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Engaging Teachers, Engaging Learners: The 2012 Pat Clifford Award

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It is my honour to serve as Chair of the CEA Awards Selection Committee and to announce the call for submissions for the 2012 Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education.

CEA’s Pat Clifford Award recognizes the work of emerging researchers – their promise, research contributions, and commitment to breaking new ground, to challenging commonly held assumptions in education policy, practice or theory in Canada. As a classroom teacher and faculty researcher, Dr. Pat Clifford saw no difference between practice and research. Pat strongly believed that teaching was at the heart of research, and that research was at the heart of teaching.

Deadline for submissions:  Thursday, May 31, 2012, 5 p.m. EST

The Pat Clifford Award has personal significance for me. As a Galileo Doctoral Fellow, I learned alongside Dr. Pat Clifford and Dr. Sharon Friesen in their Grade 6 classroom. As a new professor, I taught with Pat and Sharon at the University of Calgary. Together, we published papers about engaged learning and teaching with technology and presented our research at conferences. Pat and Sharon’s unwavering commitment to student learning inspired and shaped me as a teacher; their dedication to disrupting commonly held ideas about teaching and leadership molded me as a researcher. Pat and Sharon’s belief in my promise and their investment in this new researcher enabled me to build visibility for my research on engaging learning with technology.

The Pat Clifford Award is an enduring commitment to supporting and mobilizing the work of new researchers whose ideas and scholarship will change education. I encourage new researchers to apply for this award, for the formal recognition and promotion of your scholarly work, for the opportunities to network and to develop additional mobilization strategies with CEA, to maximize the impact of your work in practice, and for the invitation to submit a feature article about your research to Education Canada magazine. In the past two years, CEA has recognized the research contributions of Dr. Jessica Toste and Dr. Carla Peck with the Pat Clifford award. If you are in the process of completing a Masters or Ph.D. OR have completed a Masters or Ph.D. in the last two years, then you may qualify for this award.

In the coming year, the Canadian Education Association's strategic orientation will concentrate on these two areas:

  • Engaging Learning: research that furthers ideas, knowledge and practices that deeply engage students in learning with a particular focus on transforming learning environments for adolescent learners.  Research that broadens and deepens current understanding of learning as the basis on which educational policy and practice should be built.
  • Engaging Teaching: research that furthers knowledge of how teaching and learning reinforce each other as reciprocal processes; how teaching can be engaging for both teachers and students; how teachers can be supported to teach the way they aspire to; and how teachers understand their own learning.

New researchers whose research and scholarship furthers knowledge and impacts practice in the areas of Engaging Learning and Engaging Teaching, who are making a promising contribution to improving educational policy and/or practice in education, who are conducting innovative research that opens up new areas of research or extends research in existing areas, are strongly encouraged to submit an application, or seek out a nomination, for this award.  

As a teacher, Pat Clifford was steadfast in her belief that every child had the right to succeed brilliantly, and brought to them her own love of literature, writing and history. Pat’s questions for Grade 1 learners to graduate students were, “What drives you? What is your passion? What work calls to you? What bugs you? And, how can you make this the focus of your work?” New researchers who are passionate about improving learning and teaching should learn more about this award.  

Learn More: http://www.cea-ace.ca/awards/clifford-award

Education Canada Magazine article from 2010 Pat Clifford Award Winner Dr. Carla Peck: What You Don't Know Can Hurt Me: Diversity, Accommodation, and Citizenship Education in Canada 

Deadline for submissions:  Thursday, May 31, 2012, 5 p.m. EST