McDowell issues call for research projects addressing COVID-19

Sask Bulletin
June 22, 2020
By Ellen Whiteman Manager, McDowell Foundation

While perhaps not on the same level as some dates in history, March 16, 2020 is a date I suspect Saskatchewan teachers will remember and discuss throughout their careers. On this day, the decision was made to close schools in Saskatchewan as part of a public health order aimed at combating a virus threatening to overwhelm the health-care system.

For teachers and students in Saskatchewan, the school year, at least temporarily, came to a stop. Classrooms began to empty that afternoon and students were invited to continue educational opportunities through some form of distance learning later in the month.

Few events have impacted teaching and learning in the province in the way COVID-19 has over the past few weeks. The McDowell Foundation continues to monitor these changes and recognizes the need to support students and teachers in this unprecedented time. While teachers are busy attending to the immediate needs of students, the longer-term implications of the pandemic on classrooms and pedagogy continue to unfold.

We believe that targeted, teacher-led research documenting and navigating educator experiences can make a significant contribution to the current and future educational landscape.

The McDowell Foundation is inviting PreK-12 teachers and other educators to submit an application to a directed call for research addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public education in the PreK-12 system in Saskatchewan. Applications can be found on the McDowell website at www.mcdowellfoundation.ca or by contacting the Foundation by calling 1-800-667-7762.

Research grants of up to $5,000 per project will be awarded. Research projects should be completed within three to six months of receiving the funding. For the directed call, there will be a single application process. Applications are due August 17, 2020 and decisions will be made in late September to ensure projects can get underway immediately.

Topics could include but are not limited to:

  • Student/Teacher Wellness
  • Northern or Remote Experiences
  • Urban Experiences
  • Leadership Requirements/Challenges
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Middle-Years Instruction
  • Second-Language Instruction
  • Technology
  • Shifts in Pedagogy/Role
  • Student/Family Engagement
  • Professional Learning
  • Collaboration and Networking
  • Blended and Online Learning

Research funds may be used to cover research expenses related to teacher release time, transcription, materials or technology (limited), gifts to Elders or Knowledge Keepers or a range of other research-related expenses.

McDowell Foundation grants support publicly funded educators, staff in public institutions of higher education and other professionals or organizations involved in PreK-12 education. For more information about this or any of our Foundation initiatives, please visit www.mcdowellfoundation.ca or email mcdowell@stf.sk.ca.