Dr. Osmond-Johnson’s research reveals the benefits of teachers assuming leadership roles in designing their own PD and influencing school improvement, and it has the potential to redefine the teaching profession while heightening the quality of instructional practices and learning.
TORONTO – November 9, 2017 – The EdCan Network is pleased to honour Dr. Pamela Osmond-Johnson – Assistant Professor of Educational Administration at the University of Regina – as the recipient of the 2017 Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education. This prestigious award recognizes her extensive research around teacher professional development (PD) across Canada, which has the potential to reform policies in support of equitable, job-embedded and teacher-driven professional learning.
During Dr. Osmond-Johnson’s ten years of teaching in Newfoundland and Labrador, it became apparent the limited time, resources and support that teachers were granted to guide their own professional learning based on their unique classroom needs. This experience fuelled her motivation to elevate teacher voice within school systems. Dr. Osmond-Johnson has since collaborated on numerous high-profile research projects and hopes to eventually establish a national platform that will provide key data on teacher professional learning opportunities across the country.
As co-investigator of The State of Professional Learning in Canada, Dr. Osmond-Johnson is working with a team of researchers to study teacher PD across Canada. The group has undertaken case studies in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta and explores teachers’ experiences and level of autonomy in directing their own learning. The study further highlights the significant role that teachers’ unions can play in providing high-quality PD – indeed a tool for school improvement – which challenges the body of research that characterizes these unions as barriers to educational change. She is also spearheading a research project in Saskatchewan that explores the Facilitator Community, an initiative where classroom teachers develop and deliver PD for their fellow educators. Internationally, Dr. Osmond-Johnson has contributed to a comparative study of teacher PD policies and practices in Canada, Finland, China, Singapore and Australia.
“Teachers learn best when they collaborate with their peers,” explains Dr. Osmond-Johnson. “To do this, teachers need professional learning integrated into their daily classroom practice where they self-assess their practice to improve their own teaching and learning. This is especially true for teachers living in remote locations and who are in short-term contracts, as well as early career and francophone teachers, who are less likely to have these opportunities.”
The Pat Clifford Award Selection Committee was impressed with the relevancy and originality of Dr. Osmond-Johnson’s work, including her determined efforts to scale her research to a pan-Canadian and international level.
“Dr. Osmond-Johnson maintains teacher professionalism as a central tenet of student success, and her research revealing the gaps that exist in access to high-quality professional learning underpins a significant avenue for improving quality of teaching and learning,” says Dr. Michele Jacobsen, Professor and Associate Dean at the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education, and Chair of the Pat Clifford Award Selection Committee.
To access a Q&A article with Dr. Osmond-Johnson, and for a bibliography of her work,
please visit: www.edcan.ca/cliffordaward
For More Information About Dr. Pamela Osmond-Johnson’s Research
Dr. Osmond-Johnson is co-author of Empowered Educators in Canada, which debuted as #1 ‘Hot New Release’ and #1 Best Seller in educational administration textbooks on Amazon.ca
To access additional The State of Professional Learning in Canada research publications, please visit: https://www.learningforward.org/publications/canada-study
About the Pat Clifford Award
The Pat Clifford Award recognizes the work of emerging researchers – their research contributions, their promise, and their commitment to breaking new ground or revisiting commonly held assumptions in education policy, practice or theory in Canada.
About Pat Clifford
Pat Clifford was one of the co-founders of The Galileo Educational Network, which is based in Calgary, Alberta. 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. As a teacher, Pat was steadfast in her belief that each child had the right to succeed brilliantly, and brought to them her own love of literature, writing and history. This award is dedicated to her memory.