Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Awards Trent University Professors


Two Trent professors receive insight development grants for new research

Thursday, July 28, 2011, Peterborough

Announced today, funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) will support two researchers at Trent University, Drs. Catherine Bruce and James Conolly for their research projects on Human Ecology and Math Education respectively.

Professor James Conolly, from the Department of Anthropology will receive a total of $70,650 over two years for his research on "Mid-Holocene Human Ecology in the Trent Valley, Ontario".

"This research is important as it will build stronger understanding of historical ecology that can be used to assess how much species diversity has changed in this part of Ontario," said Prof. Conolly about his project. "It will provide much needed empirical evidence for ancient food acquisition and consumption patterns."

This pilot project aims to develop our understanding of human ecology (mobility and settlement structure, subsistence practices, and technological organization) during the mid-Holocene period in central Ontario from the analysis of floral, faunal and lithic remains from a recently defined archaeological site that is 4500 years old on Pigeon Lake in Peterborough County. The focus of the project is on integrating people, technology, landscapes and food practices into their socio-ecological setting.

At the same time, through discussion with members of the local First Nation, Indigenous environmental knowledge will also be integrated into the study to provide perspectives on current and historic land use strategies and resource stewardship in the local area.

Professor Catherine D. Bruce, from the Department of Education and Professional Learning will receive a total of $73,220 over two years for her research on "Knowledge creation and mobilization in mathematics education research: the use of digital video analysis and dynamic digital research papers to foster and share best practices."

The main purpose of this study is to engage researchers and teachers together in collecting and analyzing digital video data to support deeper and clearer understandings of mathematics teaching as well as gaining insights into video analysis strategies.

"This is an important contribution to educational research because methods of digital video analysis require amplification and clarification, particularly where teachers are engaging in co-construction of data collection and analysis processes with researchers," explained Prof. Bruce.

Anticipated benefits for teachers resulting from the project will include increased positive attitudes towards research and its use, changes in instructional practices that benefit students, and increases in teacher self-efficacy.

SSHRC is an independent federal government agency that funds university-based research and graduate training through national peer-review competitions. SSHRC also partners with public and private sector organizations to focus research and aid the development of better policies and practices in key areas of Canada's social, cultural and economic life. The researchers at Trent University received funding through SSHRC's Insight Grants program. The goal of the Insight program is to build knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world by supporting research excellence in all subject areas eligible for funding from SSHRC. Funding is available to both emerging and established scholars for long-term research initiatives of three to five years.


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