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RESEARCH & INNOVATION

Congratulations to OISE's 2016-2017 SSHRC Grant recipients.

SSHRC Insight Grants (2016 competition)

Sandra Acker, Department of Social Justice Education, with co-applicants Eve Haque, York University, Michelle McGinn, Brock University, Anne Wagner, Nipissing University and collaborators Lisa Lucas, University of Bristol, Marie Vander Kloet, University of Toronto, and Oili-Helena Ylojoki,  University of Tampere
Title: Academic Researchers in Challenging Times

Jeff Bale, Department of Curriculum Teaching and Learning, with co-applicants Antoinette Gagné and Julie Kerekes
Title: More Than "Just Good Teaching": Mainstream Teacher Education for Supporting English Language Learners and Teacher Education Policy in Ontario

Patricia Ganea, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development
Title: Changing science misconceptions in early childhood

Diane Gérin-Lajoie, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, with co-applicant Marianne Jacquet, Simon Fraser University
Title: Trajectoires de vie de jeunes immigrants diplômés en contexte scolaire francophone minoritaire

Jack Quarter, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, with Co-applicants Jean-Marc Fontan, Université du Québec à Montréal; Peter Hall, Simon Fraser University; Jeff Karabanow, Dalhousie University; Jorge Sousa, University of Alberta; Shirley Thompson, University of Manitoba; Jennifer Sumner and Marcelo Vieta; University of Toronto and collaborator Laurie Mook, Arizona State University
Title: WISE Longitudinal Evaluation Project

Creso Sa, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Title: Competition and Cooperation in Global Academic Science: Canada and Brazil

SSHRC Partnership Development Grants (2016 competition)

Jack Quarter, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, with co-applicants Marty Donkervort, Social Enterprise Council of Canada;Rachel Laforest, Queen's University;  Jennifer Sumner and Marcelo Vieta, Department of Leadership Higher and Adult Education, University of Toronto.
Title: Social Procurement Project

SSHRC Insight Development Grants (2017 competition)

Becky Xi Chen, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, with co-applicants Katholiki Georgiades, McMaster University; Alexandra Gottardo, Wilfrid Laurier University; Jennifer Jenkins, University of Toronto; Johanne Paradis, University of Alberta and collaborators Katrin Lindner and Claudia Riehl, Ludwig­-Maximilians-­U. München.
Title: Successes and challenges of children who are Syrian refugees: Language, literacy and well-being

SUMMARIES

Academic Researchers in Challenging Times

As the purposes of universities are debated and contested, academics are sometimes expected to frame their scholarship as serving Canada's innovation agenda or positioning Canada to lead. This qualitative, interview-based study aims to explore the social production of research in Ontario, Canada. The objectives of the study are to (1) contribute empirical evidence about the ways social science academics in selected fields describe and make sense of their research production and leadership experiences, especially when their interests are rooted in social justice; (2) clarify how these experiences relate to the contexts of research policy, institutional support and student assistance; and (3) develop a theoretical "middle ground" where agency is respected but constraints are acknowledged. This research will be of interest to higher education scholars, other academics, research administrators, scholarly associations and policymakers. Additionally, we use our findings to design and implement creative educational development initiatives for academics, students and research administrators.

Changing science misconceptions in early childhood

Researchers have yet to clarify what the most effective instructional methods are for teaching young children scientific concepts. In the face of stubborn misconceptions, a combined instructional approach that provides children with a conceptual framework through direct instruction (via picture books) and offers opportunities for exploration through inquiry-based learning may be most beneficial. Across seven studies using a pre/post-test design with children aged four and five years, this research project will: (I) Design and test picture books containing conceptually rich explanations that address young children's science misconceptions; (II) Clarify whether different TYPES of picture books are equally effective at teaching physics concepts and promoting scientific curiosity; (III) Determine whether our picture books increase depth of learning over and above hands-on, inquiry-based learning. The results of the proposed research will fill a gap in our current understanding of children's learning and conceptual change in the face of misconceptions, and will help to identify the most effective means for teaching children scientific information.

Trajectoires de vie de jeunes immigrants diplômés en contexte scolaire francophone minoritaire

La problématique à laquelle s'intéresse le programme de recherche proposé porte sur les jeunes francophones issus de l'immigration qui vivent dans les communautés de langue officielle en Ontario et en Alberta, soit Toronto et Edmonton. L'objectif est d'examiner de près les processus à l'oeuvre dans leur expérience d'intégration scolaire et sociale. L'étude s'intéressera en particulier à des jeunes immigrants de première génération, âgés entre 18 et 24 ans, ayant terminé récemment leurs études secondaires dans une école secondaire de langue française et qui sont inscrits dans des programmes d'études (au collège communautaire ou à l'université), ou qui ont intégré directement le marché du travail après leurs études secondaires.  Le programme de recherche suggéré fera appel à l'analyse qualitative, par le biais de récits de vie, à partir d'entretiens en profondeur effectués avec un groupe restreint de 30 jeunes immigrants répartis dans les deux provinces. L'ensemble des données recueillies nous permettra de brosser une série de portraits sur la trajectoire et l'expérience sociale et scolaire des jeunes issus de l'immigration, permettant ainsi de poser un regard plus éclairé sur cette population.

WISE Longitudinal Evaluation Project

Government policy in Canada has encouraged non-profit social service organizations to establish WISEs ('work integration social enterprises') for marginalized social groups, and a significant investment is being made in them by governments and parent non-profits. Though there is some cross-sectional research on the effectiveness of these enterprises, there is no longitudinal research to determine if any short-term gains are sustained. Few WISE studies have prioritized at-risk youth, and none has included the range of potential outcomes we propose to examine. Our research objectives are to: 1) Clarify, through longitudinal tracking, the extent to which WISEs training at-risk youth for workforce integration are achieving this goal, considering both economic and social outcomes; 2) Assess whether the return (economic and social) is commensurate with the investment using social accounting. We are using mixed-methods to track WISE participants in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax annually to assess outcome patterns over time. Results will be of interest to researchers across the social sciences, NGOs that house WISEs as well as governments and foundations that fund them. Extensive knowledge mobilization activities will ensure that our findings benefit all stakeholders including at-risk youth.

Social Procurement Project

Numerous social procurement policies and programs have been developed by government  bodies in Canada yet little research has been undertaken to clarify their effects on supported social enterprises serving marginalized social groups. This new partnership, bringing together researchers from the Centre of Learning, Social Economy & Work (CLSEW), Queen’s University School of Policy Studies, and the Social Enterprise Council of Canada (SECC), will examine the social procurement policies of Canadian governments and business corporations as they affect supported social enterprises serving marginalized people, and use that knowledge to strengthen those policies. The objectives of the partnership reflect knowledge gaps and capacity building: 1) to assess the effects of social procurement on supported social enterprises; 2) to determine the extent to which social procurement policies for supported social enterprises have been developed by government agencies and the barriers to their implementation; 3) to clarify the extent to which social procurement for supported social enterprises is practiced by business corporations and the barriers to developing social procurement policies; 4) to build capacity in the Social Enterprise Council of Canada to strengthen social procurement policies for supported social enterprises. Methods include: a national survey of supported social enterprises; analysis of policy documents from each of Canada’s provinces, major cities, and a sample of major Crown corporations; key informant interviews; and a national survey of business corporations. The research will lead to unique scholarly contributions, improvements in policy, and capacity building activities to enhance social procurement for supported social enterprises.

Successes and challenges of children who are Syrian refugees: Language, literacy and well-being

This research will examine factors that contribute to the successes and challenges in language and literacy development, both in English and Arabic, as Syrian refugee children settle in Canada. The study will adopt both quantitative and qualitative methods to gain a broad and an in-depth understanding of Syrian refugee children’s language and literacy development and socioemotional wellbeing. A parallel project will be carried out by collaborators in Germany. In both countries the research seeks to: 1) investigate changes in English or German (L2) and Arabic (L1) language and literacy, 2) determine how child (e.g., cognitive abilities, age of arrival, schooling) and family (e.g., parental education, home activities) factors underlie individual difference in the L1 and L2, 3) examine interdependence between the L1 and L2, 4) examine the association between socio-emotional well-being and language and literacy skills, 5) create and refine Arabic measurement tools, and 6) form a foundation for larger-scale research and forge new partnerships. Together, our results will have significant implications for the ways in which educational and service agencies interact with refugee children.