System and School Leaders
EM DEL SORDO
Principal at Dundas Valley Secondary School, Em has succeeded in bringing two schools together under one roof. His drive to create a school culture through the lens of human rights has empowered both teachers and students to view themselves as valued contributors in the school and the community at large.
By positioning herself as a co-learner for her staff, Principal Kelly Rizzo has created an environment where everyone is free to take risks. The result has been a culture of collaboration at Guy Brown Elementary School where teachers and students are enthusiastic and excited about their learning.
Laura White, Elementary Program Consultant, reflects on the benefits to student learning that emerge when networks of educators study their pedagogical practices and analyze the interplay of knowledge building, integrative thinking and NPDL.
HWDSB Principal Audrey Hensen illustrates how a small group of administrators and teachers led one school cluster’s transformative journey, using Rotman School of Management’s I-Think tools and Idea-Based Learning. Through the application of these tools, teachers changed learning stances, lay the groundwork for student’s critical thinking and helped create pathways for deeper learning that intersect with Knowledge Building. This initiative has helped to put learning in the hands of learners, empowered teacher leaders, and allowed teachers, administrators and support staff to create a true co-learning community.
Focus on deep learning and thinking, rather than accumulating knowledge, leads students and educators to creating new knowledge, understanding and independent thinking. Learners feel a sense of efficacy and empowerment. It’s about depth and sharing ideas in a safe environment so they can be improved. Technology is a tool that accelerates the learning. It is not an end in itself. Mag Gardner shares the perspective of one superintendent who saw learning communities work through the challenges and benefit from the struggle.