Discipline Based Inquiry at Falconridge School in Calgary

In my new role as Assistant Principal at Falconridge School in Calgary, I’m jumping into discipline based inquiry learning.  There is much to learn and share, and I find my blog space a good place for processing my learning.  Our school is focused on improving student achievement, and a primary vehicle we are using is inquiry. The big idea is that when students’ curiosity is engaged, when teachers and students engage in a systemic investigations of problems, issues, topics, or ideas, and when classrooms are engaging in dialogue to pursue answers to questions that are worth thinking deeply about, then oral communication is enhanced and evidence would suggest that student achievement improves.

Authentic learning environments are a focus at Falconridge School.  Sharon Friesen, from Galileo Network at University of Calgary defines authentic learning as learning that takes place within a discipline that produces or creates something that contributes to the world’s knowledge. As a system strategy in the Calgary Board of Education, Personalization of Learning is a priority.  When teachers, as guides of curriculum, engage in conversations with students about important topics, interests, questions, or problems (related to topics in the Programs of Study), and engage students’ curiosity about the world around them academic success is advanced.

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Using the work of Sharon Friesen, et. al, from @galileonetwork our school’s focus will be on advancing achievement through working with teachers around a practice that includes the key features of Friesen’s Discipline Based Inquiry work.

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Much good work has happened at our school over the past number of years. Each year finds opportunities to continue the important of finding ways to help students be successful.  This school year we will focus on creating rich authentic learning environments at Falconridge School that create a space for students to have agency, to have voice, that builds oral communication proficiency, and ultimately leads to new opportunities for students on their path through life.

Roy Strum

AP, Falconridge School

Calgary Board of Education

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