A little over a week ago, the Globe and Mail published an article titled “The One-room Classroom Could Make a Comeback in Hamilton.”
Since the article was published I have received various responses both through email and Twitter, so I decided to write this post to clearly articulate what we hope to accomplish in Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.
We have been hearing a lot lately about the need for school to change in order to educate our students effectively. I would argue that this change should happen on the foundation of our past successes in education. In other words, we need not think of everything we have done historically as no longer relevant. As we move forward we know that students must take ownership for their learning; engage their classmates so they can learn together, think critically, develop creativity, communicate effectively, and study and solve complex problems. Further we know that technology may certainly enable these things.
On a related note, the notion of interdisciplinary studies is not a novel concept. In 2002, the Ontario Ministry of Education published a curriculum document on interdisciplinary studies. In that document, the Ministry... Read More
Bullying should not happen.
That is why we are making a difference by supporting our students and staff during and after this week’s Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week.
We are listening to what our students tell us, in the interactive Director’s Forums held each year, in the student surveys we conduct, and in the everyday exchanges that occur in our classrooms, hallways, offices and extra-curricular activities.
We know bullying happens much too often. About three in every 10 students are bullied on a regular basis. This is an upsetting reality. It is also a call to action, especially when we know that when bullying occurs there are bystanders nearby about 85 per cent of the time.
This week, our schools are planning a wide range of anti-bullying events. These may involve brightly coloured T-shirts, special presentations, the sharing of ideas through the arts and much more. Visit our schools this week and you may also see new posters on display that students have created.
At a system level, we are planning Positive School Climate sessions for all schools, so that school teams can learn and work together. Teams will focus on developing strategies to strengthen positive relationships in schools which... Read More
I had the opportunity to attend and present at ECOO 13, a conference that brings together passionate educators who want to provide learning opportunities for our students where the focus is on changing the learning environment, supported by technology and digital resources. This change leads to greater opportunities for our students to think, create and engage in relevant learning experiences both collaboratively and individually.
I participated in two panels on that day, each asking a provocative question. The first panel asked about the future of the textbook. The second panel asked, if we believe in the importance of teaching 21st century learning skills supported by technology, why is it not happening in every classroom? I will share my reflections here.
In terms of the textbook, I shared that a different yet related issue was actually more important from my perspective. I am more concerned about the teaching and learning environment that exists in every one of our schools. I am concerned about the tasks that students are asked to complete. I am wondering about how often students have the opportunity to create a focus for their learning or to create a problem they wish to explore in the context of... Read More