Laurie Crawford: Using creativity and respect to promote learning

Year: 2018 – Province: Ontario

Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Laurie Crawford

Conseil des écoles publiques et de l'Est de l'Ontario
2445 St. Laurent Boulevard
Ottawa, ON K1G 6C3

School telephone: 613-742-8960
School website:


Subjects and grades taught: Aboriginal Education, Kindergarten to Grade 12

Laurie Crawford is an inspiring woman who has shown great commitment to her students and to the community. A teacher with many talents and interests, she has taught art classes where creativity drives learning. Being invested in Aboriginal issues, she encourages the self-identification of students and staff and is dedicated to building bridges between cultures through authentic artistic activities.

Teaching approach

Laurie takes the time to get to know and understand her students so they can all reach their full potential. She encourages them to excel and promotes a learning culture. Taking a hybrid approach, she has turned her art classes into a laboratory in which her students can unleash their creativity and use digital platforms to put theory into practice.

In the Classroom

  • Transforms her classroom into focused spaces—for art, cinema, photography, music and sound—to encourage differentiation and give her students access to a variety of authentic, creative and technological learning models
  • Creates videos on Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples in collaboration with communities; students produce the soundtracks and videos while developing a more open worldview
  • Stimulates critical and creative-thinking skills using the Design Thinking model: students connect the visual arts with developing problem-solving skills
  • Implements extra-curricular activities: walks in nature, tour of Aboriginal reserves, and a tour of a contemporary Aboriginal art exhibit in Toronto to expand the horizons of students, many of whom are from underprivileged areas

Outstanding achievements

  • Was instrumental in getting the École secondaire publique L'Héritage in Cornwall accredited as an International Baccalaureateschool and in implementing school-wide programs
  • Created leadership development sessions for secondary student groups, staff members and school partners
  • Initiated awareness activities for her students: participating in We Day, collecting goods for a women's shelter, organizing Aboriginal community awareness and outreach activities
  • Instigated large-scale creative projects: created murals for the City of Cornwall and the Akwesasne reserve, as well as a large mosaic

Rave reviews

"Audacious, engaged, vibrant, creative and eccentric are all qualities that describe Laurie Crawford, a seasoned artist and remarkable educator."