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The CEA Puts Its Ear to the Ground
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16 September 2016
Stephen Hurley

It may come as a surprise to many of you, but the Canadian Education Association celebrates its 125th Anniversary this year. Established in 1891 as an organization dedicated to connecting educators, policy thinkers and those interested in the growth and flourishing of public education systems across the country, the CEA has been a trusted convenor, connector and provocateur on the Canadian education landscape. 

If you were to look for those catalytic moments in the story of the CEA—those plot points when new energy and focus was realized—your attention would eventually be drawn to those times when the organization's leaders sought to "put their ear to the ground" in an effort to get a sense of what issues, challenges and opportunities that were keeping them awake at night. This process of listening has always enabled the CEA to...

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Exploring the Space For Parent Engagement
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8 September 2016
Stephen Hurley

When I walked onto the tarmac at our local public school yesterday morning I was immediately drawn into that beautiful sense of chaos that is The-First-Day-of-School. Close to 1100 children and the parents, grandparents and caregivers responsible for getting them there. Nearly 100 staff members making sure that everyone knew where they were going. Comings and goings, hellos and goodbyes, delights in the recognition of long-lost friends (lost for two months) and the quiet assurances offered by adults to those experiencing a little bit of first day jitters. All of this held close in the stifling early morning air.

But then something wonderful and mysterious happened. The morning bell rang and this beautiful mess was very quickly transformed into a sense of order as our children once again became students. The transition from summer vacation to another school year was happening before our eyes. And happen it...

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The request for recognition
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26 August 2016
Stephen Hurley

The teacher didn't read my name on the first day of Kindergarten. Well, not right away. 

We were all seated on the floor in front of Mrs. McCreath who was trying to maintain a sense of calm while she worked her way through the class roster that she had been provided. For most of us, this would have been the first time in our rather short lives that we had heard our full names spoken by an adult other than our parents. (It was only when I was in trouble at home that my mother took the time to attach a surname to her "becks" or "calls")

We all listened intently, waiting to respond, "HERE", when our names were called. At that point, we didn't really having much familiarity with alphabetical lists. Heck, we were still learning the alphabet! I recall taking a small breath of anticipation each time Mrs. C. moved from one name to the next until that fateful moment when she looked up from her page and asked, "Have I forgotten anyone?"...

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8 August 2016
Paul W. Bennett

File 7044

The unexpected summer surge of Pokémon Go has educators and parents buzzing about its educational potential.  Games come and go with popular crazes, but this one may be different because it’s the first real sign of Augmented Reality (AR) reaching the masses.

Pokémon Go has re-activated the so-called “ed-tech hype cycle.” One day after the game was released, on July 7, 2016, IDEAFM ...

Blogger, EdCan Blogger
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21 July 2016
Stephen Hurley

A great deal of how we perceive the world and the perspectives that we take on what we perceive can be atttributed to the cognitive frames that we develop throughout our lives. Frames help us make sense of a very complex world and, in a very real sense, allow us to move through our days without going absolutely bonkers! 

As Sanda Kaufman, Michael Elliott and Deborah Shmueli point out frames can help to explain why we two people can see the world in such different ways:

"Because frames are built upon underlying structures of beliefs, values, and experiences, (people) often construct frames that differ in significant ways."

The different roles that we have in life can have a strong influence on the frames that we develop. To his hockey coach, Graham might appear to be a disciplined and highly skilled team leader. But to his grade eight teacher, the same...

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CEA’s Whitworth and Pat Clifford Awards shine a spotlight on influential leaders and rising stars in educational research in Canada
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13 May 2016

The Canadian Education Association (CEA) is celebrating 125 years of advancing powerful ideas for greater student and teacher engagement in public education. One of the ways in which the CEA accomplishes its mandate to support and promote innovation in education is through its awards program for educational researchers. CEA celebrates the work of innovative researchers from across the country – their contributions, their promise, and their commitment to breaking new ground and revisiting commonly held assumptions in education policy, practice or theory in Canada.

The annual Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education and the triennial Whitworth Award for Career Research in Education are national awards to recognize educational researchers who demonstrate outstanding leadership...

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On what is NOT captured by our assessment and evaluation processes
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10 May 2016
Stephen Hurley

I don't think that I would be revealing any secrets if I told you that my mother has always been a better baker than a cook. Even to this day, she will call me when it comes to cooking the Sunday roast, but no one in the family—and I mean no one—can hold a candle to her butter tarts or rhubarb pie. 

As a child, my ears were keenly-tuned to all sounds associated with baking: mixing bowls being stealthily removed from cupboards, the special flour sifter with the red wooden handle, the electric mixer—these were all cues to drop what I was doing and head to the kitchen to investigate. Sometimes, my curiosity would be rewarded with the chance to act as "batter taster". But mostly it was all about the opportunity to watch Mom effortlessly (and without a recipe in front of her) mix, blend and knead to perfection!

I was always amazed at how efficiently she was able to work. She didn't like wasting anything. In fact, some of my...

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Connecting Stuart Kauffman, Bedroom Closets and Radical Emergence
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22 April 2016
Stephen Hurley

We've been avoiding making the decision to buy new carpet for a couple of years now. Our reluctance has had nothing to do with need. Our 12 year-old berber had become so worn that even deep cleaning didn't seem to help the appearance. The real reason for our resistance, however, was the knowledge that we would have to completely empty bedrooms, move things around and make those important decisions on what to keep and what to give away. Until now, it has been much easier to live with the status quo. 

But an impending family gathering and a decision to move the boys into their own rooms forced us to bite the bullet and make the commitment. 

For one of my sons, taking apart his bed and moving the contents of the room that he had shared with his brother for several years was a little disconcerting. But for my seven year-old, the experience was pure magic. He discovered things in the process that he had forgotten about. He got the...

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19 April 2016
Paul Cuthbert

This blog post is part of our series on leadership and governance.

Over the last three decades, we have seen a trend toward the centralization of decision-making in public education and the erosion of power of democratically elected local school boards across Canada. In some jurisdictions, their continued existence has been called into question. My personal experience as a superintendent has demonstrated that school boards can be strong and effective institutions of leadership in public education and are central to community voice and the local democratic process.

For those of us who currently serve or have served as superintendents, we understand that governance issues are paramount to our work as education leaders. We collaborate with school trustees to meaningfully engage members of the community in understanding and supporting their school division/district’s mission, vision, values and priorities in...

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Strategies to increase technology adoption in school districts
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14 April 2016
Julia Hengstler

This blog post is part of our series on leadership and governance and part 2 of this post.

To paraphrase Geoffrey Moore[1], the greatest point of peril in technology adoption lies in transitioning from early adopters—dominated by a few visionary users—to mainstream users who are predominantly pragmatic: in between the two lies the chasm.  In...

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