Over the last month I had the opportunity to speak with students in two classrooms in Canada: Dr. Carmen Rodriguez de France’s Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria and Dr. Dustin Ciufo’s Playful Pedagogy at Trent University.
Both courses had very different focuses and goals, but a common theme that always threads through education is critical and creative thinking.
With Dr. Rodriguez de France’s Indigenous Education students, we investigated the connections between British Columbia’s Curricular Core Competencies and the First Peoples’ Principles of Learning; using the first as a doorway into the latter, and the latter as a key to implementing more meaningful assessment and evaluation in both indigenous and non-indigenous classrooms.
With Dr. Ciufo’s Playful Pedagogy students, we explored some of the rights outlined in the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, addressed the necessity of critical and creative thinking in order to fully realize those rights, and investigated how a play/project-based approach to education is a principal vehicle for inviting critical and creative thinking.
It was an incredibly rewarding experience for me (and I hope for the students) as Alan and I have always dreamed of bringing some of the ideas Alma developed in South America up north.
A huge thank you to Dr. Carmen Rodriguez de France, her students, and the University of Victoria; and to Dr. Cathy Bruce, Dr. Alba Agostino, Dr. Dustin Ciufo, his students, and Trent University for inviting Alma into your classrooms and sharing with us!