2013 CEA Pat Clifford Award Co-Winner: A Powerful Focus on Literacy, Inclusion, and Teacher Collaboration
Dr. Leyton Schnellert’s case study research on teacher collaboration in support of struggling adolescent readers is changing the learning landscape
Toronto – October 9, 2013 – The Canadian Education Association (CEA) is pleased to recognize Dr. Leyton Schnellert, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus, as co-winner of the 2013 Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education, for his work in improving literacy among adolescent learners – particularly those with learning disabilities – and teachers’ practices to support them.
Dr. Schnellert draws upon his expertise in literacy, inclusive education, and teacher education – developed during his years as a middle and secondary school teacher – to advance understanding about how to deeply engage adolescents in learning through reading in any subject.
“So much is going on for adolescents in school – brain development, their identities are shaping, they’re so self-aware and aware of others, and we all just assume that they can read,” says Dr. Schnellert. “I was seeing students struggling every day, so I gradually developed supportive classroom climates and approaches and watched their confidence soar.”
Dr. Schnellert’s research has contributed important insights into how inquiry-based, collaborative, situated models of professional development can work to advance learning for both teachers and students. His case-study knowledge building efforts have been implemented in Canada’s Arctic, in many B.C. school districts, across Western Canada and beyond.
“Literacy and inclusion are areas of continued tension because our school system is still stuck in the past in boxes, levels, grades, and outcomes that are often quite limiting,” says Dr. Schnellert. “Combining the two areas has allowed me to impact educators and schools to think about teaching and learning in more progressive ways.”
“Dr. Schnellert’s work spans the intersection of research and practice in both teacher engagement and student learning,” says Dr. Michele Jacobsen, Chair of the Pat Clifford Award Nominations Committee. “The kind of outreach work that he’s doing with teacher PD with both academic and professional audiences speaks to someone who is already having a significant impact in the field.”
Dr. Schnellert will share one big idea from his research that will answer the question: What’s standing in the way of change in education? at CEA’s Calgary Conference on October 21st (www.cea-ace.ca/Calgary2013). He will also be formally recognized with the 2013 Pat Clifford Award and presenting alongside co-winner, Dr. Steve Masson, 2012 winner Dr. Michelle Hogue, and 2013 CEA Whitworth Award winner Dr. Kate Tilleczek.
To access a bibliography of Dr. Schnellert’s work, please visit: www.cea-ace.ca/cliffordaward
About the Pat Clifford Award
This Award is named after Dr. Pat Clifford, one of the co-founders of The Galileo Educational Network. Pat had an extensive teaching background from primary through graduate level, and was the recipient of numerous awards for both research and teaching practice. Pat passed away in August of 2008 but she left a gift to us in her teaching, scholarly writing, poetry and stories.
About the Canadian Education Association (CEA)
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 publications, website, workshops, symposia, 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.