Nine Faculty of Education researchers awarded Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funding 

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The Faculty of Education is proud to announce that nine of its professors have been awarded Insight, Insight Development, and Connection grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) in 2022.

These innovative and timely research projects focus on a range of topics, including music education, equity, technology, online teaching, wellness, governance, decolonization, teacher shortages, and experiential learning.  The studies are one-to-four years in duration and support the objectives of SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative, which mobilizes social sciences and humanities research and talent to address future and emerging societal challenges for Canada and help guide decision-making across all sectors, towards a better future. 
 

“Our professors are internationally recognized leaders in their fields,” said Jess Whitley, Vice-Dean, Research. “These grants are a well-deserved acknowledgement of their expertise and contributions to the advancement of knowledge in education research. Findings and results from their initiatives will deepen our understanding of the real-life issues impacting schools and wider communities, as well as provide resources for improving professional practice. On behalf of the entire Faculty of Education, we offer our congratulations to all funding recipients. 

 

Insight Grants 
 

Bernard Andrews - Viva voce: Creating new vocal music for education in Canada (four-year Insight Grant)

Canadian vocal students are underserved and under-represented by current vocal music taught in schools, and what exists neither represents the diversity of the student body nor their cultures, knowledge and musical interests. This study aims to gain an in-depth understanding of how composers produce contemporary vocal music for young musicians, to create critical new knowledge for the creation of vocal music for educational purposes, and to improve the teaching of vocal music composition. 

 

Stephanie Chitpin - Principals for equitable achievement: A case study of two Canadian provinces (three-year Insight Grant)
 

Principals are encouraged by their school systems to make data-informed decisions. Yet, little is known on how principals use data to improve student achievement and decrease inequitable discipline. This study will investigate the influence and nature of principal decision-making on student disciplinary outcomes and explore how principals' knowledge and mental models might enhance decision-making for the achievement of diverse students. 

 

John Ranellucci - Bootcamps as an alternative pipeline to a diverse technology workforce (four-year Insight Grant)
 

Over the past 30 years, women were and continue to be severely underrepresented in computer science. One avenue to build better lives for women in Canada involves shifting the gendered power structures in order to change social norms in computer science education and the tech workforce. This study will focus on the potential of bootcamps as an alternative, non-traditional pathway for women to enter the Canadian tech workforce, gain access to higher earning potential and to help shape technological innovation. The project aims to close opportunity gaps and to increase the representation of women in computer science fields. 

 

 

Insight Development Grants 
 

Isabelle Bourgeois - Data-based decision-making in online teaching contexts (three-year Insight Development Grant)
 

The pandemic highlighted an urgent need for in-­service teacher training related to online teaching and classroom management in schools. Resources that were created and disseminated on an emergency basis over the last two years partially met this need, however further research and training are needed to support online classroom management and pedagogy in the post-­normal era. Data­-based decision ­making (DBDM) offers a promising approach to support the management and improvement of online courses. Results from this study will inform teaching practice, policymaking, and the advancement of knowledge on data­based decision ­making in online environments.

Ruth Kane - Social media communities for health and wellness: A mixed methods case study (three-year Insight Development Grant)
 

Public interest in health and wellness fuels a multi­billion ­dollar industry and makes it a hot topic on social media. The COVID-­19 pandemic put a hold on in-person participation; however social media helped mitigate some of the negative impacts of social isolation by providing people with a sense of connectedness. In this study, we seek to understand how a Facebook group with over 20,000 participants, supports members' engagement with shared health and wellness goals.  

 

Sachin Maharaj - Examining the erosion of local education governance in Canada (three-year Insight Development Grant)
 

Policy trends in recent decades have resulted in the steady erosion of the powers of school boards across Canada. As more educational decision-­making authority has been centralized provincially, many have started to question whether school boards still serve much of a purpose. This study will help to inform national policy debates by examining the impacts of the dissolution of school boards on communities and the implications for power relations among different education stakeholder groups. 

 

Eugenia Vasilopoulos - Disrupting coloniality in English for academic purposes: Decolonial options for the instruction of English in Canada (three-year Insight Development Grant) 
 

International students play an important role in Canadian universities, however those who are English language learners face multiple challenges adjusting to new educational contexts. They are often required to complete English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses, making the EAP classroom a critical site for learning language, academic skills, and social norms. Yet, most EAP programs are built on a monolingual theory of language, and students may be participating in practices that promote the notion of Colonial English -- a set of monolingual ­based myths that privilege an idealized native speaker to the disadvantage of multilingual speakers. This project will explore how plurilingual pedagogies can be extended to EAP writing instruction in order to address Colonial English and its associated hierarchies of language, race, culture, and knowledge.  

 

 

Nathalie Bélanger - Pénurie de personnel enseignant en Ontario : mobilisation des connaissances (two-year Connection Grant)
 

Teacher shortages are caused by a range of complex circumstances and phenomena. The mobilization of knowledge about the work of teachers and relationships with students allows for a better understanding of these intersecting challenges. This is particularly important in the context of minority language schools, where the need for francophone teachers is most urgent. This grant will fund workshops and panels organized by the Observatoire sur l’éducation en contexte linguistique minoritaire (OÉCLM) on the issues accelerated demographic changes in minority language contexts are having on teacher recruitment and retention in Ontario. Outreach activities will help strengthen ties between schools, community and francophone organizations, and lead to fruitful collaborations between partners and organizations in Ontario, Canada and elsewhere in the world where minority language education is common and where staffing shortages exist. 

 

Katherine Moreau - A symposium on experiential learning in online courses (one-year Connection Grant)
 

This grant will fund a two-day international virtual symposium focused on understanding academics’, students’, administrators’, and employers’ perspectives on and experiences with experiential learning in online courses. As a targeted knowledge mobilisation event, it aims to build an international, interdisciplinary network of academics, students, administrators, and employers to develop, implement, evaluate, and disseminate resources for and research on experiential learning in online courses.