Renate Kahlke


About Me

headshotI’m a Research Associate in the Research Unit at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. It’s a unique space, which affords opportunities to make strong links between educational research, policy, and practice. My research program explores moments when sociocultural influences commonly cause health professionals, learners, or educators to struggle in applying knowledge in practice. In other words, I spend my time thinking about how and why individuals might fail to do what they think they should.

I recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Health Education Scholarship (CHES), University of British Columbia, where I was lucky to work with top researchers in health professions education scholarship to develop my current program of research. My PhD research in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta focused on the multiple ways in which educators in the health professions understand the term critical thinking, and how those conceptions are informed by their unique personal and professional experiences. This work provides insight into  differences and similarities in the terminology used by educators in different disciplines. Moreover, it illuminates the values and beliefs that inform their, and lends insight into how beliefs about what “good thinking” is shape teaching practices.

This work stems from my previous experience in curriculum design and interprofessional education (IPE), which remains an interest. See my teaching portfolio for more information on my recent work in instructional design and engagement with IPE.

I am also involved in community service learning (CSL), exploring how students can learn to “think critically” in navigating complex problems in community settings. I have been involved in research and publishing in this area, and also use CSL in my teaching practice.

For more information on work, research and teaching experience, view my CV.


Doctor of Philosophy (2016)
Specialization: Educational Administration and Leadership
Department of Educational Policy Studies
University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Master of Arts (2007)
Specialization: Postcolonial Studies
Department of English and Cultural Studies
McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Bachelor of Arts, Honours (2006)
Department of English
University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada