The Power to Enrich

Rocky View Schools

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Parents Need To Engage In Inquiry

Posted by admin February - 14 - 2011 1 Comment

Guest Author: Keith Hadden – As our classrooms become more authentic learning environments, and as our 21st century learners pose new problems and prepare to solve problems that don’t yet exist, what is the role of the parent?

Much like 21st century teachers, 21st century parents need to learn to give up control.  Parents can no longer be looking for the answer sheets so they can help their child get it right.  Neither I, nor my own children got very excited about fill in the blank worksheets that required little or no thought.  Nor do these kinds of exercises prepare our students for the kind of world they are about to inherit.   According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the majority of upcoming jobs will be those requiring post-secondary education or management occupations.

Problems, including problems that can’t be solved will more and more become the foundational skills that our students need in order to be prepared for their futures.

In addition to problems of inquiry, parents need to partner with their children in social media.  As Chris Kennedy, newly installed Superintendent of Schools, West Vancouver, recently stated, today’s youth need good social media models.  It’s time to start viewing social media as an important collaborative tool for all, a tool that helps foster connections between learners and mentors as well as between problem and inquiry.

Upcoming Posts: What about the basics?

About the Author: I am currently serving as principal of Prairie Waters Elementary School in Chestermere, Alberta.  Prairie Waters’ staff are engaging in their own cycle of inquiry as they embark on the journey of the Primary Years Programme.

One Response so far.

  1. Pam Davidson says:

    Your point is well made Keith. Our School Council has been discussing how ‘they need to learn’ what the kids are learning to ‘keep up’ with them. Helping parents become better informed about and familiar with some of the current practices i.e. project-based learning, and technologies their students are using, i.e. social media, has become a focus for the Council for the last two years. One thing everyone has acknowledged…we are all actively ‘learning how to learn’ in our current (and ever evolving) educational environment.


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