My CHC2P1 class last year was very easy going and completed daily work and assignments with little resistance. I think this allowed me to become rather complacent in my teaching. I relied heavily on the textbook because it was easy for me and the students did their work. I know that there is better pedagogy and I have designed the first unit to force my students to take responsibility for their learning.
I have decided that we are going to create a class website about Canada's identity during World War One and the 1920s. You can check out the purpose of the task and the responsibilities assigned to the students in this Google Doc.
Students will learn the content required through the creation of the website. Instead of relying heavily on the textbook, videos, and "sage on the stage", students will be afforded the opportunity to discover the information themselves. Additionally, they will be able to focus on an area that interests them, which makes learning more meaningful. Furthermore, students will work on important skills, such as research, collaboration, communication, problem-solving and organization.
Students won't be abandoned to create the website themselves. We will brainstorm ideas, work on reading primary sources, and analyze images together. There will be regular, and hopefully meaningful and helpful, one-to-one conversations as students create their web pages.
The website is the method of learning the material. Students will not be evaluated formally on their web pages. The department summative task for this unit is the analysis of primary sources, so this will be completed after the website goes live. Students will use the information they learned, through their research and reading their classmates' web pages, to complete the summative task.
I have high hopes that creating this website will work. Stay tuned for my reflections when we get into the dirty work.