Image of Professor Marie-Paule Lory

Twenty-one researchers and scholars awarded funds from UTM Research Office

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 3:29pm
Carla DeMarco
UTM’s Office of the Vice-Principal, Research recently held its eighth RSAF competition and faculty members receive support to bolster their efforts

The current state of education has been at the forefront a lot lately, but for Professor Marie-Paule Lory from the Department of Language Studies, teaching methods and the current curriculum have been the focus of her research for years. Now with support from UTM’s Research and Scholarly Activity Fund (RSAF), the assistant professor of language, teaching and learning will be pursuing her project, Understanding French Teachers’ Social Representations of Linguistic and Cultural Diversity.

“For the past 30 years, there has been a lot of research focused on pedagogical approaches to linguistic and cultural diversity at schools, and it has highlighted the positive impacts on students on many levels, including social and emotional,” says Lory, an emerging scholar who joined the University of Toronto Mississauga in 2015.

“However, there hasn’t been a lot of branching out in terms of exploring the variety of languages and cultures that are currently present in our local classrooms and I aim to take a closer look at how these social representations have shaped the educational environment,” she says.

Originally from France and having lived in Quebec, Lory identified this knowledge gap years ago and since then she established partnerships with the Ministry of Education of Ontario (French Division) and French School Boards in Ontario.

“Over the past three years I have coordinated over a dozen workshops and conferences in which I have highlighted the relevance of promoting linguistic and cultural diversity in schools. Last year I launched a plurilingual artistic competition in which 318 students participated and created illustrated stories that were then entered into an international competition [ELODiL and Kamilala]. The competition runs again this year, and we expect even more participants in 2020,” says Lory.

There are currently 450 French schools in Ontario, with French being the dominant language in the classroom though there may be other language speakers present. Through her work Lory hopes to continue to promote the linguistic and cultural diversity in schools and provide students and teachers a more diverse framework in which to learn and share.

With the RSAF award Lory will be hiring undergraduate students that she will be mentoring in data collection via interviews and questionnaires as well as data analysis. Ultimately, she hopes to expand this into a larger project that will extend her collaboration with Ontario French schools.

Following is the full list of researchers and scholars, and their funded studies:

  • Jack Sidnell, Anthropology: Reference to Self and Other in Vietnamese: A Comparison of Interaction in Two Urban Settings
  • Katharina Braeutigam, Biology: Molecular Mechanisms of Plant Sex Determination
  • Teddy Erclik, Biology: Selective Spatial Patterning of Neural Stem Cells in the Fruit Fly Brain
  • Peter M. Kotanen, Biology: Understanding the Emerging Risk of Plant Invasions in Tundra Ecosystems
  • Bailey McMeans, Biology: A Predictive Framework for Abiotic and Biotic Controls on Lake Fish Production
  • Alexandra Gillespie, English & Drama: Machine Learning for Historical Script Recognition
  • Matthew Adams, Geography: Urban Exposure to Carcinogenic Benzene
  • Ron Buliung, Geography: Inclusive Play and Childhood Disability
  • Vincent Kuuire, Geography: Improving Water Access for the Urban Poor: Examining Public Perceptions and Priorities for Safe Water in Ghana
  • Jue Wang, Geography: An Exploratory Study of Individual Air Pollution Exposure Monitoring and Analysis
  • Negin Dahya, ICCIT: Portraits of Educational Change: Refugee Education, Gender & Technology
  • Derek Denis, Language Studies: Multicultural Toronto English: Sources and Discourses
  • Marie-Paule Lory, Language Studies: Understanding French Teachers’ Social Representations of Linguistic and Cultural Diversity
  • Dehan Kong, Mathematic and Computational Sciences: Novel Statistical Methods for Alzheimer’s Disease Studies;”
  • Noel Anderson, Political Science: Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish? An Assessment of Security Force Assistance Program Effectiveness
  • Martha Balaguera Cuervo, Political Science: Abolition, Legal Accompaniment and the Caravanization of Asylum at the US-Mexico Border
  • Emily Nacol, Political Science: Writing about Plague: Contagion and Imagination in the History of Political Thought
  • Alexander Reisenbichler, Political Science: From Heroes to Villain: The New Politics of Central Banking Since the Great Recession
  • Alison Smith, Political Science: Governing Homelessness in Canada: Unpacking the Layers and Players in a Complex Policy Field
  • Elizabeth Johnson, Psychology: Speech Processing in Typically-Developing Children Versus Late Talkers
  • Iva Zovkic, Psychology: Gene-Specific Regulation of Nicotine Reward by the Histone Variant H2A.Z

“Our researchers and their work reflect an impressive range of scholarly pursuits taking place across the U of T Mississauga campus,” says Vice-Principal, Research Kent Moore. “We are delighted to provide support to UTM faculty members through the Research and Scholarly Activity Fund, and are inspired by the originality and innovation that propel these research programs forward.” 

The RSAF is an annual funding opportunity run through the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research and it has been supporting researchers at the U of T Mississauga since 2014. To see the full list of RSAF awards, including past RSAF-supported projects, visit RSAF Results.