Dr. John Allison

John Allison portrait
Professor / Faculty of Education and Professional Studies - Schulich School of Education
Full-time Faculty
Graduate Program Faculty
Dr. Allison grew up in Southern Ontario in the Greater Toronto Area, but spent many years in other parts of the province and abroad. He has bachelor’s degrees in Honours Politics and French from Western University (B.A. Hons), and in Education (B.Ed. J/I French) from Lakehead University. Additionally, he completed a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in International Relations at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. Lastly, he completed his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in the History of Education at OISE at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) in the late 1990s. He has taught in the K-12 school system as well as in higher education. He has worked in several Ontario universities, notably the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Nipissing University. Concurrently with this work, he worked in the early 2000s as a Research Officer with the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and the briefly with the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS). More recently, he served as President of the Nipissing District Branch of the Canadian International Council (2014-2017). Dr. Allison is currently an active member of many Canadian and international academic societies, an Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT), and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of the United Kingdom (FHistS). He teaches in the B.Ed., M.Ed., and Ph.D. programs at Nipissing University. In 2014, he was the recipient of the Nipissing University Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Allison speaks fluent French and is currently at the B2.1 level in German.
BA, University of Western Ontario
BEd, Lakehead University
MSc, University of Bristol
EdD, University of Toronto
Areas of Specialization:

History of Education, Comparative and International Education, International Relations and Diplomatic Studies, Technology in Education

Research Interests:

My central research passions are History of Education, Comparative and International Education and International Relations. As former FSL teacher, I am also interested in the politics and history of language education, languages, and French and German language studies.

I have always been fascinated by the importance of education both at the local and at the international level. It is crucial to understanding and living together in peace. In pursuit of this I have criss-crossed Ontario and travelled world-wide. 

Current & Future Research:

My current research centers on comparative History of Education at the international level.  In the past, I have focused on Canadian foreign policy and education as factors in federal-provincial relations, the wider role of IGOs in creating civilizational norms for education systems, and the History of Education generally. I am also interested in the history of technical education and the integration of technology in education.

A most Canadian odyssey cover



Allison, John. A Most Canadian Odyssey:  Education Diplomacy and Federalism, 1844–1984.  London, ON: Althouse Press /Western University, 2016.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles: 

Allison, John, “The ‘World Politics’ Course: Changing Thinking on International Relations Education in Ontario Secondary Schools, 1850-1970,” History of Education. Vol. 48, no. 6 (2019/11/02 2019): 731-50.  (2019) doi:10.1080/0046760X.2019.1585583

Allison, John. "The Council of Ministers in the 1980s: Education Policy Innovator or Broken Cog?". Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, no. 187 (2018): 78-90.

Allison, John. “Human Security and Higher Education: An Examination of North American and European HS Programs and the Interdisciplinary Academy,” Journal of Human Security Studies, Vol.6, No.1. (Spring 2017), pp. 18-37.

Allison, John. “Not Prepared for the Crystal Ball: A Reflection on Global Governance, Leadership and Time” Transience: Journal of Global Studies, Vol. 8, No.1 (Spring 2017), pp.15-33.

Allison,John. "Technical School in Toronto: Growing up in the Trades during the Second World War." Historical Studies in Education/Revue d'histoire de l'éducation 28, no. 1 (2016): 53-72.

Allison, John. “R. Freeman Butts: Educational Foundations and Educational Diplomacy’ British Journal of Educational Studies, Vol. 62, No. 1, 2014, pp. 1-19.

Allison, John, Gosse, Douglas, Parr, Michael. “If You Hit, You Sit:  Implications of a Case Study of the Retired Male Primary Teacher,” New Male Studies, Vol. 3, No.1, 2014, pp. 78-97.

Maynes, Nancy, Allison, John, Julien-Schultz, Lynn. “An Examination of Longevity of Impact of an International Practicum Experience on Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices Four Years Later,” International Education Studies,v 6 n1, 2013, pp.154-163.

Maynes, Nancy, Allison, John, Julien-Schultz, Lynn. “International Practica Experiences as Events of Influence in a Teacher Candidates’ Development,” McGill Journal of Education, v47 n1, 2012, pp. 69-91.

Allison, John & MacLeod, Katarin. “The Historian and the Physicist: A Critical Review of the Literatures of Action Research and of Teacher Preparation,” Canadian Journal of Action Research (CJAR), Volume 12, Issue 1, July 2011, pp.3-18.

Allison, John. “History Educators and the Challenge of Immersive Pasts: A Critical Review of Virtual Reality “Tools” and History Pedagogy" Learning, Methods and Technology, Volume 33, Issue 4, December 2008, pp. 343-352.

Parr, Michael, Allison, John and Gosse, Douglas. "The Professional Journey of Male Primary Teachers," The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations. Volume 7, Issue 6, January 2008, pp.257-266.

Gosse, Douglas, Parr, Michael, and Allison, John. “Researching the Halted Paths of Male Primary School Teacher Candidates,” Journal of Men’s Studies. Volume 16, Number 1 / Winter 2008, pp. 57-68.

Gosse, Douglas, Parr, Michael, & Allison, John. “You’re Out! Calling for debate on male primary school teacher candidates,” The Canadian On-Line Journal of Queer Studies in Education, Volume 3, No. (1), 2007, pp.1-22.

Allison, John. “Walking the Line: Canadian Federalism, the Council of Ministers of Education, and the Case of International Education, 1970-1984,” in Journal of Educational Administration and History, Volume 39, No. 2, August 2007, pp. 113-128.

Allison, John. “From Journeymen Envoys to Skilled Diplomats: Change in Canada’s Education Related International Activities, 1815-1968,” Diplomacy and Statescraft. Vol. 17. No.2, June 2006, pp. 237-259.​

Book Chapters:

Maynes, Nancy, Hatt, Blaine E., Mottonen, Anna-Liisa, Allison, John. “Teacher Tourism: Framing Internationalization of Teaching in a Legislated Limiting Context.” In Globalization and Diversity in Education: What Does It Mean for Canadian Teacher Education?  Eds.  Julie Mueller & Jodi Nickel. Canadian Association for Teacher Education/Association canadienne pour la formation à l’enseignement CSSE : Ottawa, 2019.

Allison, John, and Vogt, Michaela. “Research ethics in historical research and the case of Canada.”  Examining Research Ethics in Contemporary Science Education Research: Being Responsive and Responsible, eds.   Kathrin Otrel-Cass, Minjung Ryu, Maria Andrée, Springer: Heidelberg, 2020.

Allison, John. “Intergovernmentalism, Foreign policy and International Education:  Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau, 2016-2017,” International Education as Public Policy in Canada, eds. Trilokekar, Roopa, Tamtik, Merli, Jone, Glen, McGill-Queen’s University Press:  Montreal, 2020.

Prizes and Awards

2019-2020 Nipissing University Research Achievement Award

2014 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching