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Engaging in


Journaling. Social studies teaching and learning are powerful. when they are value-based. ... use discussion and journaling as a way of assessing their roles and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Engaging in

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  • Engaging in
  • Collaborative Inquiry
  • in Social Studies

A presentation by Barbara Cavers Southwest
Alberta Teachers Convention February 23, 2007
How do you feel about implementing the new social
studies program?
  • . . . Is this you?

SAPDC can help . . .
  • With training
  • With support
  • With money!

The Design ProcessTo begin with the end in mind
means to start with a clear understanding of your
destination. It means knowing where you are
going so that you better understand where you are
now so the steps take you in the right
direction. -Stephen Covey
Planning for studentgrowth continuity means
considering . . .
  • Nature and needs of students
  • Outcomes
  • Organizational and instructional strategies
  • Resources
  • Assessment
  • Communication

Planningnot a linear process
  • Outcome based vs. time and content based

  • inquiry based vs. coverage based
  • multiple perspectives vs. single perspective
  • active engagement vs. passive learning
  • connections with real life situations vs.

A vision for powerful teaching and learning
  • Excellence in Social Studies will be achieved
    when the principles and practices of teaching and
    learning are reflected in the planning and
    delivery of the program.

The following principles of teaching and learning
under gird all social studies programs of
  • Meaningful
  • Integrative
  • Value based
  • Challenging
  • Active

A vision for powerful teaching and learning
Social studies teaching and learning are powerful
when they are meaningful.
Students construct knowledge Metacognition
thinking about thinking Teacher considers
multiple intelligences and learning
preferences Some student choices are
provided Integration of subjects, topics Inquiry
based learning
Social studies teaching and learning are powerful
when they are integrative.
Thematic based planning Infusion of ICT
outcomes Integration of childrens
literature Integration of the fine
arts Integration of
Theme Planning
  • Integration vs. fragmentation
  • Teaching time is increased
  • Flexibility learning environment is more
  • Personal meaning for students is increased
  • Reduces interruptions created by subject area
  • Greater opportunity for concrete personal

Social studies teaching and learning are
powerful when they are value-based.
Problem based learning Teaching controversial
issues Character Education Journaling
Social studies teaching and learning are
powerful when they are challenging.
Cooperative learning Inquiry based
learning Project based and Problem based learning
Social studies teaching and learning are
powerful when they are active.
Teaching with games, simulations Role playing,
Readers Theatre Webquests Cooperative
learning Project based and problem based
learning Inquiry Field studies and field
trips Guest speakers Manipulatives Artifacts
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Steps in planning for instruction and inquiry
  • Examine design considerations and learner
    outcomes from curriculum
  • Inquiry-based learning in social studies
  • Questions to guide inquiry from social studies
    grade level outcomes
  • Powerful teaching and learning in social studies
    what can we do to engage students and create a
    culture of inquiry?
  • Examples along the way

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Impact of Program Change
Movement from
Movement to
Active and responsible citizenship, and the
evolving nature of citizenship within a global
Citizenship as a responsible citizen
General Learner Expectations, concepts and
related facts
Outcomes-based program of studies clearly
describing what students are expected to know and
be able to do.
One story, one voice, one perspective
Multiple perspectives as means to develop
critical thinking and reinforce citizenship
Why take part in a collaborative inquiry project?
  • an opportunity for teachers to engage one another
    in focused and purposeful conversation about
    student learning
  • an opportunity to benefit from shared expertise
    and specialized knowledge
  • an opportunity to produce a classroom-ready
    product an instructional strategy and an
    assessment tool
  • support for release time, mentorship and
    production costs

What a teacher said about the worth of the
project . .
  • I had one student in my class who had been
    absent on the day of the drum making. When I
    played the pow wow music in class (the next day),
    the student began to behave inappropriately as a
    Hollywood Indian. The other students in the
    class told this student that it was inappropriate
    and explained why. I did not have to say or do
    anything. It has all been worth it!
  • Medicine Hat SD 76 Hand Drum Project

What teachers said about the process . . .
  • Reflections from the group at our final meeting
    were positive, with all of us agreeing that the
    most important part of the whole project was
    sharing our ideas and discussing the new
    curriculum together.
  • Grade 2 Westside Lethbridge schools

What teachers said about the process . . .
It was very positive to be working with other
teachers and creating usable materials that are
relevant to exactly what we are doing in the
classroom. By building the intial projects, it is
so much easier now to build new units. Grade
Four Grasslands School District project
What a principal said about the process . . .
  • Talk about building leadership capacity! Wow,
    the staff at our school did phenomenal things! I
    was, and I know they were, proud of their work,
    and the end product. However, the process was a
    truly great PD opportunity for my staff.

The key . . .
  • is the inquiry question
  • Keep it as simple as possible.
  • Try to focus on one element of the new program.
  • Limit the content within the project.

Sample Inquiry Questions
  • How can students . . .
  • . . . use critical thinking in examining the
    impact of European exploration on Aboriginal
  • . . . connect with their community as a way of
    understanding multiple perspectives about their
    community history?
  • . . . use discussion and journaling as a way
    of assessing their roles and responsibilities in
    a globalizing world?
  • . . . be challenged to engage in active
    citizenship related to the use, exchange and
    conservation of natural resources in Canada?

Sample Inquiry Questions
  • How can teachers support student learning in
    social studies by . . .
  • . . . integrating a webquest relating to how
    how Alberta has grown and changed culturally,
    economically and socially since 1905?
  • . . . utilizing selected activities from
    the critical challenges in the Online Guide?
  • . . . developing strategies for evaluating
    student use and understanding of digital

Sample Inquiry Questions
  • How can student learning be supported by active
    learning strategies such as. . .
  • . . . role playing and readers theatre as a
    way of understanding immigrant experiences in
    Canada over time?
  • . . . interviewing as a way of coming to
    understand different points of view on quality of
  • . . . exploration of virtual museums and
    digitized records as a way of understanding the
    impact of intercultural contact on indigenous

Developing Your Proposal
  • Teachers at all grade levels are now eligible for
    collaborative inquiry project funding.
  • You must start with an inquiry question. Keep it
    simple and focused.
  • Check the Project Assessment Rubric on the SAPDC
    website http//people.uleth.ca/sapdc/ to see
    what we are looking for.
  • Get advice and support for your project from your
    school administrator and your central office
    curriculum person.
  • All projects must include plans for sharing the
    products in some way.

The nuts and bolts
  • SAPDC will provide 2500 in funding for approved
  • Your school or district will need to provide
    matching funds of 500.
  • Deadline for submissions generally March and
  • Completion date for projects December (for March
    approvals) May for November approvals
  • All forms are available on the SAPDC website
  • http//people.uleth.ca/sapdc/

Exploring completed projects
  • All completed projects will be listed on the
    SAPDC website at http//people.uleth.ca/sapdc/
  • Some projects will be posted there, while others
    will have their own websites.
  • For information on some projects that are not
    available in electronic form, you will have to
    contact the project leader.

Sample projects
  • Does a focus on historical fiction, biography and
    memoir support students in their social studies
    curricular needs?
  • Livingstone Range School Division grades
  • How can the construction and exploration of
    traditional Blackfoot hand drums enhance the new
    Social Studies curriculum focus of citizenship
    and identity?
  • Medicine Hat School District N0. 76 Grades
  • Using primary resources to increase student
    understanding of the role of multiple
    perspectives and identity in Lethbridge. Canadian
    Communities and Galt Gardens
  • Lethbridge School District No.51 Grade 2

Sample projects
  • Differentiated instructional strategies related
    to the landscapes of Alberta
  • Grasslands School Division Grade 4
  • Using Music to Enhance the Teaching of Canadian
  • Lethbridge Public School District -
    secondary schools

Remember . . .
  • We want you to be successful!
  • If you need assistance, contact Barb Cavers,
    403-553-2973 or bcavers_at_la.shockware.com
  • Proposals must be emailed to bcavers_at_la.shockware.

With thanks to . . .
  • Wally Diefenthaler, who did the initial work on
    this presentation
  • To teachers who participated in the development
    of the projects, and who graciously shared their
    products with all of us.
  • To all of you for your interest in collaborative

  • Grade 2 Westside Schools project materials
  • http//lsdweb.lethsd.ab.ca/mmh/technology/tec
  • Medicine Hat School District Grades 3/4 project
    on Blackfoot hand drums
  • http//www.riverheights.schools.sd76.ab.ca/grade
  • SAPDC website
  • http//people.uleth.ca/sapdc/
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