Press releases

Seven Award Winning Programs Empower Students – and Teachers – to Rediscover the Joy of Learning

Release date: 
22 February 2016
Educators who take risks each day to continually transform their learning environments are honoured with the Canadian Education Association’s 2015-2016 Ken Spencer Awards for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.


Toronto – February 22, 2016 – From coffeeshop Makerspaces, to team teaching and teacher co-learning, to mixed-age student mentoring, and arts- and exercise-based solutions that reduce student anxiety and heighten focus, these successful learning programs showcase a courage and willingness among educators to rethink traditional classroom practice that caters to the interests and needs of all students.

This year’s Ken Spencer Award-winning programs prepare students from Pre-K to Grade 12 for deep learning, address the well-being of both teachers and students, and inject passion, empathy and engagement into classrooms. Creating non-traditional spaces for students and teachers to interact has resulted in winning conditions for all.

 “These award-winning programs are compelling examples of what it really takes to transform physical learning environments and offer such diverse and creative ways of thinking about heightening students’ engagement and emotional well-being,” says Ron Canuel, CEA President and CEO. “We are proud to recognize the drive and passion of these courageous educators to provoke systems change in their school districts – and beyond – which is what this award is all about.” 

Ken Spencer Award recognition ceremonies are being planned in the school communities of the seven winners. This is the seventh year of this award, and CEA would like to thank all of the school and school district staff for their time and effort in the preparation of the application packages.

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For a booklet showcasing the work of all 7 Ken Spencer Award winners:

The Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning was established with the generous contribution of Dr. Ken Spencer to recognize and publicize innovative work that is sustainable and has the potential of being taken up by others; to encourage a focus on transformative change in schools; and to provide profile for classroom innovation within school districts, schools, and the media.


Founded in 1891, the Canadian Education Association (CEA) is a network of passionate educators advancing ideas for greater student and teacher engagement in public education. CEA does this by conducting research and spreading useful ideas through its publicationswebsite, workshops, symposia, blogvideos, and social media channels, and supporting education systems to be more adaptive to the rapidly changing needs of all learners in an effort to reverse the trend of students ‘tuning out’ of their learning opportunities.


For more information:

Max Cooke – CEA Director of Communications (bilingual)
416-591-6300 ext. 225
Twitter: @max_cooke