Sheila Stewart is passionate about teaching and learning. For many years she worked at Parkdale Project Read, a community-based, social-justice oriented adult literacy program. In 2001, she moved from the vibrant community of Parkdale to the University of Toronto. In the Adult Education and Community Development program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT), she coordinated the Festival of Literacies which drew together the often siloed worlds of practice, research, and policy. She worked with literacy practitioners from Indigenous, Deaf, Francophone, and Anglophone programs, bringing together this diverse range of educators in conversation and research projects. In this work she became passionate about reflective practice, research in practice, and the power of small-scale inquiry and research. Her research has also included work on the effects of trauma on learning and how to move this research into practice. She is deeply interested in qualitative research, anti-racist and decolonizing approaches to research, arts-based/arts-informed research, and disability studies.
Sheila is a writing studies faculty member at the New College Writing Centre. She coordinates New College’s Writing Room, a drop-in for students who are working on their essays, assignments, and graduate school applications. She has taught at the Women and Gender Studies Institute and in Equity Studies and Community-Engaged Learning also located at New College, University of Toronto. Her PhD is from the Department of Leadership, Higher, and Adult Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT).
Author of two poetry collections, The Shape of a Throat and A Hat to Stop a Train, Sheila has been writing and publishing poetry since the early 1990s. She co-edited the anthology, The Art of Poetic Inquiry. Sheila’s writing has been recognized by such awards as the gritLIT Contest, the Pottersfield Portfolio Short Poem Contest, the Dan Sullivan Memorial Prize, and the Scarborough Arts Council Windows on Words Award. Her work has been published in The Antigonish Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Descant, Grain, Literary Review of Canada, The Malahat Review, New Quarterly, Room, Tessera, Toronto Quarterly, other journals and many anthologies in Canada, Ireland, and the United States.