Toronto District School Board
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Professional Development Action Research Team

Action Research Team

Part of the collaboration between OISE's Sustainability & Climate Action Network (SCAN) and the TDSB Sustainability Office, since 2017, is to add to the field of ESE research, with a particular focus on the experiences and impacts of preservice and inservice professional learning for teachers, as well as on practitioner-led research into ESE. The latter focuses on Action Research in TDSB classrooms to cultivate promising practices in ESE across the school board.


group picture of the Action Reseach team, in a park beside OISE Team Members: Patricia Heinbein, Jennifer Venalainen, Adrienne Rigler, Elizabeth Pasternak, Gigi Shanks, Bonnie Mullrooney, Rebecca Chahine, Hongliang Hu, Rebeka Ly, Elaine Hofer, Jessie Sawyer, Amanda Humphreys, Catherine Kurucz, Linda Ryan, Pam Miller, Alysse Kennedy, Hilary Inwood.

Beginning in the winter of 2018, an Action Research team was formed to support an ongoing Professional Learning Community in ESE. The team was formed by those who had completed their Specialist Qualification in ESE, and those who already had research projects in this field. A review of the related research literature showed that as of 2020, this was the only Action Research team focused on ESE of this size operating in a Canadian school board; it was also one of a very few groups of teacher-researchers focused on ESE in the world.

Since 2018, these teachers-researchers have risen to the challenge of becoming leaders in EE in addition to their regular classroom duties. They have investigated a range of research topics, from exploring teachers’ pedagogy for water education and waste education, nature-based loose parts play, citizen science, and integrating Indigenous education with ESE. They have shared their research findings through conference presentations, research publications, after-school workshops, and EcoSchools tours of their schools. They are also helping to educate the next generation of EcoSchools teachers supporting OISE students in practicum placements.

Archived Webinars/Presentations:


Professional Learning Community in Climate Change Education

Beginning in the summer of 2021, OISE began a Professional Learning Community (PLC) for Canadian teachers to deepen their practice of Climate Change Education. Led by Prof. Jim Slotta and his CALE team, curriculum development is underway and results will be shared in the coming year. More info is available here.

For more information contact: