CHENINE - Change, Engagement and Innovation in Education: A Canadian Collaboratory

Posted on Friday, August 21, 2020



What is CHENINE?

Change, Engagement and Innovation in Education: A Canadian Collaboratory (CHENINE) is a national, interdisciplinary Canadian Centre with global impact and reach, conceived to create and to coordinate technological, pedagogical, curriculum and research infrastructure. The Centre supports and fosters innovative and engaging learning for all students irrespective of their context or circumstances. CHENINE is a public resource for educators and educational leaders in all provinces and territories at all levels and is an intellectually independent and transparent university-based entity.

CHENINE is headquartered at the University of Ottawa, a bilingual institution located in the National Capital of Canada. As the home for the ARC Education Project, the University is associated with an international network of education systems that share the core values of equity, diversity and inclusion; values which undergird the mission of CHENINE.

The new CHENINE team has already made numerous prominent contributions to COVID-19 education discussions on CBC radio and CBC, CTV, Global, and Rogers television, as well as in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Washington Post, The Conversation, The London Times and The Star.



The 2020 worldwide COVID-19 pandemic exposed four startling realities for education


ONE: We cannot do without teachers, physical universities, and schools. Schools provide care from qualified adults and, like universities, build community among young people, and they are places where accredited experts rather than well-meaning amateurs or impersonal machines are the best teachers for our children. Technology cannot and should not replace highly qualified teachers and professors.

TWO: Some technological resources and platforms can and do provide excellent enhancement for learning, but access to these resources is unequal across families and has also been variable, due to different levels of teacher interest and expertise with technology, throughout our schools, universities and communities.

THREE: The crisis of COVID-19 and the transition to distance learning has meant that there now will be practically no teacher or professor anywhere without basic competence in and familiarity with online or remote learning. We have the opportunity to resume formal schooling and university learning after COVID on a new, higher level of engagement and capacity.

FOUR: The case and conditions for creating universal, equitable and inclusive access to technologically enhanced learning, engagement and innovation for all students, everywhere, as a basic human right, could not possibly be stronger than it is now. 


Meet the team



Dr. Andy Hargreaves

Director of CHENINE 
Visiting Professor, University of Ottawa


Andy Hargreaves is an international writer, researcher and advisor on teaching, leadership and educational change. He is Past President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, formerly Adviser in Education to the Premier of Ontario (2015-2018) and currently to the First Minister of Scotland. He is President and co-founder of the ARC Education Project that brings together seven educational systems and their Ministers to advance humanitarian values in education. He has published more than 30 books and over 100 peer-reviewed articles.

Hargreaves has eight Outstanding Writing Awards that include the prestigious $100,000 Grawemeyer Award in Education for Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School - with Michael Fullan (2015). He has been honoured in the United States and United Kingdom for services to public education and is ranked by US Education Week in the top 20 scholars with most influence on US education policy debate. In 2015, he received Boston College’s Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award. Hargreaves has 38k followers on Twitter: @hargreavesbc. His most recent book is Moving: a memoir of education and social mobility (Solution Tree, 2020).

Find out more at


Dr. Amal Boultif
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education,
University of Ottawa 

Amal Boultif’s research focuses on multiliteracies, specifically teaching and learning with multimodal and digital literacies. She is particularly interested in reading and writing on digital platforms as they relate to exceptional students and sees digital-based media and multimodal literacy as offering new perspectives on teaching and learning in bilingual or minority settings. Boultif has given many lectures around the world on the use of digital technologies in university pedagogy and innovative approaches in education, and has contributed to book chapters and articles on slam writing workshops, digital reading, multimodal teaching, multiliteracies in teaching and strategic teaching of reading. Boultif’s recent research deals with use of digital technologies and multimodality in teaching and learning French, as well as slam-inspired poetry workshops and how they can be adapted to extracurricular settings, including workshops in Haitian elementary schools. She has also presented webinars to assist parents whose children are engaged in distance learning due to COVID-19. Boultif contributed to a report on reading skills, processes and strategies in relation to digital textual genres and digital platforms and to research on strategic teaching of reading inspired by the Reading Apprenticeship approach as adapted to digital platforms. She worked as part of research groups including the Groupe de recherche en littératies médiatiques et multimodales (LMM) and Apprenants en difficulté en écriture et en lecture (ADEL). Before offering instruction on teaching French and special education at l'Université du Québec à Montréal, Boultif was a secondary school teacher for 22 years in Algiers, where she helped develop French programs within the Algerian Ministry of Education.

Discover more about Amal Boultif's research and follow her on Twitter @boultif_amal


Dr. Megan Cotnam-Kappel
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education,
University of Ottawa


Dr. Megan Cotnam-Kappel is an engaged Franco-Ontarian whose research and teaching contribute to advancing a more just society. Her current research agenda explores and contributes to theories and practice regarding the experiences of francophones in minority-language contexts to co-create pedagogies and online spaces that are informed by their cultural, sociolinguistic and geographic contexts.

Since joining the Faculty of Education in 2016, she has secured more than 550,000$ in external funding and she has conducted studies on digital literacies and digital citizenship skills and needs (funded by the Ministry of Education), Maker and literacies learning (SSHRC Insight Grant) and, most recently, launched a new SSHRC-funded study to create conditions for digital equity, all within French-language schools in Ontario. This new study, with co-investigator Dr. Michelle Schira Hagerman, aims to shape the digital world to better, and more equitably, empower all Ontario youth to develop the variety of digital literacies skills to empower them contribute fully in their current and future role in society. To date, she has co-edited two books and one special journal issue and published 13 journal articles as well as five book chapters. She recently received the Faculty of Education’s New Researcher Award for 2019. Cotnam-Kappel completed a joint PhD in Education at the University of Ottawa and Université de Corse and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

Learn more at and follow Cotnam-Kappel on Twitter @Megan_C_K


Dr. Phyllis Dalley
Full Professor, Faculty of Education
University of Ottawa

Phyllis Dalley


Dr. Phyllis Dalley is a researcher in the field of minority language education. She is particularly interested in schools as a spaces for the (re)production of social inequalities and struggles for power over the future of minorities. As part of the CHENINE project, she will focus on the creation of spaces for educational sociability, multilingualism and the plurality of modes of normativity by and for French-language schools in Canada. These spaces will enable the communities that schools serve to take their place in an inclusive digital ecology of the world's diverse languages, cultures and communities.

Learn more about Professor Dalley's research and follow her on Twitter @PhyllisDalley


Trista Hollweck


Dr. Trista Hollweck
Part-time Professor, Faculty of Education
University of Ottawa

Trista Hollweck


Trista Hollweck is a pracademic who straddles the world of research, policy, and practice. She is a former teacher, vice-principal, and school district consultant for the Western Quebec School Board. She leads the Accompaniment Project: Practice and Research for the Leadership Committee for English Education in Quebec (LCEEQ), developing teacher mentoring, coaching, and professional development for all English school boards in Quebec.

She is also a Part-Time Professor at the University of Ottawa where she is the Director for the global ARC Education Project. ARC brings together policymakers, system leaders, professional association leaders (unions, inspectorates, etc) from its seven-member systems and global members to learn with and from one another and international thought leaders in deliberately designed processes to advance equity, broad excellence, inclusion, wellbeing, democracy, sustainability, and human rights in high quality, professionally run systems. Trista Hollweck researches and writes about pracademia, systemic change, restorative justice, professional learning and development, teacher education, mentoring and coaching, and teacher induction.


Find out more at and follow her on Twitter @tristateach



Michele Hagerman
Dr. Michelle Schira Hagerman 
Assistant Professor of Educational Technologies,
Faculty of Education
University of Ottawa 

Michelle Schira Hagerman


Through her research and teaching, Dr. Hagerman works to understand the complexities of meaning making with digital texts, and to develop strategies and solutions that empower teachers and students to become full and critical participants in globally networked digital cultures. She has published 14 chapters and research articles, co-edited one book, and co-authored research syntheses for Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the US. She has received more than $350,000 in federal funding to support her research on maker literacies in classrooms, synthesis of multiple, multimodal information sources, and on digital equity for grades 4-6 children living in rural and urban communities in Ontario.

In 2017, Dr. Hagerman founded the Canadian Institute for Digital Literacies Learning. With the support of local French- and English-language school boards, this initiative has connected more than 150 francophone and anglophone teachers, university researchers, and graduate students in the deep exploration of innovative models of digital literacies instruction.

An Ontario Certified Teacher, Dr. Hagerman taught French as a Second Language in Canadian public and independent schools for ten years. Her uniquely grounded perspectives as a teacher, parent, digital literacies researcher, and award-winning online course designer, enabled her to contribute equity-oriented perspectives to provincial and national news coverage of online learning before and during the COVID-19 crisis.

A first generation University graduate, Dr. Hagerman holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from the Michigan State University College of Education. 

Discover more about Hagerman's research at and follow her on Twitter @mshagerman


Dr. Joel Westheimer 
Full Professor, Faculty of Education
University of Ottawa

Dr. Joel Westheimer is an education columnist for CBC Radio and University Research Chair in Democracy and Education at the University of Ottawa. Author, speaker, and education advocate, he also co-directs (with John Rogers, UCLA) The Inequality Project, investigating what North American schools are teaching about economic inequality.

Westheimer grew up in New York City and began his education career as a summer camp director and then middle school teacher in the New York City Public Schools before obtaining his Ph.D. from Stanford University. His books include the critically acclaimed What Kind of Citizen: Educating Our Children for the Common Good, the award winning Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America's Schools (foreword by Howard Zinn) and Among Schoolteachers: Community, Autonomy and Ideology in Teachers’ Work.

He is the author of more than 75 academic and professional journal articles, book chapters, and books. He addresses radio and television audiences and has delivered more than 200 keynote speeches, nationally and internationally. He lives with his wife and two children in Ottawa where, in Winter, he ice-skates to and from work.

Learn more at and follow him on Twitter @joelwestheimer.

Dr. Jess Whitley
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education
University of Ottawa


Dr. Jess Whitley’s research and teaching are driven by a dedication to improving the school experiences of all students and teachers. Her research focuses on mental health literacy, inclusive education policy, teacher preparation for inclusive education and the wellbeing of children and youth with mental health issues. She conducts research in partnership with colleagues at universities across Canada and engages collaboratively with community organizations including Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre. Her current mixed-methods research explores experiences of parents supporting students with special educational needs during school closures related to COVID-19 and she is also leading a three-year evaluation of the implementation of inclusive education policy in Nova Scotia, Canada. Since joining the Faculty in 2008 she has received more than $800,000 in funding grants and government contracts and has published over 30 articles and book chapters.

Whitley is part of the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education and an associate of Inclusive Education Canada as well as the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services. In her teaching, she aims to best prepare future teachers of inclusive classrooms and further develop the skills and knowledge of graduate-level learners. Dr. Whitley is co-founder of the Comprehensive School Health B.Ed. cohort at the University of Ottawa.

Find out more about Whitley's research at and follow her on Twitter @educatorjess


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