Of Scantrons and Sessionals

When the author, an accountant, accepted two contract teaching appointments at Ontario colleges, she discovered that part-time post-secondary teaching is both poorly paid and poorly supported. From lack of orientation for new instructors to a counterproductive insecurity around contract renewal, she encountered many impediments to her efforts to integrate quickly into the new milieu and become an effective college instructor. Given the heavy reliance placed by most colleges on term contracts, the author proposes four measures to encourage the effectiveness and retention of contract instructors.

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From Action Research to Collaborative Inquiry

Following a brief history of the action research movement in Alberta, including its role in the Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI), this article focuses on a model of collaborative inquiry that has been embraced by teams of educators in several districts as they support and promote higher levels of teaching effectiveness. Two recent studies that incorporated the collaborative inquiry model are described. Both studies conclude that well-planned, personalized, and coordinated professional learning using a collaborative inquiry approach has a profound influence on district culture, school and district leadership, classroom practice and student learning.

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The Problem with Physics

Unsatisfied with her current practice, this high school teacher undertook an action research journey to change her senior physics classroom. She began by posing short, reflection-based questions to her students – a radical concept in a traditional physics classroom. As the course progressed, she and her students undertook problem-based learning projects to dig deeper into real-world physics. This project helped to unify her beliefs within practice through the lens of action research. Through the lenses of these actions, pedagogical and instructional changes are considered as this teacher journeys from “traditional” instruction to a student-centered classroom rooted in real-world physics. Implementing problem-based learning in her physics classroom allowed this teacher to experience change and growth in her students, her classroom, and herself.

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"Why do we need innovation in education?"
"Twitter and Canadian Education – The danger, and benefits, to developing Top 10 lists"
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Dr. Kate Tilleczek: 2013 CEA Whitworth Award Winner
Teaching Out Loud (Episode 7) - Flipping the Classroom - Changing the Teacher-Learner Dynamic