History informs our reality, and students are impacted by past events each day, in a myriad of ways. Viewing past events through critical lenses, students can arm themselves with knowledge to combat the social, environmental, political, cultural, and economic issues important to them as groups and individuals. My thinking foundation for these pages are our ancestors: the artefacts created, the writings crafted, the arts developed, the wars (re-)enacted, the languages shared, the technologies envisioned and the philosophies debated over centuries of human life.
Media creates our reality, and students are engaged in it's various uses daily. Exploring medias studies in an interdisciplinary context is exciting for teachers and students. Media studies fosters critical thinking skills, and helps students develop the ability to recognition bias and discrimination in our local, national, and global environments. Easily interwoven into all subjects, media studies can help engage ourselves and our students in our shared rights and responsibilities. My thinking foundation for these pages is Marshall McLuhan's groundbreaking book chapter The Medium is the Message (1964).
English Language Learners
Students learning English in any country have the right to instructional practices suited to their language abilities. In the senior grades, English language learners feel especially pressured to produce well-articulated work without being explicitly taught basic communication skills often taken for granted by adults. My thinking foundation for these pages is the array of research on language acquisition in academic contexts.
A concept coined by Roger Martin and developed by the U of T's Rotman School of Management I-Think initiative, integrative thinking is a set of cognitive tools I've incorporated into my own teaching practice. Co-designing and facilitating a week-long I-Think summer program, where we investigated the issue of food security in Toronto, was a highlight of my teaching career. Explore our camp website and professional reflections on the project.