Why Open the World

I had the privilege of presenting at CASA 2013 yesterday with George Couros.  We shared the work underway in PSD70 as it relates to our motto of “Where the World Opens Up”.  The theme of the conference is “Pedagogy to Technology: Hardware to Headwear”.

One of the slides I spoke to was “Start with the Why”.  I shared statements like the following:

  • We know that this archaic system of education we inherited needs to change to meet the needs of the 21 century learner

  • There has been a lot of chat about the 21 century learner…preparing for the 21 century learner…well it is 2013…time to move on!


Most recently the new Alberta Education Ministerial Order speaks to

  • Bringing the work Of Inspiring Education to life
  • Every student will develop competencies of
  • Being an Engaged thinker
  • Being an Ethical citizen with an entrepreneurial spirit
  • All contributing to a strong and prosperous economy and society
  • Will be less emphasis on content and more on skills, values and attitudes that will make students successful in the future

The ministerial order signals a change in the education system resulting from a re-examination of student needs, how we teach students, what we teach them, how to engage communities and how to use research to inform change

In Parkland School Division we were thrilled how the order aligned to the work we are currently doing.

Upon reflection there is an even greater reason for ensuring our education system is progressive and innovative.  A system that is prepared to meet the needs of the 21st Century Learner and the world that is opening up so quickly.  The reason for me I became a Grandpa!

On Saturday June 29 my daughter Chelsey and her husband Jordan had a baby boy!  Nathaniel weighed in at 7lbs and my wife Patty and I are absolutely over the top.  We have four amazing children I spoke about during opening day this past year and  I talked about their dreams and how that aligned to our new vision which has a focus on dreaming.  They have completed k-12 schooling and have three university degrees, and one is currently completing her pharmacy degree.  With the addition of Nate, I reflected as a new grandparent on the importance of getting it right in education for our children.  While it has always been a passion of mine that we do what is right for our kids and prepare them for an ever changing world, when I saw that new baby, the passion grew twofold!

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Becoming a grandpa has reminded me of what our young parents want for their child.  I want my grandson to be successful, challenged, welcomed in a safe world that is open promoting great citizenship.  Schools should stoke his imagination, creativity and give him the opportunity to explore and dream!  While we also need to continue to ensure students have skills in literacy and numeracy, let’s not be afraid ask challenging questions and dream big.  We really do have the opportunity to touch the future in education.

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One Response to Why Open the World

  1. Mrs Daub says:

    Congrats. Being a grandparent is a blast.

    I hope that ‘open the world’ means that student blogs can be public so family members and friends outside of the PSD domain can read and comment. We will be diligent in monitoring comments to protect our students-as always. They need motivation to write about passions and getting more opportunity for feedback should help.
    My grade 4/5 combined class, with parent consent, would be happy to pilot it during the next school year.

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