The Pat Clifford Award
2013 – CEA Pat Clifford Award Co-Winners for Early Career Research in Education
A Powerful Focus on Literacy, Inclusion, and Teacher Collaboration
Dr. Leyton Schnellert’s case study research on teacher collaboration in support of struggling adolescent readers is changing the learning landscape
CEA is pleased to recognize Dr. Leyton Schnellert, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus, as co-winner of the 2013 Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education, for his work in improving literacy among adolescent learners – particularly those with learning disabilities – and teachers’ practices to support them.
Dr. Schnellert draws upon his expertise in literacy, inclusive education, and teacher education – developed during his years as a middle and secondary school teacher – to advance understanding about how to deeply engage adolescents in learning through reading in any subject.
Dr. Schnellert’s research has contributed important insights into how inquiry-based, collaborative, situated models of professional development can work to advance learning for both teachers and students. His case-study knowledge building efforts have been implemented in Canada’s Arctic, in many B.C. school districts, across Western Canada and beyond.
To access a bibliography of Dr. Schnellert’s work, please visit:
Making the Crucial Link Between the Brain and Learning, and its Impact on Teaching
Dr. Steve Masson’s neuroeducation research is poised to help students to learn better and teachers to teach better
CEA is pleased to recognize Dr. Steve Masson, Professor in the Faculty of Education at the Université du Québec à Montréal, as co-winner of its 2013 Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education, for his trailblazing work in combining neuroscience and education.
Dr. Masson’s research focus is driven by his observations of when he was a high school science teacher of how difficult it was to change his students’ preconceived notions.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Dr. Masson studied the difference between the brain activations of students and scientific experts. The findings revealed that experts mobilize certain parts of the brain that have the capacity to disarm these preconceptions and identified what happens in the students’ brains to reinforce them. His groundbreaking research has the potential to prove that learning changes the brain, illustrates how the structure of the brain influences how children learn, and reveals the way that teachers teach can shape the way a child’s brain develops.
Further research could provide students with tools to deal with changing their preconceptions – an even bigger implication is that there are parts of the students’ brain that could be modified to improve learning.