Elizabeth Charles (2012)

Affiliation at the time of the award: Dawson College

Citation: Elizabeth (Liz) Charles’ colleagues all characterize her as a passionate educator. Before launching a new chapter in her career as a researcher and champion of pedagogical change, Liz was a dedicated teacher. Drawn by a desire to improve the quality of students’ learning, she completed a PhD in Educational Technology and a post-doctorate in the Learning Sciences.

Liz now focuses on research that aims to understand the process of learning, and how technology can leverage the impact of new pedagogical approaches. Her research colleagues state: “Liz’s interest and enthusiasm with respect to innovative classroom approaches and her focus on conceptual change is truly contagious.”

A philosophy of community and mentorship drives Liz’s actions. She recognizes the value of such models in bringing about change, and works to develop communities of practice. Being awarded several consecutive research grants she leads a vibrant research team including faculty from three of the English colleges in Montreal. Under the umbrella of an institutional infra-structure grant, Liz has spearheaded a college-university collaboration to promote the wider uptake of social constructivist pedagogies and technology. These efforts have empowered her colleagues who report that Liz’s efforts have given them the means to work closely as educational professionals.