A new Faculty of Education research project, “All I’s On Education: Imagination, Integration, Innovation,” was initiated at York University on Nov. 4 and 5, with a project kickoff involving some 60 educators and researchers from across Ontario.
“All I’s On Education: Imagination, Integration, Innovation” is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Council of Ontario Directors of Education. The project will experiment with innovative, imaginative and integrated teacher practice through teacher-led, classroom-based inquiry projects, and is being led by York Education Professor Kathleen Gould Lundy.
Teachers and administrators from ten different Ontario school boards spent two days at the Schulich Private Dining Room with: Lundy, the project’s principal investigator; York Professor of education and project co-investigator Steve Alsop; Toronto District School Board Teacher Marc Husband (Faculty of Education secondee); Glendon PhD candidate Jafar Hussain; York education Professors Naomi Norquay and Tina Rapke; and York Faculty of Fine Arts Professor Belarie Zatzman. The researchers conducted workshops rooted in math, science and the arts that asked teachers to think about ways to reimagine their teaching. The teachers and administrators planned their school-based inquiry projects, exchanged ideas and discussed next steps for the project.
Faculty of Education Dean Ron Owston and Celia Haig Brown, associate dean of research and professional development, welcomed the participants and spoke about the important creative work underway in the project. Guests at the launch included Penny Milton, the former CEO of the Canadian Education Association, who gave participants her insights about 21st century teaching and learning.
“This research project is a dream come true for me. I’ve always wanted to have the time and permission to investigate how teachers tap into their own creative capacities, take risks in their teaching and integrate subjects so that there are no forced connections, just a blend of narratives,” said Lundy. “We all want to develop curriculum that is culturally relevant, complex, authentic and artistic. This is our chance.”
The teachers came from as close as downtown Toronto and as far away as 300 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, representing a diversity of experiences and a great enthusiasm for experimentation. One teacher who faces a difficult classroom in a disadvantaged community said, “I really needed this,” referring to the inspiring conversations in the room. It was a shared sentiment, as teachers took the opportunity to push forward their teaching practice.
“All I’s On Education” runs the length of the 2014-15 school year. On June 18, teachers will showcase their experiences at a multidiscipinary performance at 7pm at the Joseph G. Green Studio Theatre, Centre for Film and Theatre, Keele campus.
For more information and updates, visit the All I’s On Education website.
Submitted by Anderson Coward, communications officer, Faculty of Education