Joshua Hill, PhD

Assistant Professor in Education
+1 (403) 410-2000 ext. 6926
Office Location:

Through my research, teaching, and scholarship I seek to create the conditions for agency, wonder, and expansive awareness of oneself-in-the-world.

I am a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta and my ancestors trace back to Métis, Eastern European, and English communities. I grew up in Calgary and with my wife Melanie and children Mika, Joe, Ted, and Maeve live in Mount Pleasant. We spend as much time as possible on the land. Our favorite places include the Prairie Grasslands and Mountains of Southern Alberta, the Forest in the B.C. Interior, and the Desert in the American West.

I have taught Grades K, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 and was recognized for my teaching with an Alberta Excellence in Teaching Award and an Apple Distinguished Educator honour. I was a School and School District Leader in Rocky View Schools where I worked with Teacher and Leaders to use design thinking and storytelling to transform education.

In my teaching, research, and scholarly activity, I partner with students, teachers, and school leaders to expand the space of the possible. I am currently exploring complexity thinking, design, storytelling, and Indigenous ways of coming to know in the contexts of learning, teaching and leadership.

Current Research

  • Hill, J. (2020) Designing for a school system that learns: Research report. Report prepared for: Rocky View Schools
  • Brown, B., Friesen, S., Chu, M.W., & Hill, J. (2019) Leadership teams: Research report Report prepared for: Calgary Board of Education.

Scholarly & Professional Activity


  • Hill, J.T. (2019, April). How can school system leadership practice design? Presentation presented to Rocky View Schools Learning Support Department. Airdrie, AB.

  • Hill, J.T. (2019, January). Design It. Workshop presented at the University of Calgary Connecting with expertise day, Calgary. AB.

  • Hill, J.T. (2018). Students as Designers. Keynote presented at the University of Calgary Design thinking Symposium, Taylor Institute for Learning and Teaching, Calgary AB.
  • Hill, J.T. (2017) Design Thinking in Education. Lecture presented at the University of Calgary.
  • Hill, J.T. (2016, April). Climate Leadership in Schools. Workshop presented at the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) Spring General Meeting, Red Deer AB.
  • Hill, J.T. (2015, Nov)- Leading innovation- Presentation at the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) Fall Conference, Calgary, AB.
  • Hill, J.T. (2015, May). Design Thinking for Ideation. Workshop presented at the Innovate West Annual Conference, Calgary AB.
  • Hill, J.T. (2015, March). Making Learning Visible. Workshop presented at the Deeper Learning Conference, San Diego CA.
  • Hill, J.T. (2015, Feb) Learning Story Workshop. Workshop presented at the Alberta Teachers Association Palliser Teachers Convention, Calgary AB.
  • Hill, J.T. (2014, May). What does engaging learning look like. Keynote presented at the Innovate West Annual Conference, Calgary AB.
  • Hill, J.T. (2014, Jan). Design Thinking for Leaders. Workshop presented at the College of Alberta School Superintendents/Alberta Education Annual Learning Conference, Calgary AB.
  • Hill, J.T. (2014, Feb) Make it Real- PBL Design for Student Engagement. Workshop presented at the Alberta Teachers Association South Western Alberta Teachers Convention, Lethbridge AB.
  • Hill, J.T. (2013, Jan). Action Research in Rocky View Schools. Workshop presented at the AISI Annual Conference, Edmonton AB.

Scholarships, Grants, and Awards

  • Metis Education Foundation Scholarship
  • UCalgary Doctoral Scholarship
  • Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship (AGES) -Doctoral
  • UCalgary Entrance Award
  • Apple Distinguished Educator Award
  • Alberta Graduate Student Scholarship
  • Alberta Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Louise McKinney Post-Secondary Scholarship



Dates (Yr to Yr)

Courses Taught (Course # and Name)

Ambrose University

2019- 2020

CDPD 500 Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Curriculum Design and Program Development

CDPD 600 Understanding and Application of Principles & Practices of Curriculum Design & Program Development

University of Calgary


EDER 619.13 School Leadership

EDUC 456 Assessment

EDUC 520 Interdisciplinary Learning

EDUC 546 Design-based Thinking

EDER 679.52 Design-based Leadership

EDUC 535 Specialization II K-12 Science

EDUC 460 Specialization I K-12 Social Studies

Professional Qualifications and Experience

Professional Qualifications

  • Alberta Permanent Professional Teacher Certification Holder
  • Professional Experience

  • Learning Department Design Leader- Rocky View Schools
  • Led Principals and system leaders to employ Design-based leadership.
  • Designed and led inquiry based professional learning for Teachers, Assistant Principals and Principals from 51 schools.
  • Designed and led District leadership projects including Alberta Initiative for School Improvement, High School Redesign, and RVS 4 Year Strategic Plan Consultation and Development.
  • Teacher and School Leader- Rocky View Schools and Renfrew Educational Services
  • Employed instructional leadership and coaching to support student engagement, project-based learning, Truth and Reconciliation and teacher excellence.
  • Taught grades K, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.

Recent Conference Presentations

  • Hill, J. (2020, Apr 17 - 21) Designing for a School System That Learns [Paper Session]. AERA Annual Meeting San Francisco, CA (Conference Cancelled)
  • Hill, J.T., Brown, B., & Friesen, S. (2019) How might school leadership teams effectively work towards improving student learning outcomes? IDEAS Conference, July 3-5, Calgary, AB.
  • Hill, J.T., Thomas, C., & Brown, B. (2019) Improving Student Learning in Group Assignments through Instructional Design. IDEAS Conference, July 3-5, Calgary, AB.
  • Friesen, S., Brown, B., Chu, M-W., Hill, J.T., & Pamplin, L. (2019). Leading learning in K-12 schools. Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), June 2-5, University of British Columbia, BV
  • Thomas, C., Brown, B., & Hill, J.T. (2019) Technology for pre-service teacher collaboration. Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), June 2-5, University of British Columbia, BC.
  • Brown, B., Thomas, C., Hill, J.T., Alonso-Yanez, G. (2019). Fostering collaborative learning in an undergraduate interdisciplinary education course. Teaching and Teacher Education, Division K – Section 5, American Educational Research Association (AERA), April 5-9, 2019, Toronto, ON .
  • Hill, J.T., Thomas, C., & Brown, B. (2018) Hacking for collaboration towards redesigning group work. University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, May 1-2, Calgary, AB