Guest Author, Dave Morris – Rocky View Schools (RVS) has been focused on this question since the inception of our first three – year plan. To answer this question we must first ask who are our learners and what will they need to be successful in their future? Next year half of the students in RVS will have been born in the 21st century. These students are digitally aware, media savvy and will live in a global information rich world. In essence, we are working with students who are true 21st Century learners.
So the next question is what is the pedagogy necessary to teach these learners in this information rich century? RVS Learning Department has developed the RVS Learning Model as a construct to frame what we think should be the methodology for teaching and learning in our classrooms. The Learning Model has Improving Learning for Each Learner as the centre focus of the model. The model contains three key strategies. Universal Design for Learning develops accessible learning. Understanding by Design frames the planning process and Balanced Assessment guides assessment of learning. http://podcasting.rockyview.ab.ca/groups/rvslearningmodel/
Universal Design for Learning (CAST http://www.cast.org/ )provides an accessible learning environment in every classroom to ensure every student can be successful. Understanding by Design is a planning process enabling teachers to focus on designing engaging and authentic learning. Teachers are encouraged to use student centred inquiry or problem- based designed learning. Balanced Assessment incorporates assessment of learning, assessment for learning and assessment as learning to gain an insight into student learning.Using the learning model RVS teachers then plan purposefully for engaging lessons and classrooms. We want classrooms that use engaging online and digital resources to support teaching and learning. We want the instruction to be multi – modal. We want students to represent their learning in a variety of modalities as well.