Inspiring Hearts and Minds – What is it?
In 2007 faced with declining enrolment and feedback that the board planning was too short-term, the Canadian Rockies Public School board decided to embark on a journey we called Futures Planning. A 24 member planning group (see my posting on a new idea for a planning group) was formed and created a plan to look at the future of public education in the Bow Valley. The name given to the process was Inspiring Hearts and Minds and from the fall of 2007 to spring of 2008 there were guest speakers to provoke thinking followed by community forums, students forums, and teacher forums to make sense of the information which had three phases:
1) What skills will students need for the world of tomorrow?
2) What are the trends in education?
3) What direction should we go and what action should we pursue?
The final report from the 24 member planning group outlines 13 key directions all surrounding the idea of Whole Child Education. The four main areas for action where in:
- A Whole Community Approach
- A Whole Teacher Approach
- A Whole Learning Approach
- A Whole World Perspective
The Board of Trustees accepted the report as a whole and CRPS has been developing our thinking, ideas and actions around these four approaches to address the 13 key directions. Some are farther advanced than others. This IHM key messages is useful guide to the why and how of the Inspiring Hearts and Minds work.
CRPS was invited to join an OECD project “Schooling for Tomorrow” and also has participated in the latest OECD education project “Innovative Learning Environments“. Both of these projects created an opportunity for CRPS to learn on a global level.
The IHM project was presented to the Alberta Education Minister (David Hancock) and our local MLA Janis Tarchuk (while she was the Children Services Minister). Both departments approved funding to further the IHM work that would benefit CRPS, Alberta Education and Children Services in their efforts to look at how to support students and their families thru developing a 21st century approach to education.
Reading the background materials on the web-site is really valuable and if you want to talk to someone you can contact me @ 403.762.3665.