Lois Maplethorpe in front of the OISE sign

Lois Maplethorpe (composite photo, headshot supplied by Lois Maplethorpe)

Lois Maplethorpe recognized with OISE's 2024 Leithwood Award

Lois Maplethorpe has been named the winner of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) 2024 Leithwood Award, which recognizes exceptional, cutting-edge research conducted by a student in the last phase of their doctoral work.

Established in 2003, the award is named for Kenneth Leithwood, professor emeritus in the department of leadership, higher & adult education and former associate dean, research.

Maplethorpe, who earned her PhD in OISE's department of applied psychology and Human Development, was honoured for her thesis titled Growing Our Roots: Exploring the Home Language and Literacy Environment within the Context of Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being.

Her research required her to develop trusting relationships with Indigenous educators and stakeholders who, as equal partners in her project, had final say in how data was collected and how results were analyzed, interpreted and shared – to ensure they remained true to participants’ voices and cultural values.

“The idea of being humble, the idea of how important relationship is, and honouring Indigenous ways – I learned so much about that during the study,” said Maplethorpe, now an instructor at Red Deer Polytechnic in central Alberta. “This study allowed me to live the experience alongside my Indigenous co-researchers, to be a humble listener and learner.”

“I’d like to congratulate Dr. Maplethorpe on her doctoral thesis,” said Professor Michal Perlman, OISE’s acting associate dean, research, international and innovation. "I had the pleasure of serving on Dr. Maplethorpe’s committee so I am very familiar with her thoughtful and in-depth research. Her thesis is a stellar example of community-led, collaborative partnership research.”

Read OISE's interview with Lois Maplethorpe