Sunday, June 5, 2016

What Really Matters!

The power of learning is connecting students to the real world and making every day learning realistic through problem solving.  The students need to become analytical and connect cross- disciplinary thinking to the real world based on political events, news makers to the arts and technology innovations. The key to the success is for the students to be initiated in discussions that would require gathering information, analyzing, interpreting and exploring possibilities.                             

In order for students to enrich their experiences about The Grade 6 Social Studies on Heritage and Identity, they collected data to assess contributions made by various groups to Canadian communities. The students applied the model of The Ladder of Inference ( I-Think Rotman School) for the mental process to collect data about Canadian identity, inclusiveness and multiculturalism. The data we collected were from three different sources, the retirement home open ended interviews with the residents, the CBC report about the Raptors and students own open ended interviews from their own community.

The students examined the data based on experiences and observations in the world around us. It was a very huge data especially from the retirement home. In teams students selected and interpreted based on their experiences and understanding. The interpretations lead to conclusions that became our bases for our understanding of inclusiveness and Canadian identity.

The following presentation has students’ samples from the visit to the retirement home and their interpretations from the collected data.

To continue with our understanding on multiculturalism I shared with the students  the CBC Report about the Raptors and multiculturalism.  The students collected the data from the video and interpreted it.

The students continued exploring with multiculturalism and inclusiveness by interviewing their parents, neighbours and people from their community. The following slides include examples based on the question:  Has Canada attained its goal of inclusiveness?  

The students' discussions were rich from historical facts to the present about inclusiveness that provoked many inquiries about the aboriginal treatment to the refugees and racism in today's society.

The students searched the The Canadian Encyclopedia  and inquired about the history and the presence of many cultures, the reasons for their arrival to Canada and their integration in our today’s society.

In order for the students to gather all the thinking for better understanding of many elements in the Canadian identity, we then focused on the causes and effects. From gathering so much data and inquiries about the past and the present and making their thinking more explicit and giving the opportunity for teams to share their thinking as they have explored many complex issues on inclusiveness, identity and multiculturalism. The students (in teams) shared their understanding about Canadian identity by developing a causal model ( I-Think Rotman School).

The students explored my maps to house their inquiry and thinking process on diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism. I will only share an example of the map. The students screencastified the causal models explaining their thinking. Please scroll through the layers of the maps to view the ladder of inference including the Causal Model and the videos. A screencastify of a student explaining the causal model 1  Screencastify of the causal model #2

There is so much to share and I need to improve on blogging often instead of sharing the full process with just the one post.

Through the Integrative Thinking the students have experienced effective collaboration to learn to leverage each other’s ideas by being deep flexible thinkers and problem solvers. This process from data collection to gathering thinking of causes and effects has given the students tools to challenge their thinking and deepen their learning. The complexity has become explicit based on their interpretation and allowing opportunities to expand their learning.

As educators we have to always think, how are we equipping our students to become effective collaborators with strategies to think and problem solve?

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