EdCan Network News

Announcing Canada’s Top 7 Innovative School Programs

2018 Ken Spencer Award-winners recognized for how students thrive with hands-on learning.

From students managing farms and marketing organic products while re-engaging in a Worldview First Nation perspective, to tackling bee extinction, to leveraging art as a tool for activism and for portraying scientific concepts, to thriving inclusive and equitable classrooms, this year’s diverse group of winning programs all exemplify the value of learning through trial and error.

The 2017-2018 Ken Spencer Awards showcase how teachers can provide students with the autonomy and flexibility to take their learning to the land; to use technology as a tool for equity; to explore Indigenous-centred perspectives and to blend art, science and social justice to focus on real-world problems.

Check out the 7 award-winning programs from 2017-2018 year.

Download and print the booklet.

Ken Spencer Award Winners


Ken Spencer Award ©JoyceDoddsPhotography.com-6507

Farm Roots Mini School
Students take their learning to the land

Delta School District
Delta, B.C.

Ken Spencer Award Kahnawake Roots for Life

Roots for Life: Reconnecting with the Land
Students ‘re-engage’ in a Worldview First Nation approach to learning

First Nations Regional Adult Education Centre
Kahnawake, Que.



ADVANCE Georges Vanier TDSB

ADVANCE Innovation Skills Centre
Where ALL students can build a better world

Georges Vanier Secondary School (Toronto District School Board)
Toronto, Ont.

Vanier College Art Science

The Art in Science Project
Science pedagogy wrapped in creativity

Vanier College
Saint-Laurent, Que.

Ken Spencer Award Tredway Bees TDSB 

The Pollinator Inquiry Program
Empowering students to alleviate the imminent crisis of bee extinction

Tredway Woodsworth Public School (Toronto District School Board)
Toronto, Ont.

Ken Spencer Award Bateman Art Activist Abbotsford

Robert Bateman Secondary Art Activism
Art is a vehicle that empowers students

Robert Bateman Secondary School (Abbotsford School District)
Abbotsford, B.C.

Ken Spencer Award Wexford DHH TDSB

Wexford Deaf/Hard of Hearing Co-Enrollment Program
An inclusive learning model where all learners thrive

Wexford Public School/Hearing Itinerant Department (Toronto District School Board)
Toronto, Ont.


Ken Spencer Award recognition ceremonies are being planned in the school communities of the seven winners. This is the ninth year of this award, and the EdCan Network would like to thank the 95 school and school district staff for their time and effort in the preparation of this year’s award applications.


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.


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