Research & Support Team

photo of Amal Boultif
Amal Boultif, PhD

Assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, Amal Boultif specializes in French orthodidactics and teacher training. Her research focuses on innovative approaches in education that integrate multimodality, games, digital and popular cultures in various French-speaking teaching-learning contexts. She was a secondary French teacher for twenty years in Algeria. Her doctoral research focused on creative writing, slam workshops, and writing motivation.

photo of Megan Cotnam-Kappel
Megan Cotnam-Kappel, PhD

Franco-Ontarian and Associate Professor specializing in Educational Technologyes and Minority-Language Education, Megan Cotnam-Kappel is particularly excited to discover innovative teaching and learning practices that connect play with students’ languages, cultures and identities.

photo of Phyllis Dalley
Phyllis Dalley, PhD

Built through the French and English languages, from l’Acadie to Alberta, Phyllis Dalley, PhD., has been committed for more than thirty years to a French-language education that places the enthusiasm for learning and teaching at the heart of an inclusive school culture. She wishes to explore, with the school staff, how the relational, the communicational and the cultural are played out in a playful learning pedagogy, especially when the linguistic skills of the pupils are varied. She is founding director of the Chantiers d’actions et de recherches en francophonies inclusives.

photo of Michelle Schira Hagerman
Michelle Schira Hagerman, PhD

Farmer’s-daughter-turned-teacher and educational researcher, Michelle Schira Hagerman is happiest when designing playful learning experiences for students. She delights in small moments of discovery and in the complexities of meaning making with texts, materials and tools, both digital and physical. She is Associate Professor of Educational Technologies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa.

photo of Jess Whitley
Jess Whitley, PhD

A professor of Inclusive Education, Jess Whitley’s interest in learning through play comes from her passion for inclusion and accessibility. She believes that every child has the right to benefit from play. Children who often struggle to engage in schools can thrive through play, particularly as they approach middle school years, when play is often seen as a privilege. Whether learning through unstructured loose play on a school yard, risky play in a forest, or making instruments from recycled materials, learning through play is essential for some, and good for all.

Project Leader

photo of Josée Lebel
Josée Lebel, BSc, BEd, MSC, PhD

Josée has over 25 years of teaching experience in schools, science centres and museums across Canada. In 2011, she founded Beyond the Blackboard Educational Consulting, which provides strategic and pedagogical development services to informal education organizations, fostering powerful links to provincial standards. During her doctoral studies, she studied issues related to exploratory dialogue in science classrooms in Francophone minority settings. She seeks to create the ideal conditions for students to take the risk of “talking science” and co-constructing knowledge together. She is very sensitive to the linguistic issues of the French-speaking minority environment.