KNAER Sponsored Project: Mobilizing A Global Citizenship Perspective with Educators: Curriculum Development, Equity, and Community Partnerships

KNAER Sponsored Project: Mobilizing A Global Citizenship Perspective with Educators: Curriculum Development, Equity, and Community Partnerships

OVERALL PROJECT OBJECTIVE

To extend and mobilize evidence-based research, curriculum design and assessment, critical pedagogy and resource development on global citizenship, environmental sustainability and social justice oriented education that will support teachers to meet curricular goals in elementary and middle school classrooms.

PROJECT PILLARS

• Enacting Knowledge mobilization

• Developing Communities of Inquiry

• Focusing on the Process of establishing the network more than product

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

taken up by researchers, teachers, teacher candidates, and students in public and catholic school board:

Ottawa Catholic School Board: How do we as teachers take up this call to engage students in meaningful inquiry around social justice and global citizenship?

Ottawa Carleton District School Board: How do we as teachers take up this call to engage students in meaningful community-based change around environmental sustainability?

AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THEIR PARTICIPATION IN KNAER (Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research)

• 96.9% found the opportunity to work with teacher candidates/teachers collaboratively useful/very useful;

• 87.1% found that collaborating in PLCs added value to their current classroom practice;

• 90% feel confident/very confident in their ability to integrate global issues into their teaching; and

• 100% are open to fostering collaboration with colleagues with a focus on environmental or global education.

EMPOWERMENT OF A PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATIVE INQUIRY COMMUNITY:

• I am sharing elements of this program with my staff at our staff meetings, through electronic communications and directly with teachers I work with. More of this will have to happen to ensure other teachers and administrators can recognize and encourage this kind of inquiry-based environmental education. (Principal)

• The KNAER experience has refuelled me in addition to renewing my faith in education. The whole project was inspiring frankly. In all my years of teaching I haven’t seen such a dynamic… yet necessary… partnership between a faculty of education at a university, public and catholic school boards, experienced teachers, teacher candidates, professors and grad students all working together… as equals… towards meaningful educational change. (Teacher)

• Through the project we had the benefit of seeing two forms of collaboration; one being us and the teacher, the other being us and the students so that was really neat to see because just being able to work with a teacher in that capacity was really amazing, being able to bounce ideas off of one another, and change back and forth during lessons. (Teacher Candidate)

• I’ve always felt kind of alone, I was in this massive building and I felt that I was pushing the rope on my own. Trying to get them just to recycle paper was a nightmare. It’s taken a long time to get people to buy in and that sort of thing, and change the culture, but it’s been good for me to feel like part of something bigger than myself and to have those connections and be able to say if I want more information on x than I’ll contact someone at the faculty. I mean I’ve always been connected with the Faculty of Ed but only as an associate teacher whereas but this goes beyond that. (Teacher)

• Well for me, this collaborative inquiry it’s like everything I do now, before kids get started on something, whether it’s a piece of writing or whatever it is we’re doing, we build the expectations together. I’m not pulling out of my filing cabinet an old rubric and being like “there it is,” and I’m just going to throw it at them with a new year on the top. I’m actually building those expectations with them, so that’s the collaborative part of it, and it’s not easy to do. (Teacher)

• For the first time, I felt like the way I have always taught my students is finally being honoured by the Ontario Ministry of Education, the OCDSB administration and by the University of Ottawa Faculty of Education. It is inspiring to be surrounded by like minded veteran teachers and preservice teachers sharing innovative ideas and also learning from a whole range of students who were allowed to discover an issue that they have now become passionate about. (Teacher)

QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE

1. How do we bridge the gap(s) between direction of environmental education policy documents from the Ministry and the practice in schools?

2. How can Teacher Education programs provide teacher candidates with the skills to be better prepared to engage in inquiry based learning and professional learning communities as facilitators to student success?

3. If we prepare our candidates for this type of teaching/learning approach, how can we facilitate acceptance of the approach in the classrooms in which our students are completing practicum?

To read more about the project click on the following link: http://www.developingaglobalperspective.ca/gern/