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McDowell Board of Directors Approves $88,000 in Education Research Funding

June 25, 2018

SASKATOON – The McDowell Foundation Board of Directors has approved more than $88,000 in education research funding. The money will support seven new teacher-led projects for the upcoming school year.

Funding will support teachers in Saskatoon, Regina, La Ronge and teachers in the North East and Sun West School Divisions. Research projects will explore student mental health and reconciliation and the educational experiences of refugee children. Other projects will look at the sense of belonging amongst students and staff in an Islamic faith-based school and parent engagement in rural settings.

“Frontline teachers know their students and classes,” says Ellen Whiteman, Manager of the McDowell Foundation. “They’re in an ideal position to identify and examine areas for improvement.”

The 2018-19 projects approved for funding are:

  • Culture-Based School Mathematics for Reconciliation and Professional Development (North East School Division)
  • Gathering Strength: Indigenous Mental Health and High School (La Ronge)
  • Using Teacher Collaboration in an Islamic Faith-Based School to Nurture Student and Staff Sense of Belonging (Regina)
  • Exploring Refugee Children’s Pre- and Post-Migration Educational Experiences (Regina)
  • History Underground: The Road to Reconciliation (Regina)
  • Promising Practices for Family Engagement (Sun West School Division)
  • Exploring Indigenous Understanding and Reconciliation Through Art (Saskatoon)

Whiteman says the McDowell Foundation is honoured to be able to support the curiosity of Saskatchewan teachers. These innovations are possible because of the generosity of McDowell Foundation donors.

For the past 26 years, the McDowell Foundation has been funding teacher-led research in Saskatchewan schools. To date, the McDowell Foundation has granted more than $1.75 million to support education research that directly impacts student learning.

For more information, please visit the McDowell Foundation website at If you would like to speak with one of the researchers, please contact the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Communications Unit for assistance.

Around the Campfire: Stories of miyo-pimātsiwin (the good life)

Around the Campfire: Stories of miyo-pimātsiwin (the good life)

April 4, 2018

The second McDowell Salon Series will take place in Prince Albert on Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. at Par Place (located on Highway 3 just west of the city). The conversation will include: Elder Wilma Felix-Schreder, Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation; Renée Carrière, Teacher, Charlebois Community School in Cumberland House; Leda Corrigal, Consultant, Northern Lights School Division; and Pauline McKay, Provincial Facilitator and Aboriginal Liaison for Following Their Voices.

Through a roundtable discussion, Carrière will be sharing results from her research project, funded by the McDowell Foundation. The project, entitled The Muskrat/Wuchusk Project, focuses on how to connect curriculum content and Ministry outcomes with Indigenous science and ways of knowing in secondary science courses. Carrière’s study integrates local community knowledge, scientific data collection, and Indigenous and Western ways of knowing in ways that engage students in meaningful, land-based education.

The Salon Series is designed to provide research teams with an opportunity to share their research and to engage community stakeholders in ongoing conversations about next steps. The McDowell Foundation has provided close to $2 million in funding for a total of more than 283 teacher-led research projects for the benefit of Saskatchewan students.

McDowell Research Salon Series

McDowell Research Salon Series

January 29, 2018

The Salon Series is designed to provide research teams with an additional way to disseminate their research.  The salons or round table discussions will take place in communities across Saskatchewan and offer research teams the opportunity to partner up with other local stakeholders to both share their research findings and explore next steps or implementation strategies.

Learning From Practice – February 2, 2018

Learning From Practice – February 2, 2018

January 12, 2018

Learning From Practice – February 2, 2018 (photo)

The Learning From Practice conference is the McDowell Foundation’s opportunity for teachers to share research that impacts teaching and learning. The conference ensures Foundation funded researchers have the opportunity to share their project experiences and outcomes with their colleagues across the province.  This year’s conference will be held February 2, 2018, and features Corey O’Soup, Saskatchewan’s Advocate for Children and Youth, as the keynote speaker.

In addition, research teams will present on their work in a number of areas including: physical literacy, flexible learning time, professional growth, treaty education, responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action and more.

Register now

2016-17 Annual Report

2016-17 Annual Report

December 21, 2017

The Dr. Stirling McDowell Foundation for Research Into Teaching Inc. Annual General Meeting was held December 1, 2017. The 2016-17 Annual Report was presented to the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Executive.

In addition to receiving the report, the STF Executive, as the sole member of the Foundation, heard updates on the work of the Foundation and appointed Sean Lockwood, Jane Isinger and Callie Lewry to three-year terms on the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

McDowell Salon Series Conversations: Exploring School-Related Anxiety Among High School Students

November 2, 2017

“There really aren’t times that I don’t experience anxiety. For me personally, it’s a constant issue when I’m at school.” -Student participant

“I experience anxiety at school on a daily basis I would say . . . There’s almost always this knot I feel in my stomach when I’m at school.” -Student participant

For researchers Dr. Jennifer de Lugt and Jennifer Chan, the need to provide high school students a voice in relation to school-related anxiety compelled them to develop their research project. Funded by the McDowell Foundation, the purpose of the project was to further the understanding of school-related anxiety as well as how these anxieties can be mitigated.

The project took place in the community of Moose Jaw and included both confidential journal entries and focus groups aimed at getting students to share not only their experience with school-related anxiety, but how their teachers could help.

For de Lugt and Chan, the importance of talking with students about school-related anxiety and providing the student a space to talk openly was an important starting point in supporting youth mental health.


Volunteer Opportunity: Foundation Board Members Needed!

November 1, 2017

The Foundation is currently accepting expressions of interest to sit on our Board of Directors.  Directors are appointed for a three year term and provide strategic direction, fiscal oversight and risk management leadership for the Foundation. The board meets approximately 4 times per year.

Serving on a non-profit board can support the development leadership skills, encourage professional research in the province and be a great way to meet others who are passionate about public education.  No previous research experience is necessary and both teachers and those external to the professional are welcome to apply.

If you are interested, please submit a resume to by November 15, 2017.

SAEA donates $17,000 for research into visual art education

SAEA donates $17,000 for research into visual art education

October 13, 2017

Visual art teachers see the importance of supporting and promoting quality arts education in the province. The Saskatchewan Art Educators Association, a professional growth network of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, has donated $17,000 to the Dr. Stirling McDowell Foundation to support visual art education research in Saskatchewan. This directed gift will provide resources for exploring classroom-based research examining the importance of visual art in PreK-12 classrooms.

The SAEA executive voted unanimously to direct the gift to visual art education research in the province. As teachers, who are also artists, the importance of ensuring all children have access to a quality arts education is reflected in this generous donation.

As part of this year’s Notice of Intent process, a special call for research projects in visual art education will occur. Teachers and other educators interested in pursuing a research project should contact the Foundation for more information and clearly state in their Notice of Intent that their project will focus on visual art education.

The Foundation accepts directed gifts from individuals or organizations to fund research in target areas that fit within the mission and mandate of the Foundation and enhance teaching and learning in the province.

The SAEA executive members included in the photo are: left to right, upper row first: Merv Kuzminski, on computer: Ed Edmonds, Kaleah Balinski, Roberta Ross, Ann Donald, Kellie Bell, Sarah Gerrard, Suzy Schwankes, second lower row: left to right: Lila Kallstrom, Erin Haight, Pam Ollenberger,  and Karen Robinson.

Call for Research Grant Applications – Notice of Intent 2018-19 Funding

August 31, 2017

The McDowell Foundation is inviting PreK-12 teachers and other educators to submit a Notice of Intent to begin the grant application process for research projects funded in the 2018-19 school year. Foundation grants provide funding, guidance and release time to support recipients’ project goals and activities.

Prior research experience is not necessary. The Notice of Intent and overall application process assists applicants in developing a meaningful and achievable research project which supports professional development through reflective practice. Grants totaling $85,000 are available.

Applications to the Foundation require a three-step process:

  • Notice of Intent (due November 14, 2017).
  • Draft Grant Application (due January 29, 2018).
  • Final Grant Application (due April 23, 2018).

The Notice of Intent is the first step in the process.  Once the Foundation receives the Notice of Intent the staff can support applicants in developing a full research application.

Please contact the Foundation for more information or to receive printed copies of the Research Call for Notice of Intent document.

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