Paulette Thompson

PhD, Education, French
Headshot of Paulette Thompson


Who knew that when I first set foot in the Canadian Studies Center  back in 1990, that I was beginning a lifelong relationship!  I was finishing my UW College of Education Secondary Teaching Certification Program when I met the late professor Douglas Jackson, the founder of the UW Canadian Studies Center, to ask about taking a course with him over spring quarter that year. My course project for that class focused on high school French immersion programs in Canada. And the rest is history…
As a longtime high school teacher, I was a familiar presence at UW Canadian Studies professional development opportunities for educators over the years. And some of the other conferences and connections I have participated in over the years are often chronicled in the JSIS Canadian Studies newsletters.

I am currently a PhD student in the UW College of Education in Multicultural Education (now called Culturally Sustaining Education). I am interested in liberatory education (Freire). My specific area focuses on K-12 Indigenous and ethnic studies, teacher transformation as well as teacher activism.
Although I majored in History and French as an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke College, I have not kept up with the language of theory in French, even that pertaining to education. Having served in the Peace Corps in Morocco after my undergraduate years, I became more familiar with standard French concepts, theories and vocabulary concerning multicultural education. Here’s the thing: Those in France, Belgium, and Switzerland are different from the Canadian ones. Francophone Canadian contexts regarding multicultural education, along with indigenous and ethnic studies, are different, even in Anglophone areas. And the specific Quebec​ context is different. While I am familiar to a degree with Canadian multicultural education in Anglophone settings, having the FLAS for the 2024-2025 academic year will provide me with the tools to participate in K-12 Indigenous and ethnic studies discourse here in North America.