Get ready for the voyage of your life! The core competency ship is taking off right now – hop aboard if you want to know more! The inspiration for my action research project stemmed from my fascination with the new BC curriculum and the language behind it. Throughout my five years of teaching, I have seen the posters of core competencies hung in classrooms and schools, and I made a promise to myself to discover the best way to teach and communicate them to my students. In many conversations with dedicated and passionate educators, all roads lead back to the question:
How can we best teach and assess core competencies?
So, when given the opportunity to take a deep dive into an inquiry question of my choice, I leapt at the chance to jump in and unpack this great mystery myself! All aboard the action research ship – I see bumpy waters ahead with a chance of steep learning curves and confusion!
A mentor once gave me the best piece of advice. He said:
“Katie, don’t ever teach anything that is boring to you. Find an entry point for yourself, and for your students, to make it count.”
These words stuck with me and I decided to apply them to this action research project. Core competencies: a topic I knew I was struggling to find an entry point into. So, I gathered up all my Imaginative Education (IE) tools, loaded them onto my inquiry ship, and set sail out into unknown territory…
Throughout my action research voyage I discovered rocky waters, beautiful sunsets, and moments of confusion where I got lost at sea, and at times, exhaustion. These emotions paralleled what some other teachers were also feeling about BC’s core competencies.
That is to say that in my action research you will see different IE tools used, such as heroic qualities and storytelling. My work reflects the different strategies and tools I used with the goal of finding the most engaging, meaningful way to teach the core competencies. My work also offers insight into educators’ voices and shares surveys conducted that reflect the questions and contributions of teachers and their own viewpoints about my question. I also sought to find academic literature pieces that might guide me in improving my teaching practice, fueling me with knowledge and multiple perspectives of how to best understand IE tools, understanding what this looks like in my own classroom. The biggest sunset, the largest reward that I saw when I was out discovering, was when I turned to my wonderful students and asked them what they thought about core competencies. It was in these moments, where I found the answers I was looking for. In collecting feedback and data from my students, and by engaging in open and honest conversations with them about why a core competency might matter, I learned the most, and my teaching practice changed. I took risks, I listened to them, I learned and I inquired further. So, if you want to learn more about what worked well, what I reflected on throughout this process, and what data I retrieved – come join me on the core competency action research ship! Quick – it’s taking off soon, and don’t forget to bring your students along, too!
Read Katie’s Full Report here: