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KNAER Research


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[tab title="KNAER Research"]


The School of Education Research has been given the opportunity to make use of several research grants and opportunities.  The Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER) was established through a competitive process as a collaborative partnership among the Ontario Ministry of Education, the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario.

The KNAER will engage in a dialogue with groups of practitioners/researchers to facilitate the development and dissemination of advanced knowledge through the application of applied education research, extending to effective practices in class-rooms, schools, school boards as well as provincially.

The KNAER will also focus on building, advancing and applying robust evidence of effective practices through conducting research, synthesizing state-of-the-art knowledge from existing bodies of evidence from Ontario, nationally and internationally.

For more information visit the KNAER website


Videos of Visual Artists in Greater Sudbury


[tab title="Case Studies"]

Project Lead: Dr. Yovita Gwekwerere (PhD)

Workshop Coordinator: Kyle Craftchick (OCT)

Project Partners: Laurentian University School of Education (English Language), Rainbow District School Board, Sudbury Catholic District School Board

Project Type: Workshop

Specialist Presenter: Dr. Clyde Freeman Herreid, State University of New York at Buffalo


Project Description

Laurentian University received a Knowledge Network (KNAER) grant from the Ontario Ministry of Education to host workshops on using Case Studies and Problem-based learning, novel methods for teaching in science and other disciplines. We invited Dr. Clyde Herreid, a specialist in using Case Studies in science from the University of New York at Buffalo to present the workshops to university faculty in Northern Ontario. Dr. Herreid is a distinguished science professor and director of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

The main objective of this project was to disseminate research knowledge and resources that have been proved to enhance student learning in science-based fields. Dr. Herreid’s workshops focused on designing and using CS and PBL strategies to enrich learning in high school science and university courses. During his visit, Dr. Herreid hosted two one-day workshops and one round table discussion with faculty from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. The workshops were hosted in Sudbury and video-conferencing was made available for participants in remote areas through the Contact North sites. As part of the workshops, a toolkit consisting of DVDs and a video overview is being developed. Participants were also introduced to teaching resources available at the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science website. The toolkit will be made available to school boards and universities for disseminating on their websites. A complete toolkit will also be submitted to the Ministry of Education for dissemination in June 2012.


Alignment with Ministry Priorities

The visit by Dr. Clyde Herreid assisted in answering many important questions from the Ministry’s priority area on Teaching and Learning such as:

a) What are the most authentic and effective strategies for developing critical thinking and investigation skills among elementary/high school and university students?;
b) What is working in science instruction in Ontario and elsewhere and what does research say about these strategies?;
c) To what extent are research-based instructional strategies being implemented in schools and post-secondary science courses?
d) Are available resources being used effectively to teach science in more meaningful ways that promote inquiry skills?
e) What do we know about effective assessment and evaluation practices that promote understanding in science?
f) How can we increase the pool of scientists trained in Ontario?; This project helped answer some of these questions by inviting a ‘world class’ expert to act as a ‘knowledge’ broker and to facilitate and lead the spread of established science teaching strategies that have been found to be effective in complementing the traditional lecture method. This initiative helped promote collaboration and networking among school boards, universities and policy makers in their efforts to apply research to practice and to increased confidence in publicly-funded education.



The following section will contain resources for learning about and using case studies in teaching. Resources will be added as they become available.


Ontario Ministry of Education KNAER Grant Report

Workshop Video Overview 

Toolkit Dissemination Letter

DVD Cover Letter

CBC Radio interview with Dr. Herreid 

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science

Case Study Example #1 - Torn at the Genes

Case Study Example #2 - Mom Always Liked You Best


Workshop Videos

Part 1 of 3

Title: Using Case Studies to Teach Science and Other Disciplines

Duration: 1 hr 37 min


Part 2 of 3

Title: Using Case Studies: Teaching Strategies in Large Classes

Duration: 1 hr 27 min


Part 3 of 3

Title: Using Case Studies: Analysis Case

Duration: 1 hr 16 min

[tab title="Classroom Management"]

This project was made possible with a grant from KNAER.

Project Lead: Patricia Danyluk, George Sheppard, Pamela Toulouse 

Toolkit Co-ordinator: Shannon Edmunds

Project Partners: Laurentian University School of Education (English-language), Rainbow District School Board, Sudbury Catholic District School Board, M'Chigeeng First Nation/ Lakeview School

Ministry Priority: Teaching and Learning, Equity, Engagement


The project provided the opportunity to work with our main practice partners: Rainbow District School Board, Sudbury Catholic District School Board, and M'Chigeeng First Nation/ Lakeview School to create six classroom management scenarios that are addressed via current research on best practices. The "Homeroom" video toolkit features the cases of two "virtual" schools with a diverse population of learners.


Our practice partners asked us to develop scenarios around the following classroom management issues:

  1. Respect in the Classroom
  2. Intervention
  3. Progressive Discipline
  4. Differentiated Instruction
  5. Disruptive/Disengaged
  6. Lack of Home Support


Scenarios 1 to 3 take place in a grade nine classroom at Ptarmigan High School. Scenarios 4-6 take place in a grade four classroom at Mystery River Elementary School. The realistic scenarios will include pertinent biographical details about the teachers and students involved some background information about the local community, and a brief overview of the schools. Knowing the setting creates a rich learning environment that allows for critical thinking and discussion about possible solutions.


Each scenario includes:

  • A description of the problem/issue/challenge 
  • A video vignette portraying the problem/issue/challenge
  • Discussion questions for teachers/student teachers 
  • A video vignette of a teacher/actor addressing the problem/issue/challenge based on current research of best practices 
  • A double-sided page summarizing well-validated research on this particular issue 


How to use the toolkit: 

The toolkit can be used for training student teachers and or for discussion between new and more experienced teachers. The toolkit includes a package that summarizes well-validated research on each classroom management issue.


How to use the videos: 

The videos require Silverlight software for viewing. The software should load automatically when you click the links.


  1. Begin by watching the Introduction to the Toolkit
  2. If you would like to watch the high school videos go to the Introduction to Scenarios 1 to 3 Ptarmigan High School
  3. Scenario #1 Lack of Respect
  4. Scenario #2 Intervention
  5. Scenario #3 Progressive Discipline
  6. If you would like to watch the elementary school scenarios go to the Introduction to Scenarios 4 to 6 Mystery River Elementary School
  7. Scenario #4 Differentiated Instruction
  8. Scenario #5 Disruptive/Disengaged
  9. Scenario #6 Lack of Home Support


For more information contact Patricia Danyluk at (705) 675-1151 ext. 3208


[tab title="Go North"]

The School of Education at Laurentian University hosted Mark Tremblay for a week in October 2011. Dr. Tremblay is a world-class expert in children’s physical activity and obesity research. The purpose of the visit was to mobilize knowledge regarding current physical activity and sedentary behavior guidelines, initiatives regarding children’s activity, and how health can be improved through physical activity. Mark spent 4 days in Sudbury, speaking to various groups including elementary, secondary and university students, secondary school Health and Physical Education program leaders and the general public. Local media covered Mark’s visit to Sudbury. After Mark’s visit, the information he presented to the various groups was gathered. Powerpoints from Mark’s public presentation, a newspaper clipping, and other information from his presentations were compiled and added to the School of Education website. All partners were sent an outline of the information on the website, and possible uses for this information.


Go North Presentations

Health and Physical Education Program Leaders

The presentation took place on October 24th, 2011 at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. Program leaders from 12 northeastern Ontario secondary schools attended the presentation in person as well as via video conference. The presentation was directed toward obesity and initiatives that are being taken to help address this health problem in schools. Twenty initiatives were discussed including the release of the new sedentary guidelines, nutrition labelling initiative, making prevention a priority and others directed toward getting kids more active and less sedentary.


Public Presentation

Mark Tremblay’s public presentation took place on the evening of the October 24th 2011. Approximately 60 guests attended the lecture which dealt with the issue of a progressively "obese" population, especially in children and youth. Using examples from his research, Dr. Tremblay demonstrated that Canadian children today are far less active than Canadian children 20-30 years ago, and are much less active than children in Kenya. Tremblay explored issues related to screen invasion (sedentary time spent in front of television and computers), and discussed the failing grade Canadian children receive on the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card. The presentation closed with Mark’s "Top Ten solutions" for solving the obesity crisis.


Elementary Schools Presentations

Dr. Tremblay’s presentations to the elementary school students took place on the 23rd and 24th of October at Laurentian University and at schools in the Greater Sudbury area. The grade 3 to 6 students who attended were from Markstay Public School and Chelmsford Public School from the Rainbow District School Board, and St. David and St. James Catholic Schools from the Sudbury Catholic District School Board. The presentation included specific information related to the Active Healthy Kids Report Card and how Canadian students have received a failing grade when it comes to physical activity levels. Mark explained different reasons as to why this is happening and then ended the presentation with 5 ideas that children can use to help them become more active throughout the day.


Secondary School Presentation

Students from 4 secondary schools attended a presentation on October 25th, 2011. The students are all enrolled in the Specialist High Skills Major (Health and Wellness) programs at their respective secondary schools. Childhood inactivity and obesity was the main topic of the presentation. Dr. Tremblay discussed why our society has become so inactive and overweight. Issues surrounding screen invasion, and sedentary lifestyles were the major topics explored. Mark then discussed his top ten solutions for a more active and less sedentary lifestyle. He also talked about various job opportunities available to students looking to pursue a career in the health field.


The Active Healthy Kids 2011 Report Card be downloaded here.