Exemplary Practices 2014
One of the most enjoyable parts of the four days national Prime Minister's Award (PMA) recipients spend in Ottawa is Teachers' Talk. The sharing that takes place during this best practices session is motivating and memorable for both the participants and those in the audience privileged to hear these extraordinary educators speak first hand. Sometimes funny, often moving, and always inspirational, the unique ideas and innovative solutions these top teachers have found to common challenges will be of service to anyone interested in excellence in education and early childhood education. Teachers' Talk Moderator Dr. Joel Westheimer opened the event by saying,
"Some people think of teaching as a way of pouring information into children who are empty vessels. Paulo Freire talks about this as the 'banking method' of education, where the teacher deposits information into the child and then makes a withdrawal during examinations… I think that education, and teaching in particular, is about creating a space in the classroom where children's imagination and abilities can flourish. And that's hard work on the part of teachers. When I read through the projects that we will be celebrating today, and the work that you're all doing, it really reminded me that the role of the teacher is a challenging and an ambitious one."
Topics for discussion at Teachers' Talk are drawn from recipient's nomination packages and are based on what they feel are their best and most transferable teaching practices. Reflecting the growing trend in Canada toward integration, recipients of both the PMA for Teaching Excellence and for Excellence in Early Childhood Education take part in the same forum. Topics for 2014 were: "Fostering the Wonder of a Child" — Inspiring Learning Through Emergent Curriculum; « Une démarche bienveillante » — Building Foundations for Lifelong Learning; "No Child Left Behind" — Ensuring Success for All Students; "Learning in Common" — Collaboration to Support Student Achievement; "If you Build it…" — Using STEM to Inspire and Engage; and finally, "Child-Lived Experience" — Challenging Students in Learning for Life. Summaries of these best practices, as well as links for the resources these educators use regularly in their classrooms and childcare centres can be found in this publication.
The Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence honour outstanding and innovative elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines who instill in their students a love of learning and who utilize information and communications technologies to better equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in a 21st century society and economy. The Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education honour exceptional ECEs who excel at fostering the early development and socialization of the children in their care, and at helping build the foundation young children need to make the best possible start in life. Each recipient's biography highlights the teaching philosophies and best practices of some of Canada's most inspirational educators.
The Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence and Excellence in Early Childhood Education are administered by Industry Canada in partnership with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and with the generous support of the RBC Foundation. For information about this program, its partners and recipients, please contact the program office.
Information, views or comments offered in this publication have been submitted by the 2014 Prime Minister's Award recipients and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Prime Minister, Minister of Industry or the federal government departments involved in this program. Provision of links from this Internet site to sites located outside of the Prime Minister's Awards program domain does not imply endorsement or credibility of the service, information, or product offered through the linked sites.
Ruby Anne Chartrand
Building Foundations for Lifelong Learning
I am a strong believer in the lasting benefits of early learning programs. The learning experiences in these first years can influence the rest of a child's life. I choose to be an early childhood educator to be part of such a wonderful and exciting stage of development. I try my very best to make each child that attends the Aboriginal Head Start Program feel special by providing them with plenty of affection, giving them quality one-on-one time, and getting to know their families personally. Children need to feel secure in their environments and with their caregivers before any learning can take place. Building relationships and creating supportive environments provides children with the love, nurturance and security they need to begin growing socially and emotionally. (Continue reading…)
Team Work Makes the Dream Work
Whether you are a seasoned worker or someone new to the field of Early Childhood Education; whether you have walked through the doors of your center for the very first time or have been there twenty years, we all have dreams, goals and aspirations. We have big hopes that everything we desire for each individual child will one day come to fruition. (Continue reading…)
Marina Giovinazzo, Julie Kamiya and Cristina Primerano
Fostering the Wonder of a Child; Inspiring Learning through Emergent Curriculum
We believe in learning as a life-long process that happens through interactions with one another, materials and the environment. Author and education activist Ken Robinson said, "We need to recognize that most great learning happens in groups. The collaboration is the stuff of growth." Our learning community is comprised of children, families and teachers. With relationships at the core, our philosophy is based on acknowledging the questions of our community and using these questions and curiosities to develop an emergent inquiry based curriculum. Emergent—it is flexible, and emerges within the interests of the children and the classroom community. Inquiry-based—we listen and watch closely to what the children are saying, how they are using materials and what concepts they are exploring. We believe curriculum is a living process that is organic and always changing and growing. (Continue reading…)
Building Foundations for Lifelong Learning
The first six years of life are truly miracle years. Development through these critical years sets the stage for the rest of a child's life. This simple but profound truth has inspired my education, research and work in the field of early childhood development. (Continue reading…)
A watchful approach
I strive to take a watchful approach in my work with children aged four and five. Throughout my 34 years of experience at the daycare, I have drawn inspiration from my colleagues and artists and based my practices on data from recognized educators and psychologists. (Continue reading…)
- Damien Kee—Technology in Education
- FIRST Lego League
- FIRST Tech challenge
- Ground Breakers
- Lego Mindstorm Robotics
- Q is for Question
- Team 2056
- The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
- The Learning Coats Project
- The Teaching Coats Project
- VEX IQ
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