enCOURAGE: September 24, 2020

Carrie Hughes-Grant News

What Rock?

Grant Lichtman in his book Moving the Rock goes through the challenges to school change, many of which are navigating around "attitudes" of resistance from teachers to adopting current best practices. However, the overwhelming majority (if not all) of our teachers already have a growth mindset and are actually looking for opportunities to introduce new ideas to their practice. Thus, "what rock?" We're already moving toward educating our girls according to the best practices Lichtman mentions, even in a Covid world that includes online learning.

John Dewey, more than a century ago, “The world is changing at an ever increasing rate and we have to prepare our students for that future and not for the past.” When all stakeholders of education were asked what they think great learning looks like, resoundingly parents, students and educators alike agreed, deeper understanding over shallow learning, student centred classrooms/environments, questions and curiosity over rote learning, and understanding and wisdom over knowledge (Lichtman, introduction).

Now, aren’t we glad your daughters are here! Or perhaps you are wishing yours were.

Truly great learning centres not on the transaction of knowledge, but on the relationship between student and teacher, learner and co-learner, learner and self, and learning and the learning experience. Our teachers are already moving the rock for their students and are really making wonderful strides in what education in a forward thinking faith based school looks like - these girls are being prepared for life, opportunity, and decisions.

At HNMCS our teachers are working with innovative pedagogies that push our girls towards creative solutions and collaborative opportunities. We encourage girls to take risks and figure out for themselves what they can do, where they need help, and how together we are all stronger. When was the last time you had to take a 2-3 hour exam, with no internet, nor asking for help, sitting alone at a desk? Exactly - so why would this be the best way for our girls to show their understanding and application? Students need to be strong test takers, as this is still a source of data used heavily in universities; however, our teachers are preparing these girls for life beyond academia: for the world and all of the potential opportunities out in front of them.

Now, how exciting is that?