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Past Research Chairs of Teaching and Learning

Continuing our long tradition of being a leader in girls’ education, Crofton House School teachers can apply to become a Research Chair of Teaching and Learning and contribute to the teaching profession in a meaningful way through funded and progressive research over a three year term. The following teachers have completed their terms as research chairs. 

Sophia Hunter (2017–2020)
Teacher Librarian, Junior School

Sophia’s research examined how the medium impacts the reading experience and student learning. “As digital technologies are now a seamless part of learning, questions remain regarding their successful use and implementation,” said Sophia. 

She took part in a review of the current literature on this subject to develop a Junior School-wide approach to reading and researching that enables students to effectively work in both digital and written mediums. This research helped teachers work with students to use the best medium for the task. 

Gail Robinson (2017–2020)
Department Head, English, Senior School

Gail’s research focused on the implementation of a student-centred mode of teaching based on a Harkness approach. Harkness uses a disciplined framework, with high expectations for reading and writing, to empower students to participate. 

In Gail's words, “the success of a Harkness class depends on the quality of each student’s preparation for active participation in the learning process, as well as a willingness to develop effective skills as inquirers, collaborators, listeners, speakers, thinkers and risk-takers.”

Quinn Cumming (2018-2021)
Physical & Health Education Teacher, Junior School

Quinn's research focused on the development of "grit" as it relates to physical pursuits. She wondered why some girls pursue challenging goals and persevere in physical education classes, while others tend to give up when confronted with obstacles. 

Quinn examined strategies to encourage girls, specifically Middle School girls, to recognize the motivation to quit or persist, in order to choose the latter when confronted by a challenge. Quinn believes that "teaching girls to persevere when confronted by physical challenges will help them to  increase their confidence and resilience." 

Phil Stringer (2018–2021)
Department Head, Mathematics, Senior School

Phil noted that "colleagues in many subjects often say that students do not remember skills, concepts or strategies from one year to the next, and students say ‘but that was last year!’ or ‘but that was in physics!’.” This motivated Phil to focus his research on deepening student understanding for recall long after their mathematics class has finished.

Phil investigated how approaching teaching math in a "deunitized" manner may result in students retaining more skills from year to year and increase their access to problem-solving strategies when tackling unfamiliar questions.