I am writing this blog post after returning from making pizza dough with fourth grade students.
I am forever struck by the energy, brilliance, and focus that young children can put in to any activity that they find engaging. Pizza dough is fun… pizza dough is real… and pizza dough has the promise of being yummy later. But did I also mention:
If you read the above list you can see that we hit Ontario Ministry expectations in science, language, mathematics, inquiry, social studies, law, & politics. More work is needed, but this is how we will meet and exceed all curricular expectations.
The best classes are backwards compared to the others. They start with the activity and the enthusiasm of the children leads to the lessons. At Teacher’s College we are taught the opposite approach – teach the lessons, test the knowledge, and when the children graduate they will put the lessons to use in some activity. We can see, over and over again, the dismal success rate that approach is having with our children.
So we are building a school that does things backwards. We put children back in to our community. We give them real problems and real experiences. After all, what is knowledge if there is no opportunity to apply it?
From Principal Mark Brown, November 16th, 2016