December 3, 2022


The Education People

Training system demands ‘systemic alter,’ says new director of education

‘At the heart of what we need to have for the 22nd century is to foster creativity, innovation, and layout wondering,’ states new director

The freshly-appointed Waterloo Location District University Board (WRDSB) director of education thinks the school board can tap into the thriving local tech centre to convey the instruction technique into the 22nd century.

jeewan chanicka, who a short while ago took the baton from John Bryant, talked to CambridgeToday about what he was wanting forward to in the new situation.

He began by addressing the elephant in each and every interview room.

“I do spell it all in lowercase,” chanicka stated, chatting about his alternative to spell his total name all in lowercase. “I possibly started off doing that extra than 5 decades ago. It’s me decentring from myself and focusing on the collective function that demands to be accomplished. It can be genuinely just about being a aspect of the much larger approach, the village so to discuss. I’m a single of lots of sets of palms and shoulders to support community and in the end all little ones to be productive.”

With that out of the way, he then bought down to business, speaking about his part.

1st matters initial, chanicka reported, it can take a workforce to make any change.

“We simply cannot do that without having engaging the voices of learners, staff, and neighborhood,” he mentioned.  

As for the problems for Waterloo Location, chanicka mentioned, they are not genuinely any various than people confronted by public instruction in typical, he reported. 

“A person of the major worries is that community schooling has by no means however productively supported all college students perfectly,” chanicka said, who was born in Calgary but schooled typically in Trinidad & Tobago, prior to he moved back again to Canada for graduate university. 

“What you have a is a system that was created in the industrial period to fulfill the requires of that time. Due to the fact then, until now, we continue the exact same groups of pupils about-represented in accomplishment and nicely-becoming gaps: Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ, students with learning wants, Black college students, and college students coming from poverty requires.” 

Recalling his schooling, he reported, the way he experienced education and learning was really standard.

“The teacher as the professional and the university student as the vacant vessel,” chanicka mentioned. “The Canadian process wasn’t a total large amount distinct, to be genuine. The curriculum was various, but the relaxation was comparable.”

As he labored by his publish-graduate training, he stated, he began looking at what major-edge curriculum and pedagogy could glance like.

“That’s a dialogue I want to get up with the personnel and students to change methods we are teaching in the classroom so it supports little ones going in the world to put together for lifetime and be prosperous,” chanicka explained.  

It truly is not that factors in the Canadian training program haven’t adjusted along the way, he mentioned, incorporating, there have been initiatives, but, “We have not seen a systemic transform.” 

When getting ready small children to dwell in the 22nd century, chanicka said, the instruction system requires to provide 22nd century discovering.

“The alternatives ahead of us, for equally all those important items, are innovation and transformation,” he said. “We have a probability to be capable to aid the college students to continue with their good results, but also rework factors so all college students are capable to increase to their best prospective and not discover with their social identities.”

chanicka reported he would also like to rally all people included in the school method to work on reality and reconciliation and the calls to motion to uphold and help Indigenous self-governance and self-resolve.

“Doing the job in collaboration with elders to be capable to think about how we’re performing to help Indigenous pupils, knowledge that education has been a traumatic encounter for Indigenous Peoples,” he reported.

All of this, chanicka mentioned, can be integrated in the future strategic planning process the school board is about to launch. 

“We will need to tap into students’ voices and their possess sense of agency,” stated chanicka, who has labored in the Canadian schooling procedure for 20 a long time now. “Exploration tells us that young children graduating hold some thing like 13 positions, that haven’t been established but to resolve challenges that have not been recognized nevertheless. Recognizing this, we cannot continue on to do issues the way we’ve been carrying out.”

Partnerships with area companies and college will be a stage in the suitable path, chanicka said, introducing there is certainly no shortage of caring workers inclined to make alter.  

“But a good deal of instances people today sense encumbered by the buildings that exist,” he explained, who has knowledge and familiarity with numerous education programs from the British to the American to the Canadian and global baccalaureate. “Also, the challenge has been to have the brave conversation to feel about performing matters in a different way. We must prioritize the adjustments that are needed for young children.”

There are also alternatives for the board to glimpse at curriculum transform so it’s culturally accountable and extends kid’s mastering, chanicka explained. 

“The way of fixing issues in the entire world going forward is going to be by means of collaboration,” he said. “How do we establish collaboration as a talent that can be assessed even though aiding youngsters get the job done with just one an additional and establish their wondering capabilities?” 

Another systemic trouble, chanicka stated, is that the instruction system is still grouping youngsters by age.

“That is rather antiquated, primarily when we assume about potential, enthusiasm, learning models, wants, and propensity,” he mentioned. “At the heart of what we have to have for the 22nd century is to foster creativeness, innovation, and structure wondering.”