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Learning From Practice 2020: What is an Inclusive and Diverse Classroom?

January 6, 2020

In thinking about our theme and the projects that will be presenting at this year’s Learning From Practice conference, it is important that we continue to build on other conversations occurring throughout the province about the role of public education.

Conversations about inclusion and diversity and what that looks like are occurring at a number of tables in the province. When thinking about what an inclusive classroom might look like for Saskatchewan students, the report Education Re-Imagined: 12 Actions for Education released in the fall of 2019 provides the basis for this year’s conference theme in Recommendation One:

Learning spaces must be resourced so that teachers can create a safe and effective learning environment for the diversity of student learning.

What does a safe and effective learning environment look like for all students in the province; and how can the work of the McDowell Foundation support this recommendation?

You do not have to look far in the province to find teachers hard at work supporting inclusion and diversity in the classroom. The McDowell Foundation is fortunate to have Chris Scribe, Nakota/Nehiyaw (Assiniboine/Cree) from the Carry the Kettle Nakoda Oyade provide the keynote address at the annual Learning From Practice (LFP) conference. Chris is the director of the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) at the University of Saskatchewan and the founder of Think Indigenous, a conference designed to inspire educators to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into the everyday practices of teaching. In addition, Chris co-created the Red Talks – a series of podcasts designed to create understanding and knowledge of Indigenous ways of knowing in education. Chris has become an advocate for Indigenous knowledge in education and will be sharing his passion with all of us.

At lunch we will be joined by His Honour the Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty and Her Honour Donna Mirasty. His Honour will bring greetings and present the McDowell Foundation Research Award for the 2019-20 year. The McDowell Foundation was chosen as a patronage by the Lieutenant Governor as part of his commitment to focus on reconciliation and education in his five-year term.

In addition, a number of other McDowell researchers will also be in attendance to share what they have learned from their research projects including presentations on the following:

  • Catholic School Teachers Enacting Papal Encyclical Laudato si’ (Praise Be To You – On Care For Our Common Home)
  • Cross-Cultural Collaboration and Belonging in an Islamic School
  • Exploring Reconciliation and Understanding Through Art
  • History Underground: The Road to Conciliation
  • Indigenous Culture-Based School Mathematics for Reconciliation and Professional Development
  • Navigating Elementary Schooling Across Borders: Refugee Children’s Pre- and Post-Migration Experiences
  • Promising Practices for Meaningful Family Engagement
  • Stumbling Towards Enlightenment: How Diverse Lead Learners Helped Develop a System-Wide Instructional-Support Approach to Improve Indigenous Students’ Achievement

Learning From Practice is an annual conference hosted by the McDowell Foundation to support teacher-led research in the province. The one-day event is being held in Saskatoon on January 31, 2020 at the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation building. Register at https://www.stf.sk.ca/professional-resources/events-calendar/learning-practice