Alison M. Thomas
- gender and family roles
- ‘threshold concepts’ in sociology
- transformative learning
PhD (University of Reading, UK)
MA (University of Cambridge, UK)
BA (University of Cambridge, UK)
Canadian Sociological Association
British Sociological Association
British Psychological Society
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Douglas College Faculty member 2005 - 2020.
I began my academic career in the UK, then immigrated to Canada in 1996, teaching for eight years in the Sociology Department at the University of Victoria before joining Douglas College in 2005. I currently teach courses in Introductory Sociology, Gender, Family, and Research Methods. After spending many years conducting research on gender (including an analysis of how Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards portray gendered roles in the home), I have more recently been engaged mainly in research on teaching and learning. I participated in two collaborative studies with Douglas College colleagues (the first exploring student engagement, and the second, student experiences in our summer ‘field schools’) and then in 2012 embarked on a solo research project investigating student learning in the introductory sociology course I teach. Specifically, my three-year study employed the concept of learning thresholds to examine how students’ exposure to the 'sociological imagination' can have a transformative effect on their worldview. This research revealed important variations in students’ initial ability to develop a sociological imagination and also in its long-term impact on them, and (in keeping with the ethos of SoTL) these findings have ultimately led me to revise my approach to teaching this concept.
Recent Citations for Alison M. Thomas
- 'Things are a lot more gray now, as opposed to black vs. white': student uncertainty on the edge of a threshold in Introductory Sociology
- Supermoms and bumbling dads: How do Mother's Day and Father's Day cards help perpetuate traditional roles in the home?
- Edging towards understanding: Illuminating student experiences of liminality in introductory sociology
- Terms of inclusion? Rejecting the role of 'honorary man' in the ivory tower
- Crossing boundaries: Ethical and methodological choices in the design of classroom-based research
- Venturing into the unknown: What evidence is there - one year later - of the impact of a threshold concept on students in a first year elective course?