Dr. Catherine Hands

Associate Professor (PhD) and Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies

Dr. Catherine Hands, Brock University, Faculty of Education

St. Catharines, ON
905 688 5550 x5122

Dr. Catherine Hands obtained her PhD in Educational Administration at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, after a career as an elementary teacher within the Montessori school system.

Since earning her doctorate, she has been an educational researcher and consultant with school boards in Ontario, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, and the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Parent Engagement Office. She also has international experience in education as a faculty member in the University of San Diego’s Leadership Studies department, where she taught in the principal qualification program as well as in the department’s leadership programs.

Dr. Hands is currently appointed as an Associate Professor, and she teaches in the Administration and Leadership in Education specialization. Dr. Hands’ research interests stem from her experiences in the classroom as well as her work with school leaders and teachers, and include educational leadership, school-community relations, learning communities, and educational change.

She maintains an active research agenda in these areas, and has presented and published work regionally, nationally and internationally.

  • Family involvement in schooling
  • Educational reform
  • Educational leadership (including teacher leadership)
  • School-community relations
  • Community involvement in education
  • Schools as communities
  • Professional learning communities
  • Educational policy
  • EDUC 5P62: Politics, Power and Policy in Education
  • EDUC 5P72: Effecting Change in Education
  • EDUC 5P92: An Introduction to Educational Research

Articles (peer-reviewed)

Hands, C. M. (2010). Why collaborate? The differing reasons for secondary school educators’ establishment of school-community partnerships. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, First published: 12 February 2010 (iFirst).

Hands, C. (2008). Circles of influence: The role of school-community partnerships in secondary school students’ character formation and citizenship. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 54(1), 50-64.

Hands, C. (2005). It’s who you know and what you know: The process of creating partnerships between schools and communities. The School Community Journal, 15(2), 63-84.

Hands, C. M. (2003). Creating community: A real possibility for schools in culturally diverse societies. Leading & Managing, 9(2), 123-128.

Book Chapters (peer-reviewed) 

Hands, C. M. (2010). Parent engagement in school decision-making and governance. In D. Hiatt-Michael (Ed.), Promising practices to support family involvement in schools (pp. 97-127). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Hands, C. M. (2009). Architect, advocate, coach and conciliator: The multiple roles of school leaders in the establishment of school-community partnerships and the impact of social context. In K. Anderson (Ed.), The leadership compendium: Emerging scholars in Canadian educational leadership (pp. 193-213). Fredericton, NB: Atlantic Centre for Educational Administration and Leadership.

Hands, C. M. (2009). The evolution of trust relationships in school-community partnership development: From calculated risk-taking to unconditional faith. In L. Shumow (Ed.), Promising practices for family and community involvement during high school (pp. 53-69). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Hands, C. M. (2006). Seeing the glass as half full: Meeting the needs of underprivileged students through school-community partnerships. In D. E. Armstrong & B. J. McMahon (Eds.), Inclusion in urban educational environments: Addressing issues of diversity, equity, and social justice (pp. 71-90). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Hubbard, L., & Hands, C. M. (2011). Organizational structures that challenge family and community inclusion in an urban charter school. In C. M. Hands & L. Hubbard (Eds.), Including families and communities in urban education. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Edited volumes

Hands, C. M., & Hubbard, L. (Eds.). (2011). Including families and communities in urban education. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Book Review

Hands, C. (2005). [Review of the book Holding values: What we mean by progressive education], Education Review: A Journal of Book Reviews.