Research Publications


Women in Educational Leadership Needs Assessment Survey

The Women in Educational Leadership Needs Assessment Survey report explores what Alberta teachers think about gender discrimination in the teaching profession and how it manifests itself within school jurisdictions and The Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA).  This research helps to better understand the barriers women face in their career progression in the teaching profession as well as what structures might be implemented to support women in educational leadership.  Finally, this report raises important questions for further research in the area of women in leadership and the teaching profession.   (COOR-101-28 2020 03, 48 pp)



Engaging in Action Research

Action research is a method used by educators and schools to explore and understand the real world issues and questions arising from schools and school systems.  Action researchers seek to engage with studies that add practical insight and solutions to the field of educational studies. This practical and interaction resource has been designed to help classroom teachers and school leaders engage in the development, implementation, and publication of their action research projects.  (COOR-101-25 2019 12, 56 pp)

School Wellness and Well-Being Initiatives Across Canada

Wellness and/or well-being has become a focal point of conversations across Alberta for teachers working within diverse and inclusive kindergarten to Grade 12 (K–12) classrooms, and for those supporting both programming and policy within the education systems. This research activity produced a contemporary scan of the research literature focused on issues of teacher, school staff and student wellness/well-being. In addition to a literature review, this project also created the first detailed provincial and national environmental scan of related K-12 wellness/well-being programs, initiatives and activities currently in place across Canadian schools. As the literature review in this research report illustrates, there is no universally agreed upon definition for wellness or well-being related to school-based health.  Among the many conversations primarily centred on the social, physiological and emotional outcomes for students and staff, various new dimensions of wellness/well-being are being nuanced and added to the discourse, such as technology addiction, aggression in schools and communities, financial literacy, healthy eating, physical fitness, and vocal hygiene.  (COOR-101-27, 2019 09, 35 pp)

Alberta School Leadership Within the Teaching Profession 2019

This research study reflects the interest of the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) in better understanding and documenting the work of school leaders within the teaching profession. It continues an ongoing exploration of how school leaders’ roles have been changing, the forces influencing their work, and what kind of supports are needed in order to successfully navigate the opportunities and challenges they face. (COOR-101-26, 2019 08, 88 pp)



Essential Conditions for K–4 Curriculum Implementation: Perspectives of 2,800+ Alberta K–4 Teachers

The curriculum redesign process currently under way is the most ambitious and far-reaching in the recent history of education in Alberta. The government of Alberta is to be commended for taking on this often delayed and long overdue task and for doing it in a manner that has been more open and inclusive than previous efforts. The involvement of teachers via a partnership agreement with the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) has been essential to the success of the project thus far and undoubtedly accounts for much of the enthusiasm being expressed by teachers around the promise of the curriculum. (COOR-101-23, 2018 11, 46 pp)

Online Learning Initiatives in Alberta Schools

Classrooms in Alberta are increasingly defined by more diverse and complex student populations. As this complexity grows, teachers and principals are exploring a variety of new ways to meet the many needs of today’s more inclusive classrooms. Among the many ways Alberta teachers are looking to support our more complex student populations are a variety of online education initiatives that range from software programs to digital classroom platforms used in blended learning environments, to fully online courses. (COOR-101-19, 2018 08, 64 pp)

Research Study of Digital Reporting, Assessment and Portfolio Tools: Results Summary

New technological advances are frequently heralded as revolutionary. Rarely, however, does the hype match the real-world impact. In fact, technology used in inappropriate ways might even have a deleterious impact. With the growing presence of technologies in the classroom—specifically, the emergence of digital reporting, assessment and portfolio tools—consideration must be given to the impacts of technology on teaching and learning. (COOR-101-15, 2018 09, 108 pp)

Next Acts: Educational Impasse, Events and a One-Legged Magpie--A Resource to Support Curriculum Inquiry and Educational Development

Curriculum change represents one of the most compelling yet nettlesome education policy challenges today. This monograph, written by one of Canada’s foremost curriculum experts, offers personal insights and challenges that will provoke assumptions about current curriculum reform efforts both here in Alberta and globally. (COOR-101-16, 2018 07, 52 pp)

Twin Peaks—Exploring the Boundaries of Public Education
This report captures the proceedings of the 2018 Twin Peaks Research Summit, a gathering that aims to push thinking and explore the “edges” of current issues in public education. Included in the report are short summaries of the 2018 Twin Peaks presentations, written by the presenters themselves, reflecting their own voices and experience. (COOR-116-2, 2018 06, 60 pp)

Control, Regulation and Scope of Practice in the Teaching Profession—Environmental Scan
To better understand the nature, status and control of the teaching profession in Canadian provinces, and how each may be changing, this report focuses on conceptual thinking, contextual settings and evolutionary trends in education. (COOR-101-18, 2018 06, 96 pp)

“Who Will Help Me to Do Well?” How to Best Support the Professional Growth of Alberta's Newest Teachers
The ATA has committed to supporting its newest members through professional development initiatives and continued research. This publication reports the results of the latest research effort on teachers in the early years of practice. (COOR-101-17, 2018 06, 66 pp)




Off-Campus Education in Alberta: Current Realities and Future Prospects
This study explores select off-campus coordinators’ (OCCs) responses to questions about their employment experiences, administrative responsibilities and working conditions. The report raises awareness about the important role of OCCs and emphasizes their often inconsistent and nonformalized positions in Alberta schools. (COOR-101-14, 64 pp)

The Canadian School Leader: Global Forces and Future Prospects
This publication represents the second part of a major two-part research initiative examining the key critical influences shaping the work of school leaders across Canada. The impetus for this research was The Future of the Principalship in Canada: A National Research Study (Canadian Association of Principals [CAP] and Alberta Teachers’ Association [ATA] 2014). The study concluded that school leadership is rewarding with high levels of job satisfaction, but global shifts are fundamentally reshaping the work of school leaders, who are at the forefront of sustaining the foundation of this country: a good public school education for all. See summary infographic. (COOR-101-13, 2017 07, 68 pp)

A National Study of the Impact of Electronic Communication on Canadian School Leaders
This study represents the first instalment of a two-part study examining critical influences shaping the work lives of school leaders across Canada. The impetus for this work was The Future of the Principalship in Canada: A National Study (Alberta Teachers’ Association 2014b), which revealed that, while the principalship is rewarding with high levels of job satisfaction, growing complexities and expectations make this an increasingly challenging career. See summary infographic.
(COOR-104, 2017 04, 88 pp)

We The Educators
This literature review works to provide a balanced view of the standardisation, personalisation and privatisation of learning to inform an analysis of the converging fields of educational technology and datafication. It is part of a larger project, “We the Educators” (, which brings the concepts explored in this research to life through video animation in English, French and Spanish.
(COOR-124, 2017 04, 20 pp)

Recounting Student Success
This document outlines a fundamentally new approach to measuring and reporting student and system success—one that is committed to excellence through equity built on public confidence, trust in the profession and responsibility.
(COOR-122, 2017 02, 16 pp)




The Role of the Superintendent and the Teaching Profession 
This report examines the role of the superintendent, specifically as it relates to the teaching profession in Alberta. The report represents the culmination of two years of work and the contributions of the Committee on Superintendents in the Teaching Profession and an expert panel of provincial, national and international researchers. By investigating the role of the superintendent, stakeholders can work toward a better understanding of leadership in education to address present practice and future needs.
(COOR-101-12, 2016 11, 68 pp)

The Future of Social Studies—The Voices of Alberta Teachers
Stemming from a research project initiated by the Association’s Social Studies Council, this report focuses on the current state of social studies in Alberta classrooms. Specifically, the report records and examines the results of a 2015 survey of nearly 500 Alberta social studies teachers. Overall, the study reveals the complexities that teachers face with respect to curriculum and instruction, assessment, program objectives, and teaching and learning conditions.
(COOR-101-11, 2016 06, 80 pp)

Rich Accountabilities for Public Assurance
How do we define school success?  Based on research partnerships with Finland, New Zealand, Australia and Norway, the ATA is committed to broadening the definitions of school success.  Not an accountability pillar, but rather rich accountabilities that give an account of what really matters in Alberta Schools.

A Great School for All: Moving Forward Together
This brochure provides a summary of the Association’s publication, Renewing Alberta’s Promise: A Great School for All (2015)—a blueprint for enhancing educational opportunities for Alberta’s increasingly diverse student population. The brochure outlines 12 dimensions for bringing about meaningful and sustainable change to Alberta’s education system and teaching profession.




Technology Promise and Peril (Growing up digital (GUD) Alberta, Survey 2015 Research Overview)
Researchers from the Alberta Teachers’ Association, the University of Alberta, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School are working on a collaborative initiative, Growing Up Digital (GUD) Alberta, to better understand the scope of physical, mental and social consequences of digital technologies in areas such as exercise, homework, identity formation, distraction, cognition, learning, nutrition, and sleep quality and quantity.

Building School Leadership Capacity Through Cognitive Coaching
This research report is a program evaluation of the Leader2Leader (L2L) Program designed by the Association for newly-appointed school principals. The L2L Program was delivered over a two-year timeframe and featured Cognitive Coaching as the framework for peer mentoring. The results of this report show that all of the participants of the study placed high value on the L2L Program’s ongoing professional learning design.
(COOR-101-6, 2015 12, 52 pp)

Renewing Alberta’s Promise: A Great School for All
This publication both stems from an international symposium on curriculum change, “‘Off the Charts’: International Dialogue on Redesigning Curriculum in Alberta,” and extends the work of A Great School for All—Transforming Education in Alberta, a blueprint document for sustaining innovation in Alberta’s K–12 sector. Foregrounding the core value of equity in public education, this research publication outlines opportunities for educational renewal and for co-creating a great school for all.
(COOR-101-3, 2015 08, 51 pp)

The State of Inclusion in Alberta Schools
This report outlines the research project undertaken by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Inclusive Education in Alberta Schools. Analysis of the data collected from surveys, focus groups and interviews feeds into the four key findings that the report highlights, and informs a productive overview of the panel’s recommendations for the successful implementation of inclusive education.
(COOR-101-5 2015 04, 44 pp)

Teaching and Learning Conditions in Alberta: A Global Perspective
This report offers an analysis of the results of the 2013 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) in relation to six studies focused on Alberta teachers undertaken within the past three years. Examining and comparing the TALIS and Alberta studies, this report identifies key areas of concern and opportunity related to Alberta’s teaching and learning conditions. See summary infographic.
(COOR-101-2 2015 02, 32 pp)




Digital Reporting and Digital Assessment Tools: Evaluating their Value and their Impact
This study examines how the use of digital reporting and assessment tools is affecting student learning, the workload of teachers and principals, and overall assessment practices. Technology comes with great potential. However, as this study reveals, the implementation of digital reporting and assessment tools must be navigated thoughtfully. See summary infographic.
(COOR-101-1 2014 12, 64 pp)

The Future of the Principalship in Canada: A National Study 
This publication identifies and examines the trends that will shape the work of Canada’s school leaders. Five hundred principals from across Canada participated in this study, which was a joint undertaking of the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the Canadian Association of Principals.
(COOR-100ext 2014 07, 147 pp)

A Week in the Life of Alberta School Leaders 
An ATA Research Update: July 2014
This time diary study reports on the workload of Alberta school leaders, documenting and analyzing the activities that administrators undertake in a typical day.
(PD-86-28 2014 07, 18 pp)

Reflections on Teaching: Teacher Efficacy and the Professional Capital of Alberta Teachers 
An ATA Research Update: April 2014
This document contains the final report on a study that examined the factors that influence teachers' sense of professional efficacy and their personal well-being.
(PD-86-27 2014 04, 70 pp)




Teaching in the Early Years of Practice: A Five-Year Longitudinal Study
An ATA Research Update: June 2013
This document contains the final report on a five-year study that the Association undertook on the experiences of a cohort of beginning teachers.
(PD-86-19b 2013 06, 66 pp)

The 2011/12 National Study on Balancing Work, Life and Caregiving in Canada: The Situation for Alberta Teachers
In 2011/12, Linda Duxbury, a researcher at Carleton University, conducted a national study on work–life issues as they affect the various professions. This report, which the Association published, focuses on Duxbury’s findings with respect to teachers in Alberta.
(COOR-94 2013 03, 86 pp)

Transformation and Alberta's Schools: A Time for Action
In this brochure, the ATA presents, in summary form, its vision for how education needs to change to ensure that Alberta continues to have a world-class education system. For a detailed discussion of the vision, see the 2012 monograph A Great School for All—Transforming Education in Alberta.
(PD-86-26aExt 2013 01, 32 pp)




Creating Possibilities, Balancing Priorities—the 2012 Professional Development Survey An ATA Research Report: November 2012
This study reports the results of research the Association undertook during the 2011/12 school year on teachers’ perspectives of professional development activities and opportunities across the province.
(PD-86-25 2012 11 31 pp)

Alberta Voices: Teachers' Aspirations for the Future of Teaching
In 2011 the Association participated in research jointly sponsored by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and the Canadian Education Association that asked the questions: (1) what conditions help teachers teach in a way that resonates with their beliefs about teaching and learning (2) what professional conditions help teacher teach they way they aspire to and (3) how can we create those conditions? This report is an analysis of the answers to those questions from three focus groups of Alberta teachers.
(PD-151 2012 11, 20 pp)

A Great School for All: Transforming Education in Alberta
An ATA Research Update: August 2012
This document sets out the Association’s views on the kind of educational transformation that is needed to ensure that Alberta continues to have one of the best education systems in the world.
(PD-86-26 2012 07, 38 pp)

Teaching in the Early Years of Practice: Fourth-Year Report
An ATA Research Update: May 2012
This report summarizes the year-four findings of a five-year study that the Association is conducting on the experiences of beginning teachers.
(PD-86-19a 2012 05, 48 pp)




Impact of Digital Technologies on Teachers Working in Flexible Learning Environments
An ATA Research Update: March 2011
This study, the largest of its kind in Canada to date, explores the ways in which the flexible timing and pacing of instruction affects the conditions of professional practice of teachers.
(PD-86-21 2011 03, 44 pp)

The Future of Teaching in Alberta
An ATA Research Update: March 2011
Based on focus groups discussions with teachers and a review of current trends in education, this publication examines the future of teaching in Alberta over the next 20 years in terms of what is possible, what is probable and what is preferred.
(PD-86-20 2011 03, 42 pp)

The Early Years of Practice: Interim Report of a Five-Year Study of Beginning Teachers in Alberta
An ATA Research Update: February 2011
This publication summarizes the findings at the end of Year 3 of a five-year study that is tracking the experiences of a cohort of 135 Alberta teachers who began teaching in 2007.
(PD-86-19 2011 02, 40 pp)

Substitute Teachers in Alberta: A Research Report
An ATA Research Update: October 2011
This document analyzes the results of a 2010 online survey of substitute teachers that the ATA undertook with research assistance from the University of Alberta. The study, a follow-up to one conducted in 2008, seeks to identify the unique challenges that substitute teachers encounter on a daily basis and to suggest potential solutions.
(PD-86-22 2011 10, 35 pp)




Professional Learning for Informed Transformation: The 2010 Professional Development Survey
An ATA Research Update: November 2010
This publication presents the results of a survey that the Association conducted in 2010 on the professional development opportunities available to teachers in Alberta.
(PD-86-18 2010 11, 36 pp).

The Courage to Choose: Emerging Trends and Strategic Possibilities for Informed Transformation in Alberta Schools: 2010-2011
An ATA Research Update: Fall 2010
Drawing on recent research by the Alberta Teachers' Association, this publication attemps to answer the following question: "What kind of society do we want to create in Alberta and what kind of teaching and learning will get us there?"
(PD-86-11c 2010 09, 56 pp)

Using Technology to Support Real Learning First in Alberta Schools
An ATA Research Update: May 2010
This monograph examines the ideologies behind the installation of digital technology in schools. It includes a look at the changes that have resulted from the Alberta government’s investment of $1.5 billion in technology over the last fifteen years and identifies seven ways the government could transform the education system to ensure that it meets the needs of 21st-century learners.
(PD-86-17 2010 05, 40 pp)

Evaluating the School Principal: A Professional Model for Enhancing the Leadership Practices of Alberta's School Administrators
An ATA Research Update: February 2010
This publication is the result of a two-year research project that field-tested the ATA’s model policy on the professional growth, supervision and evaluation of school administrators. It details the steps taken in the project and describes five general principles school boards should follow in implementing the Principal Quality Practice Guideline.
(PD-86-16 2010 02, 23 pp)

The Experience of Substitute Teaching in Alberta Schools
An ATA Research Update: February 2010
This document analyses the results of a 2008 online survey of teachers undertaken by the ATA with research assistance from the University of Alberta. The study identifies and discusses the challenges and rewards of substitute teaching, and seeks to instill a deeper appreciation in stakeholders of the vital role played by substitute teachers in Alberta's educational system.
(PD-86-15 2010 02, 24 pp)




Looking Forward: Emerging trends and strategic possibilities for enhancing teaching and learning in Alberta schools 2009-2012
An ATA Research Update: Fall 2009
(PD-86-11b 2009 11, 44pp)

Leadership for Learning: The Experience of Administrators in Alberta Schools  
An ATA Research Update: June 2009
(PD-86-14 2009 06, 12 pp)

Success for All: The Teaching Professions Views on the Future of Special Education
An ATA Research Update: February 2009
(PD-86-13 2009 02, 44 pp)