Celebrating an Amazing Journey
Five years ago, a small group of WRDSB staff (Mary Lou Mackie, Mark Harper, Kim Keena, Jim Woolley and I ) began meeting with local community business leaders who were members of Communitech to discuss the classroom of the future. Although no specific classroom design was agreed upon, general conclusions centred around what is now thought of as the key C’s: communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.
Discussions continued with students, and then the WRDSB team enrolled as team in a Powerful Learning Practice cohort to continue our learning and thinking about the possibilities. Bill Lemon, Harry Niezen and Ken Whytock served as the lead implementation to look at needs in the areas of curriculum, assessment, technology, staff training etc. The results of the implementation team are captured in this blog post.
Since the Futures Forum program has gone live, there have been continued successes and gradual expansion of this program. Now, in 2013, the program is running in all secondary schools, with multiple classes timetabled in each school. The approach has had spin off benefits such as the Innovate program at Forest Heights C.I. Research gathered to date has shown that this approach to learning is producing results that are statistically significant.
The Futures Forum project was recently recognized for innovation by Solution Tree. I wanted to publicly congratulate all the central staff, school administrators and teachers that have been a part of bringing this vision to life.