He received the Grawemeyer Award in Education (1991), was elected to the Royal Society of Canada (1993) and as Foreign Associate member to U.S. National Academy of Education (2000), received a Canada Research Chair (2001), a Killam Research fellowship (2001-3), won the Whitworth Award (2007), and was nominated as a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (2010).
His work focuses on a new educational theory and its implications for a changed curriculum, teaching practices, and the institution of the school. His work deals both with innovative educational theory and detailed practical methods whereby implications of his theory can be applied at the classroom level. Various of his books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. His recent books include An imaginative approach to teaching (2005), Teaching literacy: Engaging the imagination of new readers and writers (2006), The future of education: Reimagining our schools from the ground up (2008), and Learning in depth: A simple innovation that can transform schooling (2010).