The Ken Spencer Award: Call for Applications

The Ken Spencer Award 10 years

We want to read about your innovative programs.

For ten years, the Ken Spencer Award has discovered and profiled courageous classroom innovators who have made learning relevant and exciting by providing students with the autonomy and flexibility to think critically and solve real-world problems.

Seven cash awards totalling $15,000 are available to be won for publicly-funded elementary, middle, and secondary schools in Canada, including Quebec CÉGEPs. Winning entries will also be profiled nationally – to encourage peer-to-peer learning – in Education Canada Magazine, which could include articles, podcast interviews and opinion pieces.




Stage one: November 12, 2018, @ 12 PM (est time) 

The deadline to submit your Stage 1 online application form – which will include a summary of your program in 250 words or less – is November 12, 2018, @ 12 PM (EST time).

If your Stage 1 application is shortlisted by our selection committee, you will be invited to submit a more detailed proposal for review by a jury of education innovation experts.

Stage 2

Shortlisted Stage 2 candidates will be contacted by November 16, 2018.

The deadline for the final Stage 2 application will be December 10, 2018.

Final winners will be notified in late January 2019.


Who can apply

Applicants can either nominate themselves or be nominated by another person.



We’re looking for programs that focus on improving student engagement and have the potential to expand to other classrooms, throughout schools and districts and provoke systemic changes.

In particular, we value programs where:

  • Students are actively engaged in their own learning and are supported to create new perspectives and new knowledge.
  • The exploration of students’ individual interests, passions and talents is an ongoing part of classroom learning.
  • What students learn is ‘real’ and relevant to their lives now and in the future. Learning activities engage them in inquiries, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
  • What students do and learn in their lives outside of school (for example, making music, engaging in social justice work or environmental activism) is valued in the classroom.
  • Young people are motivated and engaged – socially, institutionally and intellectually.



This award is available to publicly-funded elementary, middle, and secondary schools in Canada, including Quebec CÉGEPs.

The application should feature a class, a group of classes, a department, or a whole school that has undertaken a successful, sustainable and scalable initiative to deeply engage students in their learning. Projects that are strictly extracurricular will not be considered. The jury will be looking for projects that have the potential to expand beyond a classroom throughout a school, influence the life of the school, enhance school success plans, and demonstrate the potential to be implemented in other schools and classrooms throughout a school district.

Applicants whose initiative has received any monetary contribution(s) from prizes, awards, bursaries, grants, etc. between November 1, 2017 and November 9, 2018 are ineligible for the Ken Spencer Award.



Have a question?

Requests for further information should be sent by e-mail to André Rebeiz at: