Melanie Bourke

Name Melanie Bourke
School Community Services
ProgramBachelor of Early Learning Program Development (Honours)
Academic and professional designations
  • PhD, Language, Culture and Teaching (York University)
  • MA, Humanities: Interpretations and Values (Laurentian University)
  • BEd, Primary-Junior Divisions (Nipissing University)
  • BBA, Human Resources Stream (Nipissing University)


  • Ontario Qualified Teacher, Primary and Junior Divisions (Ontario College of Teachers)
Courses taught
  • EDUC72010 - History and Philosophy in Learning and Education
  • EDUC72020 - Contemporary Perspectives in Early Learning Community Practice
  • SOSC71020 - Child, Family, and Community Literacy
  • ECE73010 - Designing and Evaluating Responsive Programs
  • SOCS73000 - Social Action and Program Leadership
  • SOCS74010 - Social Policy and Engaged Citizenship
  • ECE73005 - Professional Engagement V
  • ECE73025 - Professional Engagement VI
Areas of expertise & interest Educational Theory/Philosophy/Psychoanalysis
Industry experience, professional currency activities

2021 - present

Research Ethics Board Member Conestoga College

The REB is a volunteer committee of experienced researchers and subject matter experts that reviews all research protocols involving human participants.


Preschool Engagement

Lab School, Conestoga College

  • Positioned in the Preschool program at the Conestoga College Lab School.
  • Experience/engagement focus on developing relationships with Lab School Educators and preschool children in ways that can be linked to theoretical/practical learning with Early Childhood Educator Candidates.


Early Learning Community-Based Research: Ideas Connect SSHRC Project

School of Health and Life Sciences and Community Services, Conestoga College

  • Worked with Project Leads: Salima Alam-Hafeez and Goranka Vukelich
  • The aim of the project/research was to work alongside community partners to determine, and provide support, to areas of need in the early learning sector in response to recent government/regulatory changes—Municipally and Provincially.
  • Was the lead on the community/committee-focused “Terms of Reference” language initiative examining local committee work, purpose, and overlap.
  • Produced research findings report on the “Terms of Reference” work in Spring 2017.
  • Participated in local committee presentations.
  • Engaged in numerous networking events/activities as part of the research process.


Workshop (Developed): “The Informed Professional” Conestoga College

  • Developed in partnership with Harmony Simard, an Early Childhood Education Consultant for the Kitchener-Waterloo Region.
  • Workshop focuses on fostering professional identity of Early Childhood Educators through the concept of the “Educator as Researcher” with an emphasis on keeping informed to Municipal, Provincial, and Federal governance activities
Major research projects, scholarly activities, and/or publications

Conference presentations


“Anxiously Supporting Minds: Examining Ontario’s Mental Health Guide for K-12 Educators” Accepted for CSSE Annual Conference 2018 University of Regina, Regina, May 30


“Emotional Generosity: Questions from Early Learning to Higher Education” Presented at CSSE Annual Conference 2017 Ryerson University, Toronto, May 31


“What is Lost or Gained in a Shift to Online Learning?” Accepted at CSSE Annual Conference 2015 University of Ottawa, Ottawa


“Phantasies in Education, Education in Phantasies: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Monsieur Lazhar” Presented at CSSE Annual Conference 2013 University of Victoria, Victoria, June 4


“The Art of Speaking through ‘Intermediate Narrations:’ Christian Boltanski and the (Im)Possibilities of Education” Presented at CSSE Annual Conference 2012 Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, May 28 “An Uncanny Insurrection: Debating Negativity in the Work of Kara Walker” Presented at CACS Pre-Conference: Art in Times of Conflict: Curricular Explorations Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, May 26


“Kara Walker’s Negative Education” Presented at the 10th Annual Graduate Students in Education Conference 2011: The Experience of Learning York University, Toronto, March 11


“Photos and Frames: Canadian Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Relations” Presented at the 8th Annual Graduate Conference in Education: New Directions: People, Passion and Pedagogy York University, Toronto, May 8


“Discursivity and Trauma: Sharing in Residential School Trauma between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians” Presented at the 4th Annual Trent-Carleton Graduate Student Conference: Canada: Who? Why? How? Trent University, Peterborough, November 10 “Sex Education in Special Needs: Normalizing the Impaired or Impairing Normalization” Presented at Humanities MA Practicum Colloquium Laurentian University, Sudbury, April 19


  • Bourke, M. (2012). An Uncanny Insurrection: Debating Negativity in the Work of Kara Walker. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 10(2), 120-134.
    Additional Information
    Theory Thinker, Preschool Player, Professing Professor