Case Studies

Case Study: Our Waste, Our Responsibility

The learners of Caulfeild iDEC School in West Vancouver were driven to show their pride in their school’s environment using Solution Fluency and Media Fluency combined.

caulfeild logo

iDEC stands for Inquiry-Based Digitally Enhanced Community, the main underlying foundation of learning at our school. At Caulfeild, we value inquiry-based learning and design thinking in nature, and embrace the realities and opportunities of the digital world and teach our students to be positive Digital Citizens.

Caulfeild iDEC Website

Our students take pride in the places they learn and the environments they share. When they see something wrong, they come together to solve problems in the most creative ways you can imagine.

The learners of Caulfeild iDEC School in West Vancouver were driven by a single question to show their pride in their school’s environment using Solution Fluency and Media Fluency combined. 

How to we inspire lasting and meaningful change

Essential questions drive meaningful learning and discovery. Without them, we would not be curious about ourselves, our communities, and our planet. In fact, without such inquiries, there would be no learning at all.

The kids of Caulfeild iDEC Elementary School in West Vancouver, Canada got to explore how Solution Fluency could help them show how curious they are about preserving the integrity of their school’s environment, with the help of a team of dedicated teachers. It was a fantastic journey for everyone.

A whole-school inquiry becomes meaningful for the students when they talk about how it impacts “their world.”

They began their whole-school inquiry with the question, Why is it important to be responsible?” It’s a question that would drive Caulfeild’s learners to excel as creative media producers bringing a focus on the roles we all must play in managing our waste responsibly and ethically.

How do we begin to transform

“We started with a provocation that sparked curiosity and enthusiasm among the students,” Principal Craig Cantlie wrote on the Caulfeild school blog. “The announcement came that a documentary would be filmed at the school to capture the care we take with our school environment.”

Many students took immediately to the Web to see if the news was real or not. The team agreed this was a beautiful demonstration of the students’ ability to question and analyze.

trash tv

The next step was an inquiry process around how to manage waste at Caulfeild. Students got a bit of a surprise during this stage. “During the year Mr Meneses goes out twice a day to pick up our litter, something that the students were unaware of,“ Craig recalls. “They thought we were litter-free, but we aren’t.”

Students knew they could do better. Their brand new challenge was to create videos for the West Vancouver District Student Video Contest, which they decided to call “Our Waste, Our Responsibility.”

How do we plot a path to sucess

Students from K–12 submitted videos on a range of different contest topics including illegal dumping, abandoned waste, litter, and proper recycling practices.

"I can see students have transformed in their ability to ask questions and become truly independent learners," says teacher Jade Constantineau." In both grades, their curiosity has been sparked, and they are more comfortable asking questions and delving into the unknown.

The Caulfeild students created an inquiry board as part of mapping their solution

All in all, over 40 videos were received from the students before the contest closed on April 18, 2017. You can view them all on the West Van District YouTube channel.

"Working with Lee has helped support our journey through the inquiry process," another Caulfeild teacher, Sara Bell, claims. "I worry less about content and product and more about the process. I'm better able to link ideas and focus on the kids' interests and understandings.”

How best can we measure growth and progress

The 6Ds of Solution Fluency is a part of many aspects of the work now being done with students at Caulfeild iDEC. 


Collaboration time is more centered on the planning of units of inquiry, and all our conversations around investigations are far more centered around the idea of empowering the students.

  • Students have increased ability to ask questions and be independent learners.
  • They are starting to use the language of Solution Fluency more often as they gain more comfort with it.
  • Learners are much more curious as they are permitted to follow their interests.
  • Learning is more authentic as students can transfer their knowledge to real-world experiences.


    In working with the Fluencies, teachers strive now to base the learning around conceptual understandings that they can apply to other educational settings.

    • The Fluencies help teachers stay focused on the inquiry process.
    • They are feeling more excited about teaching and student learning.
    • Using the Fluencies has allowed teachers to become more creative in their planning.
    • They are better able to link ideas and focus on their learners’ interests and understandings.

    School Culture

    The Caulfeild iDEC staff always take the time to share their experiences. However, the whole-school inquiry on waste where the learning and questions went home on kids’ initiative is just what they wanted to achieve—staff, students, and families working together.

    • Teachers and students are genuinely excited about their learning.
    • Whole-staff collaborative learning teams have improved trust and communication between teachers.
    • Fluencies practices have helped the school build a meaningful common language that students can build upon year after year. 
    • There is a strong sense of community and a singular purpose and focus.

      How do we ensure learning continues to improve and excel

      Lofty learning goals for teachers and students are on the horizon for Caulfeild iDEC as they continue to work with Wabisabi Learning. This is what other teachers at the school are hoping for and planning with the Fluencies:

      "The students are starting to use the language of Solution Fluency more often. They are getting more comfortable with the process."—Andrea S.

      "I'd like to see more opportunities for whole-school learning and arts integration. I am interested in the strengthening of our assessment practices and would like to practice Information
      Sara B.

      "We will continue to use the Fluencies, collaborate with teams on school-wide inquiry projects, and continue to work on improving the inquiry process."—Andrea F.

      "Teachers and students are excited about learning. It's a new journey, and the possibilities are endless."—Jade C.

      Case Study: Our Waste, Our Responsibility—Caulfeild iDEC Digital Download Wabisabi LearningCase Study: Our Waste, Our Responsibility—Caulfeild iDEC Digital Download Wabisabi Learning

      Case Study: Our Waste, Our Responsibility—Caulfeild iDEC
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