Jennifer Vadeboncoeur


HDLC Program Coordinator


Scarfe Library Block 272B

Scholarly Interests:

Alternative Schooling and PedagogiesCritical TheoryDiscourse and Critical Discourse AnalysisEthnographyQualitative ResearchSocially Constructing Knowledge and IdentitySociocultural Approaches to Learning and TeachingYoung People Placed “At Risk”

Dr. Vadeboncoeur’s research examines the development of imagining and moral imagining in imaginative play, including how children initiate, maintain, and conclude imaginative play, as well as how they transition between imaginative play and other social practices. Building from previous critical ethnographic research the United States and Australia, she continues to work with young people and teachers in alternative programs, inquiring into the process of re-engagement, the contradictions of alternative programs, including the ways in which they both perpetuate inequity and create safe spaces, and the concept of moral imagining in student-teacher relationships. Current research projects inquire into children’s and youths’ relations with nature.

Courses Taught

EPSE 630 Advanced Seminar on Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood

EPSE 606 College and University Teaching

EPSE 604A Culture and Youth

EPSE 586 Analyzing Discourse and Talk: An Overview of Methods

LLED 501 Analyzing Discourse and Talk: An Overview of Methods

EPSE 587 Analyzing Discourse in Education: Descriptive and Critical Approaches

LLED 502 Analyzing Discourse in Education: Descriptive and Critical Approaches

CCFI 572A Research Epistemology, Ontology, and Axiology: Disciplinary and Transdisciplinary Perspectives

EPSE 511 Play: A Cultural-Historical Life Course Perspective

EPSE 503 Cultural Perspectives on Learning, Development and Media

EPSE 501 Seminar in Human Development, Learning and Culture


University of Colorado-Boulder

Research Projects

Engaging Young People as Community Co-Educators in Higher Education: A Toolkit Based Upon the Five R’s (2024-2025)

Advancing Community Engaged Learning (PI)


Fostering children’s ecological imagination with augmented storying (2023-2026) 

SSHRC Insight Grant, with Kristiina Kumpulainen (PI)


Mapping attachment to place through walking methodology (2022)

Advancing Community Engaged Learning (PI)


Mapping transitions through and beyond the Chilliwack Youth Health Centre Society: An examination of “radiating influence” through Chilliwack (2022-2024) 

Chilliwack Social Research and Planning Council (PI)


Braiding Indigenous and anti-racist perspectives through HDLC’s core with contributions to the TEO (2021-2023)

FoE Curriculum Enhancement (PI)


Designing a place-based app for multimodal research into children’s relations with nature: A literature review and pilot study (2020-2023) 

SSHRC Explore (PI)


Regenerating cultural-historical theory (2018-2019)

Spencer Conference Grant, with Michael Cole (PI)


Approaching learning from an Indigenous sociocultural perspective (2010)

UBC Hampton (PI)


Developing conceptions of justice: A study of young people’s moral dialogue and discourse (2006)

UBC Hampton (PI)


Social spaces in a flexible learning centre: Negotiating successful learning through participation
(with co-investigator Dale Murray)

Research in the literature across Australia and the US highlights the barriers to success in mainstream schools for some young people. This research captures the “positive thesis,” or what works for many youth excluded from schools, by building on an 18-month study of six educational outreach programs where young people re-engage in learning. Recommendations and a model of flexible learning centers, including principles for operation and governance, leadership and staffing, professional development, and four curriculum strands, is being generated.

Funded by the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, Brisbane Australia.

Selected Publications

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2017). Vygotsky and the promise of public education. New York: Peter Lang.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & Stevens, L. P. (Eds.). (2005). Re/constructing “the adolescent”: Sign, symbol and body. New York: Peter Lang.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & *Jervis-Tracey, P. (Eds.). (2004). Crossing boundaries: Perspectives across paradigms in educational research. Brisbane, QLD: Australian Academic Press.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & *Rawolle, S. (Eds.). (2003). Educational imaginings: On the play of texts and contexts. Brisbane, QLD: Australian Academic Press.

Journal Articles

Kumpulainen, K., Byman, J., Renlund, J., Wong, C.-C., Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2023). Fostering children’s ecological imagination with augmented storying. Journal of Environmental Education, 54(10) 33-45.

Panina-Beard, N. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2022). Learning from youth in alternative programs: Transforming schooled histories into a reimagined school for education. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 27(3), 239-269

Vadeboncoeur, J. A., Panina-Beard, N., & Vellos, R. E. (2021). Moral imagining in student-teacher relationships in alternative programs: Elaborating a theoretical framework. Language, Culture, and Social Interaction, 30(B)

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2020). Inviting social futures, imagining unicorns: A commentary on The  Story of LCHC: A Polyphonic Autobiography. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 27(2), 1-13.

Padilla-Petry, P. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2020). Students’ perspectives on engagement, learning, and pedagogy: Self-evaluations of university students in Spain. Sage Open, 10(2).

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & Padilla-Petry, P. (2018). A sociocultural perspective on adolescence. In S. Hupp & J. Jewell (Eds.), The Wiley encyclopaedia of child and adolescent development (pp. 1-13). Wiley.

*Alkouatli, C. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2018). Potential reproduction and renewal in a weekend mosque school in Canada: Educators’ perspectives of learning and     development. Language, Culture, and Social Interaction, 19, 29-39.

Padilla-Petry, P. *Soria-Albert, C., & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2018). Experiencing disability in the school context: Voices of young people diagnosed with ADHD in Spain. International Education Studies, 11(8), 79-90.

Göncü, A. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2017). Expanding the definitional criteria for imaginative play: Contributions of sociocultural perspectives. Learning and Behavior, 45(4), 422-431.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & Padilla-Petry, P. (2017). Learning from teaching in alternative and flexible education settings. Teaching Education, 28(1), 1-7.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & *Vellos, R. E. (2016). Recreating social futures: The role of the moral imagination in student-teacher relationships in alternative education.  International Journal of Child, Youth, and Family Studies, 7(2), 307-323.

*Dalkilic, M. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2016). Re-conceptualizing inclusive education through the capability approach: Elaborating the theory and practice of relational inclusion. Global Education Review3(3), 122-137.

*Dalkilic, M. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2016). Problematizing the discourse of inclusion: The production of regulation through “inclusion” in early childhood education. Global Studies of Childhood. 6(1), 17-30.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A., *Alkouatli, C., & *Amini, N. (2015). Elaborating “dialogue” in communities of inquiry: Attention to discourse as a method for facilitating dialogue across difference. Childhood and Philosophy11(22), 299-318,

Evers, S., Vadeboncoeur, J. A., & Weber, B. (2015). Situating children’s rights in cultural perspectives on childhood: Intermedial inquiry. Canadian Journal of Children’s Rights, 2(1), 48-71.

*Vellos, R. E. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2015). Rebuilding attendance practices with youth: The role of social mediation. Educational Studies, 41(1-2), 91-108.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A., *Kady-Rachid, H., & *Moghtader, B. (2014). Learning in and across contexts: Reimagining education. National Society for the Study of Education, 113(2), 339-358.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & **Murray, D. (2014). Imagined futures in the present: Minding learning opportunities. National Society for the Study of Education, 113(2), 633-652.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & *Rahal, L. (2013). Mapping the social across lived experiences: Relational geographies and after-school time. Banks Street Occasional Paper Series, 30, 1-15.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & *Collie, R J. (2013). Locating social and emotional learning in schooled environments: A Vygotskian perspective on learning as unified. Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal, 20(3), 201-225.

*Lai, Y. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2012). The discourse of parent involvement in special education: A critical analysis linking policy documents to the experiences of mothers. Educational Policy, 27(6), 867-897. DOI: 10.1177/0895904812440501, online April 29, 2012.

*Liu, Y. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2010). Bilingual intertextuality: The joint construction of bi-literacy practices between parent and child. Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal, 17(4), 1-15.

*Jhangiani, S. J. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2010). Health care “as usual”: The insertion of positive psychology in Canadian mental health discourse. Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal, 17(2), 1-16.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2009). Spaces of difference: The contradictions of alternative educational programs. Educational Studies, 45(3), 280-299.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2006). Engaging young people: Learning in informal contexts. Review of Research in Education, 30, 239-278.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A., Hirst, E., & Kostogriz, A. (2006). Spatialising sociocultural research: A reading of mediation and meaning as third spaces. Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal 13(3), 161-173.

Hirst, E. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2006). Patrolling the borders of Otherness: Dis/placed identity positions for teachers and students in schooled spaces. Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal 13(3), 203-225.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & Luke, A. (2004)Who’s / whose at risk? Answerability and the critical possibilities of classroom discourse. Critical Discourse Studies, 1(2), 201-223.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & Torres, M. N. (2003). Constructing and reconstructing teaching roles: A focus on generative metaphors and dichotomies. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 24(1), 87-103.


Vadeboncoeur, J. A., Lindquist, K., Monestel Mora, N., Panina-Beard, N., & Kumpulainen, K. (forthcoming). Pathways toward adulthood(s) with a young, neurodiverse adult: Coupling expectations and motives through participation in meaningful places. In L. Bøttcher & C. Mathiassen (Eds.), Dialectic pedagogy: Supporting children, young people, and adults in the transitions of becoming social participants. Bloomsbury. 

Takeuchi, M. A., Vadeboncoeur, J. A., Krishnamoorthy, R., Hladik, S., Rahm, J., Kim, B., & Clark, D. (2022). Refiguring and transforming the Learning Sciences: A dialogical field-in-the-making. In Shanahan, Kim, Takeuchi, Koh, Preciado-Babb, & Sengupta (Eds.), The learning sciences in conversation: Theories, methodologies, and boundary spaces. Routledge. 

Vadeboncoeur, J. A., Padilla-Petry, P., Panina-Beard, N., & Jhangiani, S. (2022). Changing perspectives on adolescences. Oxford research encyclopedia of education. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & *Dalkilic, M. (2019). Playing at, participating in, and transforming cultures: A Vygotskian perspective on the potential of early childhoods. In D. Whitebread, V. Grau, K. Kumpulainen, M. McClelland, D. Pino-Pasternak, & N. Perry (Eds.), The Sage handbook of developmental psychology and early childhood (pp. 223-238). Sage.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & Göncü, A. (2019). Playing and imagining across the life course: A sociocultural perspective. In P. Smith & J. L. Roopnarine (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of play: Developmental and disciplinary perspectives (pp. 258-277). Cambridge University Press.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2018). Moral imagining through transitions within, between and form imaginative play: Changing demands as developmental opportunities. In M. Hedegaard & M. Fleer (Eds.), Children’s transitions in everyday life and institutions (pp. 227-246). Bloomsbury.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A., Perone, A., & *Panina-Beard, N. (2016). Creativity as a practice of freedom: Imaginative play, moral imagination, and the production of culture. In V. P. Glaveanu (Ed.), Handbook of creativity and culture research (pp. 255-273). New York: Palgrave.

Göncü, A. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2015). Returning to play: The critical location of play in children’s sociocultural lives. In S. Douglas & L. Stirling (Eds.), Children’s play, pretense, and story: Studies in culture, context, and ASD (pp. 294-313). New York: Routledge, Psychology Press.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2013). Framing achievement when learning is unified: The concept of unity in Vygotsky’s theory and methodology. In S. Phillipson, K. Ku, & S. N. Phillipson (Eds.), Constructing achievement: A sociocultural perspective (pp. 13-25). New York, NY: Routledge.

Panofsky, C. P. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2012). Schooling the social classes: Triadic zones of proximal development, communicative capital, and relational distance in the perpetuation of advantage. In H. Daniels (Ed.), Vygotsky and sociology (pp. 192-210). New York, NY: Routledge.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A., *Vellos, R. E., & *Goessling, K. P. (2011). Learning as (one part) identity construction: Educational implications of a sociocultural perspective. In D. McInerney, R. A. Walter, & G. A. D. Liem (Eds.), Sociocultural theories of learning and motivation: Looking back, looking forward (Vol.10) (pp. 223-251). Greenwich, CT: Information Age.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2005). Naturalized, restricted, packaged and sold: Reifying the fictions of “adolescent” and “adolescence.”Re/constructing “the adolescent”: Sign, symbol and body (pp. 1-24). New York: Peter Lang.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2005). The difference that time and space make: An analysis of institutional and narrative landscapes. In J. A. Vadeboncoeur & L. P. Stevens (Eds.), Re/constructing “the adolescent”: Sign, symbol and body (pp. 123-152). New York: Peter Lang.

*Rawolle, S. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2003). Educational research in an age of scientific and economic rationalism: An argument for talking back. In J. A. Vadeboncoeur & S. Rawolle (Eds.), Educational imaginings: On the play of texts and contexts (pp. 1-34). Brisbane, QLD: Australian Academic Press.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & *Rawolle, S. (2003). Ethics in educational research: A step toward answerability. In J. A. Vadeboncoeur & S. Rawolle (Eds.), Educational imaginings: On the play of texts and contexts (pp. 375-392). Brisbane, QLD: Australian Academic Press.

Portes, P. R. & Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (2003). Mediation in cognitive socialization: The influence of socioeconomic status. In A. Kozulin (Ed.),Vygotsky’s theory of education in cultural context (pp. 371-392). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. & Portes, P. R.  (2002). Students “at risk”: Exploring identity from a sociocultural perspective. In D. M. McInerney & S. Van Etten (Eds.), Research on sociocultural influences on motivation and learning, Vol. 2 (pp. 89-128). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Vadeboncoeur, J. A. (1997). Child development and the purpose of education: A historical context for constructivisms in teacher education. V. Richardson (Ed.), Constructivist teacher education: Building a world of new understandings (pp. 15-37). Washington, DC: Falmer Press.