Welcome to our Learning Forward BC, February 2016, e-newsletter.
This issue and subsequent issues leading up to the December 2016 Learning Forward Conference in Vancouver B.C., are dedicated to celebrating “Innovative Practices that Transform the Learners’ Experience: Stories that Support the Core Competencies”. We invite you to explore the articles and videos that represent some of the powerful ways educators are moving learning forward in our province.
When you consider the notion of innovative practices, what comes to your mind? What are the practices you are seeing or engaging with in your schools and districts that you believe transform the student learning experience? What difference are these approaches making to the experiences of all learners? How are these truly changing the places we call school? We invite you to share your learning stories using the Twitter hashtag #learnfwdbc
Follow our Learning Forward BC Pinterest Board which houses a growing number of resources supporting learning and teaching! Stories of practice that are changing the student learning experience in classrooms and across districts are also captured here:
President’s Message: Supporting Innovative Practice
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou)
“Countries that wish to improve the effectiveness of professional development provided to teachers should increase the amount and variation of school embedded offerings such as mentoring and coaching, creating networks of teachers who learn together, and supporting collaborative research and instructional problem solving by teachers,” (OECD –TALIS, 2015-03-10). BC has many examples where collaborative learning teams are finding innovative ways to transform practice to enhance student learning.
In Collaborative Inquiry: Empowering teachers in their professional development (CEA, Spring 2015), Leyton Schnellert and Deborah Butler explore professional learning that enables teachers to effectively bridge theory and practice, and personalize their learning. The article outlines how schools and districts need to support and offer sustained, collaborative, inquiry based professional learning through meeting four conditions: structural supports, cultural/social emotional supports, learning and process supports, and teacher ownership /agency. “Engaging in inquiry by oneself does not have the same impact as collaborative inquiry. …teachers make and sustain valued changes to their practice when they collaboratively construct, monitor and adapt context-specific approaches to address their goals.” Collaborative Inquiry for Educators: A facilitators guide to school improvement , by Jenni Donohoo provides a four step learning sequence to support learning teams to actively develop and support the link between teacher and leader actions and student outcomes.
What is our ultimate goal as educators? I hope that our goal is ensuring that ALL students are supported in tapping their potential. At Learning Forward BC we encourage you to share the story of the creative ways that you and your colleagues collaborate about how to engage and support all students to ensure that they have strong thinking and communication skills, and the social skills to work with others as they transfer their learning to life beyond school.
Help celebrate the powerful examples that occur in your sphere of influence. Please contact us and share your experience of transforming your practice.
Check our website for information about our April 28 networking dinner where you can network with others and learn about the innovative practice of some of your colleagues.
Delta SD #37: Getting to the “Roots” of Learning . . .
To learn more about this exciting new program and other curricular innovations happening in Delta SD, click here.
You can also follow their stories of curricular change via educators sharing their learning journeys on Twitter, at the hashtag #sd37
An Interview with Nancy Bennett,
Principal of Eagle Mountain Middle School, Coquitlam, SD #43
“Eagle Mountain Middle School, opened as a new grades 6-8 middle school in SD 43 (Coquitlam), in September 2015, with an initial understanding by all staff who joined the team that we would be actively exploring innovation, especially during this time of province-wide curriculum transformation. Although just a year and a half into its journey, we like to say that we have been working on our transformation for at least five years…”
To continue reading, click the following link…Learning Forward Interview With Eagle Mountain
Rethinking Core Competencies in the Intermediate Classroom
Beverley Bunker, Crescent Park Elementary, Surrey, SD #36
“I started my journey with the redesigned curriculum about three years ago. Since I’ve adopted pieces of it slowly, I now feel confident embedding core competencies into the learning and assessment process across all areas of learning.
In our Grade 6/7 classroom, we use inquiry and design to develop critical and creative thinking. Sometimes we focus on inquiry questions that require a reasoned judgment in areas such as Social Studies or Science. Literacy is naturally embedded in these inquiries, as students learn to research, interpret, and communicate new information and learning…”
To read more about Beverley’s journey, click the following link . . . Beverley Bunker’s Class
You can also follow Beverley’s learning stories via Twitter @msbunkerclass
A Vice Principal’s Journey Transforming Learning & Teaching
Navigating Change: Fostering a Culture of Innovation
“Change is hard… As someone who is new to my role, my school, and my district, I’ve learned to embrace that somewhat uncomfortable feeling that tells me that I’m the edge of new learning and new understanding. And with the implementation of a new curriculum in BC, there’s no question– more change is coming!”
Click the following link to read more about Sarah’s journey… Navigating Change: Fostering a Culture of Innovation
St. John Brebeuf Regional Secondary School’s Annual Open House
(Highlights submitted by Sandra Tobin Careen)
While contemplating the essence of what educational practices transform the learning experience, and how such approaches impact student success and engagement I walked through on February 11th with my camera in hand. Making my way through the classrooms, hallways, library, labs, and multi-purpose room, to take photos, I was immersed in an unprecedented aura of excitement about learning.
The evening has always been successful in showcasing our school, but the heightened vibe this year can be undoubtedly attributed to the hundreds of students who opted to stay at the school until 8 pm to share their learning with parents and prospective students. They displayed their work with pride and represented their school clubs ranging from peer tutoring and athletics, to math competition teams and social justice, valiantly as they responded to a myriad of questions with musings about their writing, artwork, cooking, music, labs, and other projects. What started out as emails, staff meetings, and Lunch Bunch Curriculum Chats about transforming the new curriculum is now manifested throughout the school in various cross-curricular displays. A selection of photos taken during the evening aptly captured the transformation within my classroom and how it is resonating with my colleagues and our students.
Change brings success and challenges, but I strongly believe that the defining support that made the journey possible for our school community hinges on strong administrative and parental support coupled with conversation.
Stay tuned for more feature stories of practice that change the learners’ experience!