June 14, 2018 3:55 pm

Roger Neilson school in Peterborough selected as first public elementary research school

The school will bring teachers and researchers together to find out more about how young people learn and to explore best practices for teaching. Until now, such research schools have only been present in private schools.

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Roger Neilson Public School in Peterborough will be the site of Canada’s first public elementary research school.

The project will allow educators and researchers to learn more about how youth learn and to explore best practices for teaching and learning. Announced Thursday at the school, the initiative is a partnership between Trent University’s School of Education and the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB).

Until now, such research schools have only been present in private schools, according to the university.

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“This will be the first publicly-funded elementary research school in Canada,” stated Dr. Jackie Muldoon, provost and vice-president of Trent University.

“Roger Neilson will be a place where educators and their research partners from our School of Education can collaborate on projects of mutual interest.”

READ MORE: Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board touting elementary enrolment growth

Dr. Cathy Bruce, Trent’s dean of education, teaching and learning, said research projects at the school will start gradually to help develop a complete framework and procedures for the collaboration.

“Although research schools may be sometimes referred to as laboratory, or lab, schools which can conjure up images of experimentation, these schools are not about experimenting, but are about exploring best practices and further innovations in education that are based on a bedrock of solid research evidence,” she said.

“Our research school, like others, will strive to always place excellence in student education first and foremost.”

Diane Lloyd, school board chairperson, said the board and Trent have been partners in education for many years.

“We look forward to this new and highly innovative phase in our work together,” she said.

READ MORE: 84-year-old man receives degree after 14 years at Trent University

Dr. Jennifer Leclerc, the board’s director of education, called the collaboration a “wonderful opportunity for our students and teachers to be engaged in innovative learning.”

“Over time, we hope to apply these best practices within classrooms across our school board,” said Leclerc.

Tara Flynn, a research staff at the School of Education since 2007, has been appointed as research director on the project. She currently serves as the director of research for the Trent Math Education Research Collaborative.

Roger Neilson Public School will commit to taking teacher candidates from the Trent School of Education B.Ed. program for teaching placements on a regular basis.

“The expertise and resources available to Roger Neilson by way of this partnership are a tremendous boost to the community and to our important work with students,” said principal Denise Humphries.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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