Bottoms Up

To enable systemic innovation we must support educators in adopting new identities as learning designers. The most useful insights and innovations often come from the ground up, from those who practice in a real-world environment and can experience the shifts in learning and student needs first-hand. Teachers are largely untapped sources of intellectual and creative talent. As such there is an opportunity to lead change by transforming the culture and conditions of teaching, in order to empower teachers as learning designers and innovators.

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“Surprising That Anyone Would Want to Be a Cooperating Teacher”

Many cooperating teachers feel poorly prepared for their work with student teachers. The UBC research project described in this article initially aimed to explore the challenges faced by cooperating teachers, with an eye to identifying ways to better support them in this role. In the course of the project, teachers contributed to developing an online survey, which provides cooperating teachers with immediate feedback on their motivations and challenges and is a useful tool at the institutional level for assessing the strengths and weaknesses in the practicum process from the host teachers’ point of view.

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The “Basics” and Inquiry Teaching

Concern about scores on standardized tests has raised questions about the importance of teaching the basics and the impact of inquiry learning. The impression that educators must choose between "back to basics" and "inquiry or discovery learning" often propels the educational policy pendulum to oversimplify and overact. This article clarifies possible contradictory interpretations of teaching the basics and inquiry teaching, and explores how they can be complementary components of a successful educational program. The authors document the effectiveness of this approach with positive results on standardized measures of achievement and student engagement, from a diversity of schools in which the The Critical Thinking Consortium has worked. The evidence clearly points to the value of rigorous critical inquiry that moves “forward with the basics.”

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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