Seeing the world in 3D: learning in the community
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractOver the past ten years, we have developed in Calgary an innovative program that helps teachers use the world as their classroom. In this Campus Calgary/Open Minds program, teachers from Grades One through Twelve take their class to one of nine community sites for an entire week. Currently, six thousand Calgary students have this opportunity each year. The concept has spread to eleven other sites across North America, and to Singapore. The expectation is that students will learn in deeper ways when their classroom learning is enhanced with interesting experiences outside the school. The week at the site can be a catalyst for a long-term interdisciplinary study developed by the classroom teacher. Education staff from the Calgary Board of Education, with support from the Calgary Catholic School District, administers the program and work with each participating teacher. A coordinator at each site plans with the teachers to create a week that is tailor-made for each class. A critical component of this experience is time: time for students to slow down and see the world, and time for teachers to slow down and see teaching and learning, and their children, in new ways. The aim of the case study presented in this thesis is two-fold: to describe in Part One the process of establishing the Campus Calgary/Open Minds program, and to examine in Part Two several questions about teaching and learning and the program that have arisen from the experiences we have had over the past ten years. For the latter I have used Elliot Eisner's educational criticism (1998) as a basis for a long-term study of one teacher and her class as they participate in Glenbow Museum School, one of the sites of the program. In Eisner's approach, the connoisseur observes a set of phenomena and then as critic communicates his thinking to others. In this thesis, as in our program, the students, teachers and researcher are part of the entire process of layered observation and interpretation. The focus in the analysis of the teacher's journey is on the "habits of mind" that are central to our program, the complexity of classroom life, and the impact on teacher practice. The final discussion raises questions about teaching and learning in the traditional school setting, and the potential role of the community in the education of its children.
Bibliography: p. 257-262