The Challenges of Doing Education Research in Canada

Watch the Recording

Download the transcript including Q & A portion of the event: coming soon

Canadian Association of Sociology of Education (CASE) and Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) Sociology of Education Research Cluster co-present this webinar with guest speaker, Dr. Karen Robson.

Dr. Karen Robson will discuss the challenges faced by Canadian researchers in trying to undertake research, particularly in the area of education. Her talk will focus on the issue of data availability (with a focus on the lack of race data in Canada) and the extreme limitations that these issues place on the potential for research on important Canadian education issues and what she regards as hypervigilant data access protocols for Canadian data sets. She will then turn to practical issues that arise when comparing education data across cities and countries and the process of “harmonizing” the data. Dr. Robson will address the compromises that must be made when attempting to make data comparable across different sites. She will conclude by discussing how the larger context in which education occurs must be considered when trying to understand the differences between educational outcomes.

Note: Abstract and Title were adopted from her recent publication: Robson, K. (2021). An essay on the challenges of doing education research in Canada. Journal of Applied Social Science, 15(2), 183-196.


Dr. Karen Robson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at McMaster University, and the Ontario Research Chair in Educational Achievement and At-Risk Youth. Robson is noted for her work using comparative cohort data to examine the correlates of postsecondary transition in Ontario and beyond. Robson holds a PhD in applied social and economic research from the University of Essex in England.

Please feel free to share this event announcement widely with your students and colleagues. Thank you for your attention. We hope you are enjoying the start of the academic year!

Ee-Seul Yoon, PhD
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba
President, Canadian Association of Sociology of Education

Alana Butler, PhD
Assistant Professor, Queen’s University
Co-Chair, Canadian Sociological Association – Sociology of Education

Cathlene Hillier, PhD
Assistant Professor, Crandall University
Co-Chair, Canadian Sociological Association – Sociology of Education

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