"[This Project] simply deepened their knowledge of particular issues and strengthen their commitment to some basic sustainable actions they have already started."
PART 1: Tell us about the learners at your school. (Gathering Evidence/Scanning)
(E.g. what did you notice about the experience of your learners that was most important to your work? Are you a rural, urban or new school?)
We are an urban school, and our students are mostly self-motivated, athletic, social and energetic. They especially work well in groups, which worked well for this project, as I had them work in groups of 4. They have been learning about social and environmental issues all throughout the year, so this inquiry project was an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of a topic they were particularly interested in. They remained mostly engaged throughout, and generated good presentations. The only downside was that there was a fair amount of screen time in order to do the research.
PART 2: What did you do? (Focus and Plan, New Learning)
(What keys areas of health and learning did you focus on? What were your driving questions? What contributed to the need to address health and learning at your school? What did you do to make things better? What tools/resources did you use?)
As part of our humanities curriculum, we focus on sustainability education and personal development and leadership skills. These projects, based around a social/environmental questions, also asked students to take on certain initiatives and actions throughout the duration of the project. This allowed us to touch on many of our key goals and outcomes.
PART 3: How did it go? (Taking Action)
(E.g. What actions or strategies did you decide on? Who was involved? What type of support did you gather? How were students involved? What new areas of professional learning did you explore? What difference did this make for students and the school community? How did this impact students’ learning?)
Ultimately, the inquiry project went well. Students learned a good amount of information about their specific topic and through presentations, were presented with several other topics. They were exposed to a diversity of ideas, opinions and perspectives. They were forced to work collaboratively, and under a substantial time stress, as we did not allocate enough time for this project. It was our first time trying this curriculum and we learned a few things as teachers.
PART 4: What are your reflections and how can you build on your efforts? (Reflect & Evaluate)
(E.g. what change was evident? What did you use as a baseline for evidence of change? What did you learn from the inquiry? What is most important for you to learn to build on your efforts to sustain changes for your students and in your school? What advice do you have for others?)
This project is merely the evolution of what our students have been learning all year. It simply deepened their knowledge of particular issues and strengthen their commitment to some basic sustainable actions they have already started. While the inquiry project itself was not necessarily a catalyst for change, in combination with the rest of their experiences this year, students will leave our program more self-aware and conscientious about all of their decision making.
*This story was originally shared on the Healthy Schools BC Stories Map.