Shauna Butterwick

Shauna Butterwick

Hall of Fame Class of 2018

A researcher and educator, Shauna Butterwick has spent much of her life as a passionate advocate for adult education opportunities, exploring, in particular, women’s experiences in and leadership for community-based, nonformal, and informal learning.

Butterwick’s achievements include her leadership within adult education organizations like the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE), her impact on adult education curriculum at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and her promotion of creative, collaborative, community-based scholarship, and of women’s leadership in adult education. Her community-based, feminist, qualitative, and arts-based research has impacted adult education research into women’s workplace and social movement learning, as well as women’s learning in government-funded employment training programs.

Butterwick’s welfare reform research into access to adult education, in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), has been used by advocacy groups pushing for policy change. As a leader of the adult education program at UBC, she led major curricular changes, created new courses and certificates, and supervised numerous graduate students, impacting the next generation of adult education practitioners and scholars. For this work, she won the 2008 UBC Killam Teaching Prize. For her leadership as co-president of CASAE, her journal and consulting editor contributions to the CASAE journal, and her adult education scholarship, she received the 2017 CASAE Lifetime Achievement Award.

Butterwick has also had a significant impact on the field of adult education through her publications, many of which are based on her research into women’s learning and activism. Her efforts to shed light on women’s leadership in adult education culminated in Women, Adult Education, and Leadership in Canada,a book that is considered a major contribution to the literature of adult education and the first of its kind.

In addition to the many contributions she has made to adult education programs, Butterwick has brought attention to community-university engagement as a site of both research and student learning. She helped to found UBC’s Working Group on Community Engagement which brought together faculty and staff who were engaging with service learning and providing students with community-based learning opportunities. She was active in the creation of UBC’s 2016 conference on community engagement and is a member of a research advisory committee studying the community engagement experiences of students, community partners, and faculty members.

Through her advocacy and research, she has advocated for community as a teacher, advancing how community is a source of significant knowledge, not just a site of research and learning. In partnership with national and local women’s organizations, Butterwick’s research through collaborative, community-based inquiry not only extends academic knowledge of the field, but makes a difference to the practice of adult education within grassroots organizations. Through all of her efforts, Butterwick has moved women’s learning and leadership within Canadian adult education out of the shadows and into the light.