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Kate Tilleczek

Dr. Kate Tilleczek has been examining the lives and social contexts of children and youth for twenty years. She is the founder and director of the Young Lives Research Lab and UPEI Qualitative Research lab (CFI- funded). Kate is concerned with the ways in which modern societies can marginalize their young and strives to provide nuanced examinations of the daily lives and struggles of young lives. Dr. Tilleczek is currently engaged in 3 clusters of research relating to the impacts of the modern world on young lives; 1) re-imagining schools for and with marginalized youth, 2) educational and social impacts of technology on young lives over time and place, 3) pathways to and from mental health for young people.

Current Projects

  • SSHRC -Engaging marginalized youth in developing better education
  • CIDA- Wekimun: A school for and with marginalized youth and communities in Chile
  • SSHRC - Digital media and young lives over time: International and cultural comparisons
  • CIHR – Youth mental health in Atlantic Canada
  • CIHR- Youth mental health in schools: An arts informed conversation
  • SSHRC-International insights in research methods and theories of children and youth

Recently Completed

  • Poverty, mental health and school disengagement (Ontario Ministry of Child & Youth Services to inform Youth Policy Framework (Stepping Stones) for the province.
  • Early School Leavers Project (Ontario Ministry of Education)
  • Transitions from Elementary to Secondary School (Ontario Ministry of Education)
  • Youth pathways to literacy on PEI (HRSDC)




BA (Honours), BEd, MA, PhD

Professor, Canada Research Chair (Child/Youth Cultures and Transitions)
Education, Sociology/Anthropology
Education and Arts (Sociology/Anthropology)
(902) 620-5127
Research Interests: 
  • Youth studies (Sociology of youth, youth cultures)
  • Childhood studies (Sociology of children, childhood cultures)
  • Sociology of education (critiques of public education)
  • Intersections of poverty, social class, mental health, culture, identities and education)
  • Marginalization and engagement of youth
  • Transitions of children and youth
  • Qualitative methods
  • Social theory

Tilleczek, K & Ferguson, B. (Eds). (2013). Youth, education and marginality: Local and global expressions. Waterloo, Canada: Wilfred Laurier University Press.

Tilleczek, K & Campbell, V. (2013). Barriers to youth literacy: Sociological and Canadian insights. Language and Literacy, 15 (2), 77-100.

Tilleczek, K. (2013). On being poor at school. In K. Tilleczek & B. Ferguson (Eds). Youth education, and marginality: Local and global expressions. Waterloo, Canada: Wilfred Laurier University Press.

Tilleczek, K & Kinlock, K. (2013). Humanities infused praxis by, with and for youth: Esoteric hope. In K. Tilleczek, K. & B. Ferguson (Eds). Youth, education and marginality: Local and global expressions. Waterloo, Canada: Wilfred Laurier University Press.

Tilleczek, K. (2012). Policy activism with and for youth transitions through public education. Journal of Educational Administration and History. 44(3), 253-267.

Tilleczek, K. (2012). Early childhood transitions and critical praxis. Canadian Children, 37(2), 13-19.

Tilleczek, K, Ferguson, B., Roth Edney, D. Rummens, J.A., Boydell, K. & Mueller, M. (2011). A contemporary study with early school leavers: Pathways and social processes of leaving high school. Canadian Journal of Family and Youth.3(1), 1-39.

Tilleczek, K (submitted). Theorizing youth: Biography, society and time. In S. Steinberg and A.Ibrahim (editors). The Critical Youth Studies Reader. London: Peter Lang Press.

Tilleczek, K. (2011). Approaching youth studies: Being, becoming and belonging. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Tilleczek, K. (2011). Adjusting the rear view mirror: An examination of youth driving culture.Youth and Society, 43 (2), 757-778.

Tilleczek, K. (with M. Ferguson and V. Campbell) (2011). Youth transitions through school: Intersections of poverty, mental health and engagement. Policy paper prepared for the Ontario Ministry of Child and Youth Services for A Youth Policy Framework. Toronto, Ontario.

Current Collaborators (non-UPEI): 

Dr. John Smyth
Research Professor of Education
& Research Theme Leader
Centre for Disadvantage and Inequality in Education and Health
School of Education
Victoria, Australia

Dr. Bruce Ferguson

Director of Community Health Systems Group

Hospital for Sick Children

Toronto, Canada


Dr. Andy Furlong

University of Glasgow

Scotland, UK


Dr. Katherine Boydell

Director of Qualitative Inquiry

Senior Research Scientist

Hospital for Sick Children

Toronto, Canada


Dr. Simon Laflamme

Director PhD in Human Studies

Professor of Sociology

Laurentian University

Sudbury, Canada