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Christy Thomas, EdD

Associate Dean, School of Education
Associate Professor, School of Education
Phone number
(403) 407-9489


I am an educator and lifelong learner. I started teaching in K-12 education in 1998 after completing my bachelor’s degree. I completed my master’s degree in 2011 at the University of Alberta. In Summer 2012, I enrolled in doctoral studies at the University of Calgary and completed my Doctorate in Education in March 2016. Since 2016, I’ve been a sessional instructor in the undergraduate and graduate programs at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary and am also currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Werklund School of Education. I joined Ambrose University in Fall 2019 and was a sessional instructor for both the fall and winter terms before taking on my new role as Assistant Professor in the School of Education. I teach graduate courses in leadership and a variety of undergraduate courses in curriculum and learning. My research centers on collaborative approaches for leadership, professional learning, and instructional design while utilizing mixed methods, design-based research, and action research. I am married to Justin and enjoy exercising, music, traveling, food and spending time with family and friends.

Current Research

My research interests and current projects focused on collaborative approaches to leadership, professional learning and instructional design while utilizing mixed methods, design-based research, and action research. I have been involved in a variety of projects related to my research interests and this has given me experience in roles as principal investigator and co-investigator: Exploring Online Pedagogies for Social Connectedness and Advancing Professional Collaboration (2021-2023, co-PI; SSHRC IDG), Building Faculty Capacity for Online Teaching and Learning (2021-2022; PI, Ambrose Research Fund), Connecting School Leaders in an Ethic of Care Community (2022-2023; co-PI; not funded), Evaluating the Effectiveness of a High Quality Collaborative Professional Learning Model in Addressing Alberta’s Leadership Quality Standard, (2018-2022; PI; AB Ed Grant), Exploring the Impact of YouthLink Crime Prevention and Education Program (2019-2023; PI; Subgrant), Fostering Student Collaboration and Assessing Group Assignments (2017-2019; co-PI; SOTL grant).

My research interests and teaching background have given me the opportunity to speak and consult on topics related to collaborative approaches to leadership, professional learning and instructional design. I have presented on these topics at conferences, led workshops, and consulted with community partners. In 2020, I had a role as instructional design consultant at Ambrose University where I had the opportunity to support and collaborate with faculty in building capacity for online teaching and learning. Since that time, I’ve also facilitated teaching and learning workshops for faculty development at Ambrose University and Taylor Institute at the University of Calgary. Topics for these workshops were related to instructional design and online pedagogies.

Select Publications

Martens, S. & Thomas, C. (Winter, 2023). From surviving to flourishing: Personal development for new school leaders in a caring community. Canadian Association of Principals.

Thomas, C. (2022). Soft landings: Creating a safe place for teachers to take risks while learning. International Journal for Leadership in Learning, 22(1), 73-92.

Nogueira, B., Hartwell, A., Thomas, C., & Brown, B. (2022). Video camera on-off during synchronous online group work. International Journal on Innovations in Online Education, 6(2), 1-18.

Thomas, C. & Martens, S. (2022). Connecting school leaders in an ethic of care community. Journal of Leadership, Accountability, and Ethics, 19(4).

Thomas, C. & Brown, B. (2021). Formative assessment strategies to support group work. Education in the North, 28(2), 134-155.

Brown, B. & Thomas, C. (2020). Technology used to support learning in groups. International Journal of E-learning & Distance Education, 35(1), 1-34.

Thomas, C. & Brown, B. (2019). Developing pre-service teachers’ leadership capacity through group work. International studies in Educational Administration, 47(2), 37-57.

Hill, J., Thomas, C., & Brown, B. (2019). Research assistant as partner: Collective leadership to facilitate co-production. International Journal for Students as Partners, 3(2), 129-138.


EdD (University of Calgary)
MEd (University of Alberta)
BEd (University of Calgary)

Signature Courses

CDPD 500 – Intro to Principles and Practice of Curriculum Design and Program Development
CDPD 700 - Synthesis of Principles and Practices in Curriculum Design
ELQS 001 – Becoming a Transformative Leader