The Pat Clifford Award

2017 Pat Clifford Award Winner

Dr. Pamela Osmond-Johnson’s research is redefining the role of teachers as innovation leaders

Dr. Osmond-Johnson’s research reveals the benefits of teachers assuming leadership roles in designing their own PD and influencing school improvement, and it has the potential to redefine the teaching profession while heightening the quality of instructional practices and learning.

The EdCan Network is pleased to honour Dr. Pamela Osmond-Johnson – Assistant Professor of Educational Administration at the University of Regina – as the recipient of the 2017 Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education. This prestigious award recognizes her extensive research around teacher professional development (PD) across Canada, which has the potential to reform policies in support of equitable, job-embedded and teacher-driven professional learning.

During Dr. Osmond-Johnson’s ten years of teaching in Newfoundland and Labrador, it became apparent the limited time, resources and support that teachers were granted to guide their own professional learning based on their unique classroom needs. This experience fuelled her motivation to elevate teacher voice within school systems. Dr. Osmond-Johnson has since collaborated on numerous high-profile research projects and hopes to eventually establish a national platform that will provide key data on teacher professional learning opportunities across the country.

As co-investigator of The State of Professional Learning in Canada, Dr. Osmond-Johnson is working with a team of researchers to study teacher PD across Canada. The group has undertaken case studies in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta and explores teachers’ experiences and level of autonomy in directing their own learning. The study further highlights the significant role that teachers’ unions can play in providing high-quality PD – indeed a tool for school improvement – which challenges the body of research that characterizes these unions as barriers to educational change. She is also spearheading a research project in Saskatchewan that explores the Facilitator Community, an initiative where classroom teachers develop and deliver PD for their fellow educators. Internationally, Dr. Osmond-Johnson has contributed to a comparative study of teacher PD policies and practices in Canada, Finland, China, Singapore and Australia.

For More Information About Dr. Pamela Osmond-Johnson’s Research

Q&A with Dr. Pamela Osmond-Johnson

Dr. Osmond-Johnson is co-author of Empowered Educators in Canada, which debuted as #1 ‘Hot New Release’ and #1 Best Seller in educational administration textbooks on

To access additional The State of Professional Learning in Canada research publications, please visit:

Bibliographic highlights

Lead-authored works:

Osmond-Johnson, P., Zeichner, K., & Campbell, C. (2017). The state of educator’s professional learning in Alberta: Case Study Report. Oxford, OH: Learning Forward.

Osmond-Johnson, P. (2017). Leading professional learning to develop professional capital: The Saskatchewan Professional Development Unit’s Facilitator Community. International Journal of Teacher Leadership, 8(1), 26-42.

Osmond-Johnson, P. (2016). Contextualizing teacher professionalism: Findings from a cross-case analysis of union active teachers. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 62(3), 268-287.

Osmond-Johnson, P. (2015). Supporting democratic discourses of teacher

professionalism: The case of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 171, 1-27.

Osmond-Johnson, P. (2014). Teacher-driven professional learning as a vehicle for teacher leadership. Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education, 5(3).


Co-authored works:

Campbell, C., Osmond-Johnson, P., Faubert, B., Zeichner, K., & Hobbs-Johnson, A., with Brown, S., DaCosta, P., Hales, A., Kuehn, L., Sohn, J. & Steffensen, K. (2017). The state of educator’s professional learning in Canada: Full report. Oxford, OH: Learning Forward.

Campbell, C., Zeichner, K., Osmond-Johnson, P., & Lieberman, A. (2017). Empowered Educators in Canada: How High-Performing Systems Shape Teacher Quality. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Campbell, C., Osmond-Johnson, P., Faubert, B. (2016). Developing teachers as the learning profession: Findings from the state of educator’s professional learning in Canada study. Scottish Educational Review, 48(2).

Bascia, N. & Osmond-Johnson, P. (2015). How discursive practices shape and reflect relationships between teacher unions and governments. In N. Bascia’s (Eds.), Teacher unions in public education: History, politics and the future.  

Bascia, N., & Osmond, P. (2013). Teacher union-governmental relations in the context of educational reform. Belgium: Education International.

Basica, N., & Osmond, P. (2012). Teacher unions and educational reform: A research review. Commissioned by the National Education Association, Washington, D.C.