadian Society ll

Selected Publications:



  • Berman, R. (forthcoming). Critical Race Studies. In Daniel Thomas Cook and Erica Burman (Eds.)The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies. (pp. tba). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
  • Barnikis, T., MacNevin, M. & Berman, R. (2019). Participatory research with children: Critical reflections. In I. Berson, M. Berson, and C. Gray (Eds.). Participatory methodologies to elevate children's voice and agency. (pp. 3-24). Charlotte N.C.: Information Age Publishing.
  • Berman, R. (2018). Families caring for children in the 21st century. In A. Gazso & K. Kobayashi (Eds.) Continuity and Innovation: Canadian Families in the New Millennium. (pp. 183-198).Toronto, ON.: Nelson.
  • Berman, R. & MacNevin, M. (2017). Adults researching with children. In X. Chen, R. Raby, & P. Albanese (Eds.) The Sociology of Childhood and Youth in Canada. (pp 24-46). Toronto, ON.: Canadian Scholars Press.

Journal articles:

  • Berman, R., Daniel, B., Butler, A., MacNevin, M. & Royer, N. (2017). Nothing, or almost nothing, to report: Early childhood educators and discursive constructions of colorblindness. International Critical Childhood Policy Studies Journal 6(1), 52-65.
  • Escayg, K-A., Berman, R. & Royer, N. (2017). Canadian Children and Race: Toward an Antiracism Analysis. Journal of Childhood Studies, 42(2), 10-21
  • MacNevin, M. & Berman, R. (2016). The Black baby doll doesn’t fit- the disconnect between early childhood diversity policy, early childhood educator practice, and children’s play. Early Child Development and Care. Advance Online Publication. DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1223065
  • Harrison, D., Albanese, P., & Berman, R. (2014). Parent-adolescent relationships in military families affected by PTSD. Canadian Social Work Review, 31(1), 81-103.
  • Di Santo, A. & Berman, R. (2012). Beyond the Preschool Years: Children’s Perceptions About Starting Kindergarten. Children and Society 26(6), 469-479.
  • Berman, R.C., and Tyyskä, V. (2011). A critical reflection on the use of translators/interpreters in a qualitative cross-language research project. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 10(2), 178-190.
  • Ajodhia-Andrews, A. & Berman, R.C.  (2009) Exploring school life from the lens of a child who does not use speech to communicate. Qualitative Inquiry, 15(5), 931- 951.
  • Berman, R. C. & Wilson, L. (2009). Pathologizing or validating: Intake workers’ discursive constructions of mothers. Qualitative Health Research, 19(4), 444- 453.
  • Charles, N. & Berman, R. C. (2009). Positive constructions of the mother-child relationship:  Listening to mothers with children with ASD. Journal of the  Association for Research on Mothering,11(1), 180-198.
  • Kediye, F., Valeo, A. & Berman, R. C.(2009). Somali-Canadian Mothers’ Experiences in Parenting a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, 11(1), 211-223.
  • Guruge, S., Berman, R., Tyyska, V., Kilbride, K., Woungang, I., Edwards, S. & Clune, L. (2009) The Implications of English Proficiency on Immigrant Women’s Access to and Utilization of Health Services. Women’s Health & Urban Life: an International and Interdisciplinary Journal, 8(2), 21-42 df

Professional Affiliations:

  • YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award, Ryerson University, 2018

Position Currently Held:

Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor (on sabbatical leave in Winter 2020)

Creative Activity
Awards and honours

Contact details

Office details

  • Office location:  KHS 363-F, Kerr Hall South
  • Appointment preference: Please email for an appointment.