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The Camille-Vautour school, winner of the Ken Spencer Prize

Each year, the Canadian Education Association (ACE) presents the Ken Spencer Awards, recognizing schools that implement projects that promote student engagement and community participation. It was the French-language Camille-Vautour school in New Brunswick which won the first prize this year.

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Each year, the Canadian Education Association (ACE) presents the Ken Spencer Awards, recognizing schools that implement projects that promote student engagement and community participation. It was the French-language Camille-Vautour school in New Brunswick which won the first prize this year.

The 2012-2013 winners of the Ken Spencer Award, presented annually by the Canadian Education Association (ACE), were recently announced. Among the fifteen finalist groups of educators, spread across Canada, seven were rewarded for the implementation of an innovation program within their school aimed in particular at student engagement and community participation.

This year, Studio PURE (Unique Renewed Entrepreneurial Pedagogy) from the Camille-Vautour school in Saint-Antoine, New Brunswick, won first place in the competition. Two teachers from this small French-speaking school welcoming students from kindergarten to grade 8, Kevin Ouellette and Monique Saulnier, created this program which aims to hooking students up through community entrepreneurship active in order to counter the increase in the number of disengaged students that took place in their classes.

4 studentse and 5e year participants in the Studio PURE program experiment with learning concepts highlighting technologies, differentiation, citizen participation as well as entrepreneurial notions. In the first year of the program, students implemented and completed 23 interdisciplinary projects in the community and in Studio PURE. The latter has also been fitted out for the needs of a dynamic learning environment where there are sofas and technology corners that resemble mini-laboratories. The students therefore carried out various projects ranging from the organization of cultural events to the production of multimedia news bulletins. Micro-enterprises and community partnerships are also part of their achievements, which allowed them to be more involved in the community and to become more autonomous.

The program, now in its second year, demonstrates that by playing a positive and enriching role in their community, students learn to take responsibility, develop their potential and become active citizens.

The Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Teaching and Education was set up with the help of Ken Spencer, an administrator of CAOT, who donates monetary rewards annually. For the Association, the program aims to "recognize and disseminate innovative work that has the potential to endure and be replicated by others, to foster work on transformational change in schools and to provide an innovation profile by class to school boards, schools and the media ”.

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About the Author

Véronique Lavergne
Véronique Lavergne
Véronique is a librarian at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and a trainer in educational technology for future teachers. She also holds a teaching certificate in the social universe at the secondary level and collaborates regularly with the organization L'École branchée.

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