Yesterday I invited 40 high school educators to think about how we might invite students to engage in inquiry based learning. I asked them to consider different ways of delivering credits. We discussed what it means to think in an interdisciplinary way. We discussed opportunities and barriers to thinking about teaching and learning differently.
What inspired me about this meeting was that this group of teachers was willing to think way outside of the box.
We began our discussion with student voice. What are the interests, strengths and passions of our students? From there we moved to the notion of critical questions. How might we create opportunities for students to ask complex questions that they really want to explore…..deeply!
Once students have the opportunity to name their questions, the role of educators is to figure out how to offer learning opportunities where students may earn credits in creative ways.
This concept is foreign to us as educators because for more than a century the “Carnegie Unit” had dictated how high school credits are offered in secondary schools…… Back in 1909, a group of professors at Carnegie discussed why it was important for secondary schools to mirror the university. What this... Read More
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