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EdCan Research Watch

Latest Research on Education

education research highlights

Accessing Opportunity: A study on challenges in French-as-a-second-language education teacher supply and demand in Canada

This study by the Commissioner of Official Languages calls for the establishment of a national strategy to address a chronic shortage of French-as-a-second-language (FSL) teachers. The federal government has set a goal of increasing Canada’s bilingualism rate from 17.9% to 20% by 2036, which it plans to achieve by raising the bilingualism rate of English speakers. While this is a laudable goal, according to the study, reaching it will require focusing on recruiting and retaining FSL teachers, whom provinces and territories face common challenges in attracting and retaining.

The study includes key recommendations, including:

  • Establishing a national FSL consultation table with provincial and territorial partners and with FSL stakeholder associations;
  • Standardizing the required FSL language skills and qualifications for teachers across Canada;
  • Ensuring timely and effective dispensation of funds in the 2018–2023 Action Plan for Official Languages for FSL teacher recruitment and retention; and
  • Exploring the possibility of granting bursaries under the 2018–2023 Action Plan for Official Languages for teacher candidates seeking to improve their French-language skills and study in other parts of the country—for example, at faculties of education whose FSL teacher education programs are not being filled to capacity.

Developmental Milestones: Child care fees in Canada’s big cities 2018

This report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) updates the ranking of the most and least expensive cities for child care in Canada. The study finds that fees have risen faster than inflation in 61% of cities since 2017. However, in 2018, the number of provinces with policies directly targeting fee affordability has doubled.

Related report: “Unappreciated and underpaid”: Early Childhood Educators in Nova Scotia

This CCPA provincial report provides a snapshot of what it’s like for Early Childhood Educators (ECE) to work in the Early Learning and Child Care sector in Nova Scotia. Understanding which factors influence their recruitment and retention is critical because we know high turnover affects the quality of the care provided.

Related report: Saskatchewan’s Failing Report Card on Child Care

This CCPA provincial report states that demand-side subsidies have been provided only to low income parents in Saskatchewan, based on the notion that middle class children and children who are disadvantaged have fundamentally different developmental needs. Furthermore, the income threshold for receiving provincial child care subsidies has been frozen since the 1980s and was, even then, much lower than Canada Assistance Plan guidelines recommend. As a result, many families are considered too “rich” for assistance even if they fall below the poverty line.

Roadmaps and Roadblocks: Career and life planning, guidance, and streaming in Ontario’s schools

A new report from People for Education, based on a survey of over 1,250 principals, finds that Ontario may be falling behind at a time when there is growing pressure to prepare students for a rapidly changing, increasingly complex future.

Among the findings:

  • Only 23% of elementary schools have guidance counsellors, and access to these vital supports may depend on where you live.
  • In secondary schools, guidance counsellors are, on average, responsible for 375 students each.
  • Only 57% of high schools report that all of their students have Individual Pathways Plans (IPPs), even though they are mandatory.
  • Provincial policy says that competencies and skills to support career and life planning (knowing yourself, understanding how to achieve goals and manage transitions, having the capacity to explore opportunities and make decisions) should be embedded throughout the curriculum from Kindergarten to Grade 12, but Ontario lags behind British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec in this area.

Review of Prince Edward Island’s Provincial Common Assessment Program

An external review commissioned by P.E.I.’s Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture recommends that the provincial student assessment program should continue in its present format and offers suggestions to strengthen student learning. (Read the highlights report)

Main findings of the report include:

  • Develop a framework document and a communications plan to clearly explain the purpose of the program, the intent of the various reports, how the reports can be interpreted, and what follow-up can be taken to improve student learning;
  • Establish firm guidelines for student exemptions, monitor  implementation and look into expanding adaptations for students taking the assessments;
  • Continue participation in the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA);
  • Review priorities regarding assessment staffing needs and hire French Immersion staff to manage the primary and elementary assessments.

Latest education research


Review of the Effectiveness of New Brunswick’s Child Protection System
Via Department of Social Development, New Brunswick

Vast majority of Canadians say vaccines should be mandatory for school aged kids
Via Angus Reid Institute

Sex offences against minors: Investigation reveals more than 200 Canadian coaches convicted in last 20 years
Via CBC News

Investing in Canadians’ civic literacy: An answer to fake news and disinformation
Via The Samara Centre for Democracy

Indigenous Self-Determination in Northern Canada and Norway
Via Institute for Research on Public Policy (Read the report summary here)



School Teasing and Bullying After the Presidential Election
Via American Educational Research Association (U.S.A.)
(Read the plain-language summary: School bullying has risen in areas that supported Trump)

Homework and Higher Standards: How Homework Stacks Up to the Common Core
Via Center for American Progress (U.S.A.)
(Read the plain-language summary: Report: Most homework focuses on ‘low-level’ skills)

The Link Between School Attendance and Good Health
Via American Academy of Pediatrics (U.S.A.)

Reducing socioeconomic disparities in the STEM pipeline through student emotion regulation
Via Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (U.S.A.)
(Read the plain-language summary: Easing test anxiety boosts science grades in low-income students)

A Longitudinal Study to Determine the Impact of Inclusion on Student Academic Outcomes
Via Center on Education and Lifelong Learning, Indiana University
(Read the press release: Inclusion improves academic outcomes for students with disabilities, IU study shows)

Untangling the Evidence on Preschool Effectiveness: Insights for Policymakers
Via Learning Policy Institute (U.S.A.)

Investigating Causal Effects of Arts Education Experiences: Experimental Evidence from Houston’s Arts Access Initiative
Via The Kinder Institute, Rice University (U.S.A.)

Insufficient Sleep in Adolescents and Young Adults: An Update on Causes and Consequences
Via American Academy of Pediatrics (U.S.A.)

Most U.S. Teens See Anxiety and Depression as a Major Problem Among Their Peers
Via Pew Research Center (U.S.A.)

Do Smarter Teachers Make Smarter Students? International Evidence on Teacher Cognitive Skills and Student Performance
Via Education Next, Harvard Kennedy School (U.S.A.)

Genetics and Education: Recent Developments in the Context of an Ugly History and an Uncertain Future
Via American Educational Research Association (U.S.A.)
(Read the press release: Educators Need to Stay Ahead of Curve on Emerging Genetics Research)

Education system alignment for 21st century skills: Focus on assessment
Via The Brookings Institute (U.S.A.)



Vulnerable Children in a Digital World
Via Youthworks (U.K.)

CRIDE report on 2017/18 survey on educational provision for deaf children in England
Via Consortium for Research in Deaf Education (U.K.) (Read the news release: Deaf children losing 10 specialist teaching units each year)

The multigenerational effects of adolescent motherhood on school readiness: A population-based retrospective cohort study
Via PLOS ONE (U.S.A. & U.K.) (Read the plain-language summary: Effects of teenage motherhood may last multiple generations)

Ethnic disproportionality in the identification of Special Educational Needs (SEN) in England: Extent, causes and consequences
Via University of Oxford Department of Education & Economic and Social Research Council (U.K.)



School Outcomes of Children Raised by Same-Sex Couples: Evidence from Administrative Panel Data
Via Leuven Economics of Education Research (Belgium)



Organized Sports and Physical Activities as Sole Influencers of Fitness: The Homeschool Population
Via Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology
(Read the plain-language summary: No sweat? That’s an issue for home-schooled children)



Growing Up in Ireland (National Longitudinal Study of Children): The Lives of 5-Year-Olds
Via Economic and Social Research Institute (Ireland)

Joint Committee on Education and Skills Report on Relationships and Sexuality Education
Via Houses of the Oireachtas (Ireland)
(Related news article: Sex education outdated, ethos should not influence teaching – report)



Predictions as a window into learning: Anticipatory fixation offsets carry more information about environmental statistics than reactive stimulus-responses
Via The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (International)
(Read the plain-language summary: Did you get it? I can see it in your eyes: The basis of learning: New light on how people attend and understand)


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