Research of ATA award winner suggests time, teamwork benefits immersion teachers 

November 29, 2018

Dr Laurent Cammarata, associate professor in Education at the University of Alberta (U of A) Campus St-Jean, is the winner of the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s 2018 Educational Research Award.

Cammarata’s submission focused on an 18-month-long professional development (PD) journey of 15 French immersion teachers who undertook an innovative team approach to expanding their knowledge and skill in the area of curriculum planning, specifically in the area of language and content integration.

“Although scarce, research exploring the challenges faced by immersion teachers indicates that one of the biggest issues for them is the creation and implementation of well-balanced programs where both content and language instruction are targeted simultaneously,” said Cammarata. “The primary aim of this study was to gain a clear picture of how effective a long-term professional development project could be in preparing teachers to the unique curricular and pedagogical demands that are a part of teaching French immersion.”

“Cammarata’s study is especially timely given the release of a new draft program of studies planned for December 2018” said ATA Associate Coordinator, Government-Research Dr Phil McRae. “This work has a direct relationship to improving school and classroom practice.”

The ATA’s Educational ­Research Award, valued at $5,000, is presented annually to a faculty of education member or sessional lecturer at an Alberta university or university college who has undertaken high-quality research on classroom teaching and learning.