Dr Willms interviews with Global News. ‘New Brunswick literacy expert calls for more training to teach children how to read’

On 18 May 2016 Dr. Willms was honored to be a keynote speaker at the Canadian Association of Principals Conference, in Saint John, New Brunswick. He presented his latest research in the development of a framework for Educational Prosperity which embeds his previous work on student engagement, wellbeing and effective teaching.  The teaching looks at a life-course approach to monitoring childhood outcomes and includes explicit links to policy and practice and the measures included in the foundation for success.

Watch the interview as he talks about the importance of literacy and reading by grade 3 in an interview with Global News.
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Confident Learners Literacy Program launch

The Learning Bar, lead by president Dr. J. Douglas Willms and project leads Colette Wasson and Norma Barron were proud to be part of the official launch of Confident Learners Literacy Program at Lakeview School, M’Chigeeng First Nation in Ontario.

“One of the most rewarding moments of my career!” – Dr. J. Douglas Willms

Dr. Willms spoke about his vision for wholeschool literacy. “I am so pleased to be here for the launch of Confident Learners Literacy Program at Lakeview School, M’Chigeeng First Nation. Witnessing the success of its students in developing their reading skills is especially rewarding.”

Confident Learners Literacy Program, a whole-school community-based program aimed at increasing the literacy skills of Aboriginal children. The initiative focuses on the development of literacy skills during the primary school years. Learning to read fluently, and with confidence, opens up many opportunities for learning through a child’s school year career and beyond.

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EYE-Teacher Assessment Learning Symposium a Great Success!

Thank you to all who participated in the Early Years Evaluation-Teacher Assessment Learning Symposium lead by Christine Hole on October 1st, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta. The session offered educators suggestions on how to easily incorporate the EYE-TA within their regular classroom routines, create intentional/purposeful play-based centres, provided an in-depth look at understanding the EYE-TA class reports and how these reports help to inform educational planning. The Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium (ERLC) and The Learning Bar teamed up to put on a fully-subscribed event with over 125 teachers attending the symposium, representing 16 Alberta school divisions!

Next session: The Learning Bar, in partnership with Central Alberta Regional Consortium (CARC), are teaming up to offer “After the EYE-Teacher Assessment (EYE-TA) Reports”, a training session ideal for teachers with at least 1-year of experience implementing the EYE-TA in the classroom Date: November 25th

Location: Red Deer, Alberta.

Register: http://tinyurl.com/p2229na

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The Learning Bar co-founder assumes Presidency of International education research organization

Dr. Douglas Willms of Fredericton, New Brunswick, an internationally renowned researcher on systems to evaluate and improve classroom learning, has been elected President of the Brussels-based International Academy of Education.

The combination of Dr. Willms and the Academy of Education seems a perfect fit. The Academy is dedicated to strengthening the contributions of education research, solving critical educational problems throughout the world, and providing better communication among policy makers, researchers and practitioners. Dr. Willms through The Learning Bar, a company he co-founded in Fredericton, New Brunswick, has been in the forefront of much of this research. He plans to further the work of the Academy by leading a team of scholars in advancing his research on educational issues, disseminating knowledge about best teaching practices and evaluation, and strengthening communications among educational researchers and school administrators and teachers.


Specifically, Dr. Willms and the Academy will be working with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, on assessment tools for several low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

Dr. Willms is looking forward to the challenge. “An educated population is the key to a prosperous and thriving society. As these countries strive to overcome the effects of extreme poverty, they are also trying to develop the foundations of a successful education system. I feel honoured to be able to contribute by helping teachers and administrators use the instructional models and evaluation tools our researchers have developed.”

Aside from his position as President of The Learning Bar, Dr. Willms is Director of the Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy at the University of New Brunswick, and holds the Canada Research Chair in Literacy and Human Development.

In his capacity with The Learning Bar, Dr. Willms has led a multidisciplinary team of researchers in developing systems for improving education methods and evaluation. His work encompasses the healthy development of early learners and strengthening childhood education to reduce segregation and the effects of poverty. The Learning Bar’s products include the Early Years Evaluation, an assessment framework evaluating children’s developmental skills at ages 3 to 6, and the OurSCHOOL Improvement System, an evaluation system for the continuous monitoring of student engagement and well-being. These tools are currently being used in over 3500 schools across Canada and nearly 1400 in Australia.

Dr. Willms’s research is driven by a passion to address a question facing educators worldwide: “How can we improve the learning, behaviour, and health outcomes of our children and youth, while reducing inequalities associated with their socio-economic background?”

For more information thelearningbar.com
Email: inquiry@thelearningbar.com
Or call: 1.877.840.2424

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TLB supports NBACL annual luncheon

This month, staff from The Learning Bar joined supporters of children and adults with an intellectual disability at New Brunswick Association for Community Living’s annual luncheon.

Krista Carr, Executive Director of NBACL, presented a speech focusing on “What If?” She reminded the audience that we often magnify our own issues, not considering the larger, daily obstacles people with intellectual disabilities and their families must contend with.

“NBACL is vital to Fredericton and New Brunswick, and we support their mission of inclusivity,” said TLB President and CEO, Dr. Doug Willms. “The Learning Bar works to place children on a pathway to success, and to give every student a voice in academics, school safety, physical activity and advocacy. We share NBACL’s vision of ‘whatever it takes, for as long as it takes’ to ensure every voice is heard.”

Each month, over 200 NB families come to NBACL for assistance. The organization’s programs include Early Learning (assisting with inclusive childcare and transitioning to school) and Kindergarten to Grade 12 guidance providing onsite teaching of tools and strategies to NB educators to improve inclusion.

“It’s a really good feeling to work for a company that cares about the community,” said Early Years Evaluation account manager Stephanie Guignion, who attended the luncheon with a team of TLB employees. “The financial commitment to NBACL is wonderful, and that comes from a sincere interest in seeing children achieve success.”

TLB is a major sponsor of the luncheon and the association annually. That, in addition to TLB’s donation-matching program for its employees, will help to support NBACL to accomplish its mission.

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Dr. Willms Appointed as President Elect at the International Academy of Education

In 2012, Dr. J. Douglas Willms was appointed to the position of President Elect at the International Academy of Education (IAE). The IAE is a non-profit association that promotes educational research and scholarly excellence in all fields related to education.

Founded in 1986, the IAE is dedicated to:

Creating an international network of scholars to conduct research on important educational issues, establishing permanent relations among relevant disciplines within education, and to identifying superior research practices;
Disseminating knowledge about effective policies and practices to interested policy makers and educators;
Conducting advanced training;
Conducting advanced training;
Providing critical and evaluative perspectives on studies and issues in the forefront of the educational debate;
Identifying research priorities related to critical issues in education;
Strengthening communication and cooperation among policy makers, educational researchers and educational practitioners;
Awarding fellowships and prizes for distinguished contributions to educational scholarship and/or practice.

For more information about the IAE, please visit their website at: www.iaoed.org

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