Mona Gleason

Mona Gleason

Mona Gleason is a Professor (and current Department Head) of Educational Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She is an historian of education with a focus on the history of children and youth.  She teaches and conducts research in various areas, including age and size as categories of historical analysis, gender and sexuality, health and the body, race and nation, research methods in education, and schooling and the family. With Dr. Penney Clark (Faculty of Education, UBC), Mona is currently co-editor of Historical Studies in Education/Revue d’histoire de l’éducation.  

Mona’s research has focused on children’s varied experiences with social inequality, shaped by race, class, gender, size, and age, and the role that educational and medical professionals have played both in deepening and mitigating inequality. The responses of young people and their families to these interventions are centrally important in her work. She is the author of two books, co-editor of five books, and author of numerous book chapters on topics foregrounding the history of children and education in multiple contexts. Her publications appear in the History of Education Quarterly, the Canadian Historical Review, the Journal of Family History, the Journal of Canadian Studies, and Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures. 

Mona has received a number of awards for her scholarship and, along with Dr. Tamara Myers, co-founded the History of Children and Youth Group of the Canadian Historical Association. She is past Vice President of the Canadian History of Education Association. Between 2015 and 2017, Mona served as President of the Society for the History of Children and Youth, the major international association for scholars in the field.

Her current project builds on her previous research on distance education in early twentieth century British Columbia and is funded by a SSHRCC Insight Grant.  Entitled “Talking Back to Victoria: Parental Advocacy for Rural Education in British Columbia, 1920 to the Present”, this study focusses on parents, and particularly mothers’, role in ensuring that children in rural districts received an education on par with their urban counterparts. This work connects with her “Families without Schools” project, funded by a Spencer Foundation Grant, which focussed on the schooling experiences of children in rural British Columbia in the early decades of the twentieth century. Along with Dr. Tamara Myers, Mona has most recently co-edited a collection of essays highlighting cutting edge research in the history of children and youth in Canada.  That collection, entitled Bringing Children and Youth into Canadian History: The Difference Kids Make, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

Recent Scholarly Awards

  • 2018-2021, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant (Canada)
  • 2018, Neil Sutherland Prize for Best Article in the History of Children and Youth in Canada, Canadian Historical Association, “Avoiding the Agency Trap: Caveats for Historians of Children, Youth, and Education,” History of Education 45, 4 (2016): 446-459.
  • 2018, Best Article Prize – History of Sexuality in Canada, Canadian Committee on the History of Sexuality, Canadian History Association, for Mona Gleason, “‘Knowing Something I Was Not Meant to Know’: Exploring Vulnerability, Sexuality, and Childhood, 1900-1950,” Canadian Historical Review 98, 1 (March 2017): 35-59.
  • 2015-2016, Spencer Foundation Grant (USA)
  • 2013, Hampton Research Grant, Large Grant (Canada)