Dr. Thelma Gunn



TH319 |  (403) 329-2458

U of L Directory profile


Dr. Thelma Gunn joined the Faculty of Education in 2000 after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Saskatchewan that same year. Born and raised in Saskatoon, Thelma completed her K to 12 Education in Saskatoon as well as her undergraduate degrees at the U of S before teaching Grades 7 to 12 in rural Saskatchewan and in Saskatoon. Thelma also taught in Japan and completed her M.Ed. at the University of Sydney, Australia. B.A. (Hons) University of Saskatchewan, 1986 B.Ed. (Secondary – After Degree) University of Saskatchewan, 1987 M.Ed. (Educational Psychology) University of Sydney, Australia, 1993 PhD. (Educational Psychology) University of Saskatchewan, 2000.

Teaching Interests

Thelma’s teaching interests align with her current research projects concerning teacher self-efficacy and resiliency, beginning teacher retention and mentorship and research methods and skill development. It is her belief that enduring successful teaching careers begin the first day in pre-service teacher preparation programs. By preparing teacher candidates with the necessary knowledge, skills, experiences, mindsets and exploratory thinking skills, they are equipped to impact children and society for generations to come. This philosophy of teaching also applies to the M.Ed. Counselling Psychology program where Thelma teaches Research Methods and Learning Theories. Teaching future counsellors and psychologists on how to become consumers and creators of research, and how to best understand the ways individuals can learn new ways of being through cognitive learning and motivational theories is one of Thelma’s teaching passions.

Research Interests

Thelma has several research interests, but they are primarily underscored by her focus on research methods and design. Her primary preferences involve quantitative and mixed-methods approaches with statistical data analysis. With respect to topics of focus, her primary interests are beginning teacher retention and early career issues (i.e., resiliency, teacher self-efficacy, burnout, mentorship and so forth), pre-service teacher preparation, Teacher Self-Efficacy and Hip-Hop culture in the classroom and with mental health. Each of these research projects are currently funded through internal monies from the University of Lethbridge and the Alberta Teachers’ Association. They are entitled as follows: 1) Hip-Hop Culture and its Influence on Mental Health and Education 2) The Longitudinal Measure of Teacher Self-Efficacy: From the Beginning of Pre-Service Teacher Education Until the End of Early Career Status. 3) Alberta’s Beginning Teachers – Early Years of Practice As both a teacher and researcher, Thelma has been involved to date with 50 M.Ed. thesis committees and 15 projects as either a supervisor or as a committee member. They are important and enjoyable components of her academic experiences.