What does it take to inspire
Essential questions drive meaningful learning and discovery. Without them we would not be curious about ourselves, our communities, and our planet. In fact, without them 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 an amazing journey for everyone. They began their whole-school inquiry with the driving 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.
Where 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 wonderful demonstration of the students’ ability to question and analyze.
The next step was to create an inquiry process around how litter was managed at Caulfeild, and 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.”
It was then 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 success?
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 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.
All in all, over 40 videos were received before the contest closed on April 18, 2017. They can all be viewed 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 process. I’m better able to link ideas and focus on the kids’ interests and understandings.”
How do we measure
growth and progress?
How do we continue to
improve and excel?
Lofty learning goals for teachers and students are on the horizon for Caulfeild iDEC as they continue work with the Global Digital Citizen Foundation. Here is the vision of some of Caulfeild’s educators moving forward:
“The students are starting to use the language of Solution Fluency more often. They are getting more comfortable with the process.”
“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 also like to practice Information Fluency.”—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 their learning. It’s a new journey and the possibilities are endless.”—Jade C.