Renowned researcher, Dr. Chris Brown, Senior Lecturer at University College London (UCL) Institute of Education, London, England, spent a week, from September 19–23, visiting schools in the RCCDSB. The purpose of his trip was to assess the impact of the professional learning and capacity-building efforts the Board has been committed to for the past three years in relation to technology-enhanced teaching and learning.
The RCCDSB’s CODE (Council of Ontario Directors of Education) and Provincial Knowledge Exchange (PKE) projects were the center of the research impact study. Both projects have played a major role in helping the Board meet its strategic goals for the effective integration of technology into both teaching and learning.
“We’re now into our fourth year and have made some major gains in getting technology into the classrooms across our district,” noted Julia Graydon, RCCDSB Learning and Technology. “Now, we’re getting an outside critique of what we’re doing, what is working, and what we can improve on in implementation and measurement.”
Graydon had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Brown when he was in Toronto to give the keynote address at the 2016 Ontario Education Research Symposium.
He surmised that the Ministry of Education would be keen to know if its investment was making a difference. “When you are rolling out new programs, it is important to know what is effective and what isn’t and where improvements can be made.”
So, he came to Renfrew County to talk to teachers, principals and the Superintendents overseeing the projects to start developing an impact measurement approach. “It’s important to develop a framework to measure what you have done,” Dr. Brown stated.
“We’re doing something no one else is doing in Ontario,” he added. He credits the pioneering vision of Graydon, along with Mark Searson and Jaimie Perry, RCCDSB Superintendents of Educational Services, in getting behind this initiative.
Dr. Brown has a longstanding interest in how evidence can aid education policy and practice. He has written four books and several papers and has presented in both Europe and North America.
In 2015 he was awarded the American Educational Research Association ‘Emerging Scholar’ award (Education Change SIG). The award is given to someone who had demonstrated a strong record of original and significant scholarship related to educational change. Dr. Brown was also awarded the 2016 AERA Excellence in Research to Practice award and the UCEA Jeffrey V. Bennett Outstanding International Research award.
“It’s amazing to have Chris here as he is a renowned expert in the area of evidence informed practice,” said Graydon.
Dr. Brown hopes return to Renfrew County early in the new year to present his report to the RCCDSB.
Photo: Dr. Chris Brown, researcher from London, England, speaking with Teacher Raina Newberry in her Kindergarten classroom at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Renfrew.
October 27, 2017
For further information, please contact:
Michele Arbour, Director of Education
Renfrew County Catholic District School Board
499 Pembroke Street West
Pembroke, ON K8A 5P1
Phone: 613-735-1031 or 1-800-267-0191