PACT URBAN PEACE PROGRAM, TORONTO

The new model of teaching and learning for the future

by David Lockett

In this fast paced, high-tech and ever changing world we live in, the truth is that the current school system and curriculum are preparing young people and providing them with skills for many traditional jobs and careers that will not even exist when they graduate.

Sir Ken Robinson, a British author, speaker and international advisor on education, uses the term “service learning” as the optimum teaching model for the future and he is correct.To learn more about this concept, visit his blog:

A lot of people know about my work through my talks at the TED conference, and especially the first one, in 2006, ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?’ At 41 million views and counting it is still the most viewed talk in TED’s history.” Read more on his blog….

As a society, we need to make a shift to start teaching students in a much more experiential and collaborative way. This new teaching model involves integrated thinking, problem solving, team work based and trans-disciplinary learning. Service learning involves connecting teaching activities to meaningful social actions and outcomes.

A great example of this would be the PACT Grow-to-Learn Schoolyard Gardening Program and the curriculum-linked, hands-on workshops that we deliver in outdoor living classrooms. If you want to teach students about Monarch butterflies and their fight for survival, the best way to do this is to have them plant milkweed (the Monarch’s favorite plant) in the garden so that they can attract more butterflies and observe them up close and personal. We have each of them write a letter to the Director of Education asking that all schools plant milkweed on their own school fences. This process develops continuity between the project idea and real world outcomes; it fosters emotional intelligence and empathy.

Sir Ken Robinson did a Ted talk on this subject 11 years ago which had 40 million views from 160 countries. This Ted talk has sparked a revolution in new learning. Check it out on Ted.com.

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