Throughout the 2014-2015 school year, 100% of teachers in the Sun West School Division were granted 4 half days of release time to explore the what it means to be a teacher in the 21st century. The release time was spent working within their school and at full day interest area workshops delivered by the Sun West Learning Coaches. Our Division is located in rural Saskatchewan, Canada and covers nearly 32,000 square kilometers in area with a student population of just under 5,000 students. Developing 21st Century classrooms and learning experience for all of our rural students and preparing them for a future in a connected world is important to us.
Sun West School Division developed Board Policy 18 which guides our work in this area. Based on the national framework developed by C21 Canada, our policy reflects the seven competencies outlined in C21's Shifting Minds document:
In our second year of implementation of this new policy, teachers focused on creativity as a key component of a 21st Century Classroom and renewed the competencies of critical thinking and collaboration. And while these focus areas are not new concepts in education, the professional development workshops provided by the Division were designed to allow teachers the time to re-examine these competencies and re-focus attention on these skills in new ways.
The culmination of the professional development days resulted in over 350 learning artifacts being shared by our teachers. The results of this initiative have been overwhelmingly positive and as you can imagine, a vast array of lessons and projects were submitted by K-12 teachers in all subject areas.
Through this site, we are very excited to be able to share these artifacts with teachers across the Division and around the world.
To see artifacts from our 2013-2014 focus on Critical Thinking and Collaboration, be sure to visit the Sun West 21st Century Competency Artifacts 2013-2014 page.