The end of the school year signals the start of seven new professionally led research projects funded by the McDowell Foundation. In late May, the Foundation board approved over $80,000 in new research money for the 2017-18 school year.
The revitalization and preservation of Indigenous language and culture is the focus of a number of the new projects. In addition, two of the projects recognize the importance of action research in the classroom and includes students as part of the research teams. All of the projects work to strengthen teaching and learning here in the province.
The projects approved for funding for 2017-18 are:
Revitalizing Nêhiyawewin: Our Language, Stories and Perspectives–the use of storytelling in Cree immersion classes.
Parent and Caregiver Voices: Exploring the Experiences of Parents and Caregivers Regarding the Education of Their Child–the role of parents and caregivers in the education of children with exceptional needs.
Language Loss: A Deformity in Education–the benefit of immersion experiences in learning Cree language and culture.
Saskatchewan French Immersion School: A Case Study in Best Practice for Aboriginal Student Success–the benefits of French immersion for Aboriginal students.
Smooth Transitions: Integrating a High School and Pre-Service Teacher Education Program–encouraging high school students to consider a career in education.
Catholic School Teacher Enacting Papal Encyclical Laudato Si’–enacting action research projects on environmental and social justice in the classroom
Off the Grid: Students Leading Positive, Sustainable Environmental Change–student leadership and sustainable environmental change.
The scope of the research projects that the Foundation is able to fund is exciting and we look forward to the benefits to students and teachers that will occur because of our dedicated research teams and the hard work they do each year. Sadly, other projects that were identified as fundable in the review process were declined due to limited resources.
In addition to approving next year’s research projects, the board also passed a motion of support and action in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. While the board has been dedicated to making the research application process more inclusive for the past number of years, they felt a clear statement of support and action in relation to the Calls to Action was vital.
Over the next year, prospective research teams will have the option of submitting an oral component as part of their research application, and work will be done to further strengthen relationships within the education sector and beyond. The board has also committed to reviewing plans each year to celebrate the components that respond directly to the Calls to Action.