Educators are in the midst of a challenging yet exhilarating time. For the past 15 months, we have sought to provide a continuous, flexible teaching and learning environment that prioritizes wellbeing and connection for our boys. It has never been more pressing to partake in what Dr. Michael Reichert calls, “the vitality of the process of inquiry”. To do this, we must examine what external resources are available and explore questions for answers we do not have. These two things together determine the best teaching and learning practices for our students.
At Crescent School, academic research conducted by trusted partners like Challenge Success, the Centre for Curriculum Redesign and Independent School Management has been invaluable. The insights from these academic leaders have supported the strategic decisions needed to reimagine the why, how, when, and what we teach our boys.
Our staff and student researchers explore the questions that inform and refine our teaching and learning practices. This year, CCBE added “Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging” alongside Character, Wellbeing, and Three Pedagogies as the fourth area of research focus. Though distinct, these four areas are interconnected and mutually supportive and have guided the action research projects you can find on our website.
To determine the path forward for the 2021-22 academic year, the CCBE team (Trish Cislak, Rob Messenger and I) met in April with our Advisory Panel. This group of international thought leaders helped us determine what research questions we need to ask next year in order to best support our boys as learners.
The conversation was inspiring. Many ideas were brought forth, each with the invitation to share feedback and increase collaboration. Here are some of the action research themes we are considering:
How are teachers measuring the impact of their pedagogical practice on student character and competencies?
What common language and experiences would enhance a student’s sense of belonging?
What are the gaps between our DIB action plan and our existing curricular and co-curricular programs?
How does Crescent School’s relational learning framework support a culture that promotes diversity, inclusion and belonging?
There is clearly much to learn and so much to do! While there is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, Crescent’s commitment to an exemplary learning environment that prioritizes connection and wellbeing is enduring. We are so fortunate to be part of a community of educators who are curious and committed to developing their practice in pursuit of how boys learn best. Dr. Sandra Boyes is Executive Director of Professional Learning & Research and Head of Lower School at Crescent.