The Ken Spencer Award: Call for Applications


Ideas that can transform learning



The deadline to submit your Stage 1 online application form – which will include a summary of your program in 500 words or less – is 5 PM (Pacific Time) November 9, 2017.

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.

Shortlisted Stage 2 candidates will be contacted by November 27, 2017.

The deadline for the final Stage 2 application will be December 14, 2017.

Final winners will be notified in late January 2018.


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 systemically.

Applicants whose initiative has received any monetary contribution(s) from prizes, awards, bursaries, grants, etc. between November 1, 2016-November 9, 2017 are ineligible for the Ken Spencer Award.


Have a question?

Requests for further information should be sent by e-mail to Mia San Jose at