Dr. Jean-Claude Couture

The Promise and Precarity of the Present Moment

After four decades of teaching and research committed to educational development primarily in Alberta, I am now working with a global network of scholars and activists to support research in the public interest. Noting the growing influence of standardized testing including international large-scale assessments, competition and analytics, this network is exploring the opportunity to rethink and reaffirm the “public” in public education and focus on the value and equity basis for schooling.

As a strategic foresight practitioner, I am also focused on how public education can be mobilized in response to social, environmental and economic challenges. This requires us to rethink leadership and governance (both student leadership, leadership in schools and democratic leadership) and the practice of courageous resilience.

As Associative Coordinator, Research, at the Alberta Teachers’ Association from 2011 to 2018 I supported the development of the Association’s programme of forward-thinking research and collaboration, including the design and mobilization of over 30 studies and international partnerships with researchers, ministries of education, teacher federations and school networks.

I remain indebted to the experience and mentoring drawn from my doctoral studies, teaching and international networks in the areas of cultural psychoanalysis, action research, curriculum studies, and futures thinking.

Current Research and Teaching Interests

Public Policy Development, Cultural Psychoanalysis, Organizational Life, Educational Leadership, Critical Approaches to Strategic Foresight.

As well as my current consulting and research work, I am a Visiting Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University.


Ph. D (1999) University of Alberta, Secondary Education – Dissertation: The Gift of Failure – Teacher Commitment in the Postmodern Classroom
M.Ed. (1993) University of Alberta, Secondary Education – Thesis: Saturating Politics
B.A. Honours (1978) McGill University, History Department (Two years of degree at University of Lethbridge)

Selected recent research mobilization and public engagement

  • Supported the development of ATA’s strategic planning and national and international mobilization of research and community engagement.
  • Presented over 40 papers and Association studies to national and international academic conferences as well as to education policy makers and teacher federations (2010-2018).
  • Initiated a national strategy for mobilizing the distribution and engagement with The Global Education Race: Taking the Measure of PISA and International Testing co-authored by Sam Sellar, Greg Thompson and David Rutkowski, 2017
  • Established and led province-wide community engagement lecture series Learning Our Way to the Next Alberta, 2004-2016
  • Coordinated and managed ATA’s international research partnership with Finland in collaboration with Finnish ministry and Centre for International Mobility, 2012-2018
  • Developed and led the expansion of ATA’s international partnership program to include Norway and Ontario (2015 to 2018) in collaboration with Norwegian Union of Education, Ontario Teachers’ Federation and Ontario Ministry of Education, and New Zealand with New Zealand Education Institute
  • Director of the Annual Twin Peaks International Research Summit in Banff, AB, 2016-2018
  • Contributor, ATA research highlights in quarterly ATA Magazine, 2013 to 2018
  • Founding partner and member of editorial board for The Canadian Journal for Teacher Research, established in 2015
  • Initiated the ATA’s Real Learning First initiative developing renewed approach to educational accountability and public assurance, 2010 to 2018
  • Advisory panel, Campbell C., Osmond-Johnson P., Faubert, B., Zeichner, K., & Hobbs-Johnson. A. (2017). The State of Educators’ Professional Learning in Canada: Final Research Report