Here in Hanover it really is all about our kids and their learning and always has been. Our mission clearly states that we want to provide our kids with the best education possible to prepare them for a productive and wholesome life. And it is our challenge to do that in the context of a rapidly changing world.
Two years ago Hanover School Division established our three priorities as: All students will learn the skills, dispositions, knowledge and values essential to a productive and wholesome life; Building the capacity of all staff so that all students will learn; and partnering with our Communities so that all students will learn.
This past year we took that a little deeper by engaging all constituencies in the ‘Our Kid” project where we asked exactly which skills, dispositions, knowledge and values are essential for a Hanover School Division graduate. And this year we are taking our priorities even deeper through the development of a Deeper Learning Plan that will bring strategy, direction and a structure to our stated aims.
You will hear a lot about Deeper Learning in Hanover School Division this year and in the next few years to come. One thing I am particularly pleased about is that our Deeper Learning Plan has been developed in collaboration with many others both within and without the school division. We have partnered with IBM Education Services Canada for the past year and a half to develop and implement a comprehensive Deeper Learning Plan. We have established a Deeper Learning Team comprised of teachers, principals, learning coaches and superintendents that will provide broad based leadership to implementing the plan. And we will partner with Michael Fullan’s New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning to participate with a broader, indeed global, community of learning that will help us to understand if we are truly reaching our stated aims to help our kids to become competent with the skills, knowledge, dispositions and values that are essential to their future.
But the phrase Deeper Learning can mean almost anything, what do we mean when we say Deeper Learning? We mean a clear focus on learning those essential skills, dispositions, knowledge and values. We mean more relevance, more rigor, more curiosity, more connections, more questions, more clarity, more community, more preparation for a digital world, and even more adventure. And we mean deeper academic engagement, social engagement, emotional engagement and intellectual engagement. After all of our work on Our Kid we have identified eight deep learning competencies, all eight of which we have identified as essential for “Our Kid” to flourish. To be a Learner, Critical Thinker, Communicator, Collaborator, Literate, Creative, and to exhibit good Citizenship and Character.
We can achieve this Deeper Learning through developing dynamic learning environments, building collaborative learning partnerships, transforming pedagogical practices and leveraging the digital resources now available to us. It is our commitment to all of our staff to provide the learning opportunities necessary to fully realize these opportunities. In this current year the learning will focus primarily on school leaders and learning coaches. And it is our commitment as a division to each and every one of our kids that we will do everything that we can to help them to graduate from school ready for a productive and wholesome life.