We imagine a world where students, teachers, and researchers
collaborate to enact positive change in education.

Connect innovative research and practice

We connect educational theory and practice by supporting innovative research and practices in teaching, learning, and student engagement.

Cultivate collaborative practice and research hubs

We collaborate with teachers, researchers, and community members to build active communities of practice and produce timely and actionable research.

Create a scalable and sustainable partnership model

We disseminate research on educational practice and partnership, offering in-service and pre-service teachers access to evidence-based educational research and resources


List of 4 items.

  • 2024 Winter Update

    Research Proposal Workflow
    The CoLab Steering Committee is currently mapping, testing, and refining the entire research selection process from relationship-building and ideation to final project approval.

    EGSS Conference Workshop
    In March, a Trafalgar teacher and member of the CoLab Steering Committee will be running a workshop at the McGill Education Graduate Students Society (EGSS) conference. This opportunity will further support relationship-building between Trafalgar and McGill and exemplify the opportunity for and benefits of collaboration and learning between researchers and practitioners. 

    Faculty Profiles
    To promote relationship-building and collaboration between school and university, Trafalgar School for Girls is creating academic profiles for each faculty member to complement the existing online McGill faculty profiles. Trafalgar profiles will include each teachers’ areas of interest and academic backgrounds to help match them with like-minded members of the Faculty of Education interested in joint research opportunities under the CoLab.
  • 2023 Fall Update

    Pilot Projects
    In September, the CoLab launched its first pilot research project. The study, titled “Connecting curriculum, assessment, and pedagogy as a relational approach to transformative climate change education” is being led by a PhD student at McGill University and six participating Trafalgar teachers. In addition, a second proposed pilot project is currently in the evaluation phase. Pilot projects allow for the testing of the entire research process from start to finish. As the first year-long project continues and a second project looms on the horizon, the CoLab Steering Committee is diligently taking note of all challenges, successes, and questions and using them to inform and improve the CoLab’s development.

    Relationship Building, cont.
    To continue building on the foundational strength of its partnership, the CoLab Steering Committee maintains a particular focus on engaging the diverse groups of stakeholders from both Trafalgar School for Girls and the McGill Faculty of Education. It remains important to continue building connections between the two institutions, while simultaneously educating and informing their constituents as the partnership evolves. The CoLab has always been and will always be a collaborative effort. To this end, the Steering Committee is planning additional events, beyond the many meetings throughout the past year, that will bring together these two communities.
  • 2023 Summer Update

    Research Structure
    The CoLab’s key function rests in relevant and actionable educational research. To facilitate the connection between research and practice, the CoLab Steering Committee drafted a research proposal application, timeline, and evaluation process that encourages and necessitates collaboration, innovation, and dissemination. The CoLab’s first research proposal was drafted in April, updated in May, and reviewed by a mock evaluation committee in June 2023. Piloting the research proposal process paves the way for future researchers to participate in meaningful and timely projects under the CoLab.
  • 2023 Spring Update

    Attended IALS Conference
    In April, three Trafalgar teachers attended the International Association of Laboratory Schools (IALS) conference in Toronto. At the conference, they led a presentation and shared a poster titled “Our Transformational Odyssey in Teaching and Learning,” which documented their professional growth in parallel with and influenced by the development of the CoLab. 

    Relationship Building
    While the move to Purvis Hall will physically bring Trafalgar School and the Faculty of Education closer together by proximity, the CoLab Steering Committee kickstarted the process of relationship-building by inviting members from both institutions to come together for community meetings and discussions. The meetings, held multiple times over the last year, have brought together staff and students from both institutions to talk with each other at the same table. Moreover, each meeting focused on a different aspect of the CoLab’s development and led to real-time feedback and discussion from each voice in the room. No matter whether the speaker was a Grade 8 student from Trafalgar or a tenured professor from McGill, each participant had the opportunity to share their unique perspective. Born out of a historic partnership, the CoLab continues to champion and embody the value of inter-institutional collaboration where teachers, researchers, and learners all work together at the same table and prove that the sum is greater than the parts.


List of 3 news stories.

  • Wearing Two Hats: Bridging Research and Practice

    Rachael Diamant, Learning Specialist at Trafalgar School for Girls
    I've always enjoyed exploring educational research and interpreting it from my perspective as an educator, questioning how educational theories translate into classroom practice. As a learning specialist, one of my responsibilities involves linking contemporary research to the challenges faced by educators and students, searching for effective solutions, testing various strategies, and adapting them to support the unique needs of our staff and students. This dynamic and ever-evolving process mirrors the research journey and inspired me to join an educational research lab at McGill University two years ago.
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  • A Conversation on the Future of Education

    Listen to Katherine Nikidis, Head of School at Trafalgar School for Girls, and Lisa J. Starr, former Associate Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, speak on the future of education. 
    Read More
  • The Birks Family Foundation Proudly Supports the CoLab Project

    The Birks Family Foundation
    The Birks Family Foundation was founded almost 65 years ago on two basic pillars: Education and Health. It has since added the Arts and the Environment to its areas of focus; however, the first two sectors remain its principal areas of support. Trafalgar School for Girls’ CoLab project with McGill University’s Faculty of Education, is an exciting, innovative, and visionary concept in the field of education, not only in Quebec but in the rest of Canada.
    Read More
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Through an innovative and collaborative school-university partnership, the CoLab fosters dynamic learning environments and action-oriented research that advance educational practice for a rapidly changing world.


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Trafalgar School for Girls

3495 Simpson Street
Montreal, Quebec
H3G 2J7
Our diverse school community challenges and inspires girls to embrace learning, be confident, and shape a better world.