Education researchers, teachers share journey of multi-year investigation through live performance

A live performance presented by the York University team behind the education research project All I’s On Education will take place on Feb. 17 at the McLean Performance Studio, Accolade East Building at 6pm.

Called Voices of Innovative Practitioners, the performance will be an intimate sharing of teacher stories celebrating researching into innovative teaching practices in math, science and the arts.

Final rehearsal of the performance with the student teachers

Final rehearsal of the performance with the student teachers

The hour-long anthology will include music, drama and dance, and is the culminating event of the research project All I’s on Education: Imagination, Integration, Innovation. The project launched in September 2014, when a team of 30 teachers from 10 Ontario school boards and seven York U researchers began working together to capture and examine moments of teacher innovation.

Principal Investigator Kathleen Gould Lundy, along with members of the research team, have spent 52 days in schools conducting research. The performance is one of the project’s four deliverables, along with a research report, a professional development guide, and a website.

During the research, teachers, principals and researchers investigated how teaching could be enhanced by inventive, integrated pedagogy. Together, research teams developed inquiry projects that integrated math, science and the arts (dance, drama, music, visual arts) with the support of technology.

Kathy Lundy, Belarie Zatzman (School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design) and Erin Walsh, equity consultant in the Halton District School Board (one of the teacher performers)

Kathy Lundy, Belarie Zatzman (School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design) and Erin Walsh, equity consultant in the Halton District School Board (one of the teacher performers)

Kathy Gould Lundy and assistant stage manager Sarah Bruckschwaiger

Kathy Gould Lundy and assistant stage manager Sarah Bruckschwaiger

On Feb. 17, the 30 participating teachers will take the stage, and will be supported by nine York University students (enrolled in ED DRAA 3051) who will use “vertabim theatre and other documentary theatre techniques to bring aspects of the research alive,” said Gould Lundy.

One of the teachers has created musical score, said Gould Lundy, and another teacher has choreographed a dance called “The Courage to Teach”.

“Most pieces will consist of monologues about the challenges and joys of teaching,” said Gould Lundy. “Every single piece was written or created by the teachers themselves.”

The performance will be followed by a reception, during which attendees will be able to explore a gallery of student work that emanated from the project.

Gould Lundy said the event will be a full house, with 90 people in attendance including Assistant Deputy Minister of Education Cathy Montreuil; Frank Kelly, executive director of CODE; Karen Gill, director of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch at the Ontario Ministry of Education; Annie Kidder, executive director of People for Education; and other representatives from the Ministry of Education, district school boards and teacher federations.

The 3i (imagination, integration, innovation) approached to education includes three specific stages:

  • first, teachers work individually and/or collaboratively to imagine inquiry projects that they might co-create with their students;
  • second, they explore various ways of integrating, including blending curriculum subjects/strands, combining classes and/or grades, incorporating technologies, and connecting to communities;
  • third, they reflect on the innovative qualities of their teaching encounters, and adapt their ongoing plans and practices accordingly.
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