ARCHIVED—Steven Van Zoost
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- Steven Van Zoost Video Profile
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Year: 2009 – Province: Nova Scotia
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Avon View High School
PO Box 700
Windsor NS B0N 2T0
Principal: Doug Keyes
School Tel.: 902-792-6740
School Fax: 902-792-6762
School Website: www.avhs.ednet.ns.ca
Subjects and Grades Taught: Film and video production, Advanced English and Theory of Knowledge (International Baccalaureate) in grades 11 and 12
Canadian poet and playwright George Elliott Clarke has described Steven Van Zoost as "a poet of pedagogy." This isn't surprising given that Dr. Van Zoost has been a constant innovator over his 15-year teaching career and has been a pathfinder in integrating new technology into the classroom. He backs all his innovations up with meticulous research on education techniques and practices based on his experiences in the classroom.
Dr. Van Zoost presents numerous opportunities for students to direct their learning and to collaborate. He expects students to learn to work in multiple groupings and uses technology to extend these groupings to involve past students in current students' projects. His doctoral research—which describes how Nova Scotia is in need of workers with literacies for the 21st century, and who are flexible and can work collaboratively—informs his teaching. He prepares his students for today's world, which in Nova Scotia means being equipped to pursue opportunities in industries such as tourism, film production and other arts and technology, in addition to traditional industries such as fishing and farming.
- Dr. Van Zoost is a pioneer in adopting many new teaching technologies, including Moodle, software for producing Internet-based courses and websites that emphasize collaboration and building on students' ideas to inform learning. Dr. Van Zoost and his students were featured in a 2007 documentary called Promises and Pitfall of ICT, commenting on the integration of information and communications (ICT) in the classroom.
- He regularly works with students and teachers in other disciplines to produce student performances, with history students doing research, English students writing the scripts and drama students performing them, while the band plays and choir sings, and art students display response pieces in PowerPoint presentations designed by technology students.
- Dr. Van Zoost has developed a number of advanced courses for the school over the years, in response to student interests, and introduced vocal music courses, which led to Avon View having the first high school choir in the county. The provincial department of education asked him to prepare a curriculum guide for use by Grade 10–12 English teachers province-wide and companion resources, and to develop the curricula for a number of courses.
"We were impressed with the way he worked with students to go beyond their comfort zone and explore literature or other topics that they might not normally consider." Parent
"Steven continues to be an exceptional learner, exploring new professional opportunities, both formal and informal. This enthusiasm for learning spreads to all who know him, as a teacher, as a colleague and as a friend." Colleague