Every year, CATE/ACFE recognizes graduate students and distinguished field leaders in Canadian teacher education. Information on eligibility and application procedures are available below. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page for information on previous years’ award recipients.


Call for nominations for the
Recognition Awards for Theses and Dissertations on Teacher Education


Attention graduate student supervisors: Do you have a graduate student conducting research on a topic relevant to teacher education who will defend before next year’s CSSE conference? If so, please encourage that student to review the linked criteria and apply for the CATE Recognition Awards for Theses and Dissertations on Teacher Education. You will be required to submit a letter of recommendation as part of the student’s application. The supervisors of successful applicants are also invited to briefly discuss the significance of the work and offer congratulations as part of the awards presentation if you are able to attend.

For a thesis or dissertation to be considered for a recognition award, the study must directly address the field of teacher education not only in the conclusion, but throughout the research. The study must also connect to one or more of the following topics: (1) Teacher education and societal issues, (2) The study of teacher education practice, and (3) Challenges and possibilities for teacher education.

Attention graduate students: If you expect to defend your thesis or dissertation between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021,  and you are completing research relevant to teacher education, please consider applying for the CATE Recognition Award for Theses and Dissertations on Teacher Education. While applicants are self-nominated, you must provide a letter of recommendation from your faculty supervisor as part of the application process.

Successful applicants’ work will be honoured with responses from the review panel at the CATE post-AGM celebration of teacher education in Canada. Applicants must indicate that they will be able to present their thesis/dissertation in poster type format at the CSSE conference (at the University of Alberta, May 31 – June 3, 2021).  The faculty supervisors will also be invited to make a short presentation on the award winners and their studies. Successful applicants will receive a certificate of recognition and free membership to CATE in the subsequent year; however, all costs related to travel and conference registration are to be covered by the candidates.

For a thesis or dissertation to be considered for a recognition award, the study must directly address the field of teacher education not only in the conclusion, but throughout the research. The study must also connect to one or more of the following topics: (1) Teacher education and societal issues, (2) The study of teacher education practice, or (3) Challenges and possibilities for teacher education.



To have your thesis or dissertation considered for an award please review the linked criteria. Submissions are due February 26, 2021. Completed submissions should be sent electronically as Word or PDF attachments, including the letter of recommendation from your faculty supervisor, to:


Michele Jacobsen, PhD

Professor, Werklund School of Education | Teaching Scholar, University of Calgary

Past President, Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE), Canadian Society for Studies in Education (CSSE)


Click here for more information about the Awards for Theses and Dissertations on Teacher Education.

Click here for more information about the Submission form



This award has been created to recognise significant contributions to research in teacher education in Canada. Criteria for the award include evidence of excellence in research in teacher education through publications, presentations or other contributions, as well as overall influence on the field of teacher education research in Canada and internationally. Click here for more details.


All nomination materials should be sent to CATE/ACFE President, Dr. Cathryn Smith


Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2021





Rosa Cendros Araujo, PhD

Collaborative Mind Mapping to Support Online Discussion in Teacher Education




Rosa has an extensive career as an instructional designer and teacher educator that started in her country (Venezuela). Her research interests are in technology-mediated collaboration and knowledge construction, with particular emphasis on multimodal communication technologies. In her integrated-article dissertation, Rosa explored the affordances of mind maps for teacher education compared to those of threaded forums. She also developed a grounded theory for preservice teacher online interaction and knowledge construction during collaborative mind mapping that informs the practice of teacher educators and teacher education programs to implement visual tools as part of their curriculum. Currently, she is an Instructional Designer in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University and a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Western University.

Sandra Becker, PhD

Becoming Makers: A Designed Based Research Study Investigating Curriculum Implementation Through Making



Sandra Becker completed her PhD at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary in July 2019. A long time teacher and teacher librarian, her research focused on teacher and student learning within the context of school makerspace environments. Using a participatory design-based research approach, she collaboratively conceptualized, enacted, and reflected on three curriculum cycles in the makerspace with a grade six teacher and her class. This experience led to a transformative shift in the way the teacher framed her own thinking about teaching and learning. Sandra was recognized with the EdCan Network’s 2018 Pat Clifford Award for early career researcher (master’s level category). She is currently completing a post-doctoral scholarship position at the University of Calgary where she is working with several teams to explore research topics in the learning sciences.

Trista Hollweck, PhD

A Patchwork Quilt: A Qualitative Case Study Examining Mentoring, Coaching, and Teacher Induction in the Western Québec School Board



Trista Hollweck is a pracademic who straddles the world of research, policy and practice.  She is a former teacher, vice-principal, school district consultant, and now a Part-Time Professor and the Project Director for the ARC Education Project at the University of Ottawa, which is a global educational movement that advances equity, broad excellence, inclusion, wellbeing, democracy, sustainability & human rights in high quality, professionally run systems.  Trista’s doctoral dissertation examined a school board teacher induction, mentoring and coaching program and its systemic change implications.  She has researched and published about restorative justice, professional learning and development, teacher education, systemic change, mentoring and coaching, and teacher induction. Trista is a board director of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) and was the student representative for the Canadian Association for teacher Education (CATE).

Thomas Kennedy, EdD

Identity Development Within Educative Maker Programs



Thomas Kennedy is a K12 Skilled Trades and Technology teacher in Newfoundland and Labrador and a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University. During the summer of 2019, he successfully defended his educational research as a part of the Werklund School of Education’s learning sciences cohort while under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Lock. Thomas’ commitment to educative maker programs laid the foundation for his doctoral research exploring the constructs that influence participant engagement and identity development within the boundaries of non-curricular making.

Kirk Linton, EdD

Teacher Professional Learning, Agency, and Identity in a Research-Practice Partnership:

A Cultural-Historical Activity Theory Analysis of Enacted Design-Based Professional Learning




Kirk Linton is the principal of a K to 9 school with the Calgary Catholic School District and is a recent graduate from the EdD program at University of Calgary Werklund School of Education in the Learning Sciences. He is the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Vice Principal of the Year award from the Canadian Association of Principals as well as the 2015 Alberta Distinguished Leadership Award from the Council for School Leadership. He recently presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Education, the Canadian Society for Studies in Education Conference, and the uLead Conference. Kirk is a proponent of teacher professional learning and is consistently seeking out new ways to create engaging and authentic learning for students and teachers. His research areas include teacher professional learning, instructional leadership, and the application of activity theory to research practice partnerships. Twitter: @krlinton

Nathalie Reid, PhD

Teachers’ Experiences of/with Trauma and Trauma-Sensitivity: 

A Narrative Inquiry Into Trauma Stories and Stories of Trauma



Dr. Nathalie Reid is currently the Director of the newly established Child Trauma Research Centre at the University of Regina, and a lecturer in the Faculty of Education. Her current research is taking her in many directions including trauma-sensitive pedagogies, mental health and connectivity in rural and remote communities, and child trauma and climate change. Her doctoral research drew from and extended her Master’s research which was entitled Fish Tales: A Hermeneutic Narrative Exploration of the Multi-layered Texture of Death, through which Nathalie thought about the narratives of death in high school contexts. Her doctoral research, entitled Teachers’ Experiences of/with Trauma and Trauma-Sensitivity: A Narrative Inquiry into Trauma Stories and Stories of Trauma sought to foreground the stories of trauma and trauma stories that teachers live by, with, and in. Her research has implications for program and policy development, teacher education, and teacher retention.

Verena Roberts, EdD

Open Educational Practices (OEP): Design-based Research on Expanded High School Learning Environments, Spaces, and Experiences



Dr. Verena Roberts is a passionate online and blended K-12 educator, instructional designer consultant who recently completed her EdD in Learning Sciences with a focus on K-12 Open Educational Practices (OEP) with the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. She focused on how high school teachers and students can expand learning beyond classroom walls by integrating communities and digital networks. She is currently a sessional instructor and research assistant with the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. She is a 2018-2019 OER Research fellow and 2018 Global Open Graduate Network (#GO-GN) member. Verena has taught and designed online/blended courses and consulted about curriculum and technology integration from pre-K to Higher Education in Canada and the United States. She has consulted, facilitated, and developed a wide range of openly networked learning projects with a focus on Open Educational Resources( OER) and designing for learning in any environment. Some of her open projects include cMOOCS like #Digifoot12, #ETMOOC, #OCLMOOC, the ABOER K-12 Multiplying K-12 OER project as well as the #Gamified project. Verena has presented at a wide variety of national and international conferences including the UNESCO Open Education for a Better World conference in Slovenia. Verena is the 2013 iNACOL Innovative Online and Blended Learning Practice Award Recipient and the 2019 CNIE K-12 Excellence and Innovation in the Integration of Technology. Verena is also the co-founder of Learning2Pivot, a weekly international webinar and podcast series that considers the perspectives of K-12 educators as a result of the pivot to learning from home.

Jennifer Straub, PhD

Pre-service Teachers’ Understanding of Citizenship



Dr. Jennifer Straub is currently a tenure-track professor in the School of Education at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. Her PhD in Education Studies from the University of New Brunswick used a phenomenographic approach to explore the cognitive frames that pre-service teachers hold about citizenship. She holds a Master of Education degree from OISE/University of Toronto in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning in Second Language Education and a BEd from Nipissing University (1998). Jennifer has been a classroom teacher (OCT 1998) and Vice-Principal. She has also taught in the pre-service programs at the University of New Brunswick (2013) and Nipissing University (2008-2018). In 2010, she co-authored the text Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers. Her research interests include Teacher Education and more specifically Social Studies in Initial Teacher Education programs. Understanding how pre-service teachers develop as educators in an effort to improve student achievement in K-12 has always been at the root of her practice.

Xiong Wang, PhD

Understanding Collective Conversations in a Mathematics Professional Learning Network



Xiong Wang has recently defended her doctoral dissertation at the University of Alberta. Before pursuing her doctoral study at the University of Alberta, she was a mathematics teacher and an associate professor in China and a research fellow in Singapore. Her research interests focus on teachers’ professional learning, online learning, and assessment in mathematics education. Supervised by Dr. Elaine Simmt, her dissertation aims to examine the nature of the relatively new phenomena of mathematics teacher professional learning through social networks (e.g., Twitter and blogs) based on complexity thinking.

Michaela Benwell, MEd

Critical Race Theory and White Privilege Awareness Among Bachelor of Education Alumni



Michaela Benwell is a graduate of the Nipissing University Master of Education program, where she recently completed her thesis titled “Critical Race Theory and White Privilege Awareness Among Bachelor of Education Alumni.” Her research examines how graduates of an Ontario Bachelor of Education program experienced learning about race and privilege, and explores implications for course design, professors, teacher candidates and the Bachelor of Education recruitment process. Her interest in studying race and privilege within Faculties of Education stemmed from her own experience while enrolled in an Ontario Bachelor of Education program, where White privilege and Critical Race Theory were seldom incorporated or mentioned within the education courses. In addition to exploring the perspectives and experiences of her research participants, Michaela’s project includes critical self-reflections of her privileged position as a White educator, learning what it means to be a culturally competent educator, and exploring her roles and responsibilities as a White ally.



Please click on the links below to consult the previous Award winners.

2019 Award

2018 Award

2017 Award

2016 Award

Previous award winners for contributions to research in teacher education:

2019 – Dennis Sumara

2017 – F. Michael Connelly

2016 – Deborah Britzman

2015 – Jean Clandinin

2014 – Peter Grimmett

2013 – not awarded

2012 – Tom Russell – inaugural winner