Students as Researchers


A word about Students as Researchers and the Students as Researchers Toolkit from Mary Jean Gallagher. Assistant Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Education.

  Mary Jean Gallagher

Students as Researchers Conference Toronto – February 2012

The Students as Researchers Conference was a response to students' suggestions about the importance of learning life skills like research and critical thinking. The conference provided new ways to gather student perspectives and incorporate students' views into school policy and directives.

150 students and teachers from around the province came together in a two day workshop and learned how to conduct collaborative inquiry research. The research projects were rooted in students' questions and theories about what they thought might improve their education and their school communities.

Students as Researchers Forums 2012-13

This effort to involve students in research is not meant to exclude an adult presence. The goal is to combine the experiences and efforts of both adults and students for mutual benefit. The Students as Researchers Conferenceconcept encourages:

  • young people to organize around issues of their choice,
  • youth and adults to come together in intergenerational partnerships.

By making students and adults equal partners in collaborative inquiry we can support active engagement of students in questions of interest to them. Students work alongside teachers, mobilising student knowledge. Students become “change agents” who affect school cultures and norms. Students and teachers develop a sense of shared responsibility for the quality and conditions of teaching and learning, both within particular classrooms and more generally within the school community.

Check out an overview of Students as Researchers by students and teachers.

  Students as Researchers


Some of the student research projects this year included:

  • What factors help students in grades 9 to 12 feel a sense of comfort and belonging?
  • How can we be better prepared for difficult transitions in the future (examples: grade 6 to 7, 8 to 9, 10 to 11)?
  • How can we promote healthy eating in our school in a fun and interactive way?
  • Safe from Bullies, What Students Can Do to Help?
  • How do students want teachers to use technology in the classroom for teaching and learning?


Students will be posting about their research on the SpeakUp Ontario Facebook page

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Students as Researchers Resources

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