811: Innovation in Teaching & Learning

Module 1 Working definitions:

CREATIVITY

The word creativity is synonymous with words such as fluency and flexibility, and being inventive and original. When the word creativity first came up, I thought about a child taking paints, and creating their own picture. I thought about the ability to think of strange, outside-the-box ideas. Mueller, Melwai & Goncalo talk about creativity as something that is both NOVEL and USEFUL. I really like this definition, especially the focus on usefulness. It must be useful to whatever the purpose it: whether this be in a workplace setting, or purely for the enjoyment of creating it. Creativity must also be novel and different, not just taking the first idea that pops into your head, but allowing time for all other possibilities. Some downfalls that come with creativity are the amount of time that it takes, the many failures that come with true novelty, and the periods of uncertainty that can stop people from being creative. According to Hennessey and Amabile, some things that increase creativity are having a positive affect, group work, and intrinsic motivation.
Mueller, Melwai & Goncalo justify that creativity must be both novel and useful because this is the only way that we can hope to address the myriad problems facing our schools, hospitals, cities, economy, nation and world. This creativity must be used in the correct way to truly inspire change and help people recognize solutions. In order for students to be truly creative, they must first be taught the foundational skills necessary to think of a new perspective that they can use to solve a problem.
“Creativity is thinking up new things, innovation is doing new things.”

Resources:
Hennessey, B.A., & Amabile, T.M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569 – 598. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100416
Mueller, J.S., Melwai, S., & Goncalo, J.A. (2012). The bias against creativity: Why people desire but reject creative ideas. Psychological Science, 23(1), 13–17. doi: 10.1177/0956797611421018

INNOVATION

Innovation is defined as “the action or process of innovating”, with synonyms including change, alteration, revolution, and transformation. The opposite of innovation is simply accepting and using the old ways of doing things or thinking. Innovation then is using creativity to think of new ideas and solutions to the myriad problems that are facing our world. To innovate we use what we know about the world, define what the problem or change needed is, and think of a variety of solutions. Innovation is a forward-thinking concept that must use looking backwards to inform the decisions that we make: It is only through new ways of thinking and doing things that we can successfully move forwards. It involves asking questions such as “whats next?” “why are we changing?” and “How can we make the changes needed?”
Innovation is so necessary because our old ways of teaching and learning are becoming obsolete (Martin). As a teacher, then, my job is to help my students cope with the many new realities of today and their future: and to help them cope they (and I) will need to learn to innovate. To innovate as a teacher I have to glean through the old information and knowledge that has been passed on from previous generations, decide what is important and how to use it, and attempt to pass this on to my students, while allowing them the freedom and creativity to innovate on their own. To innovate I must constantly be looking to what the needs of the future are, and thinking of ways to solve these. Education will always need to change according to the needs of society, and as educators we must be aprt of this change and not be behind and playing catch up.
“If we teach todays students as we taught yesterdays, we rob them of tomorrow.”

Resources:
Hennessey, B.A., & Amabile, T.M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569 – 598. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100416
Martin, J.R. (1996). There’s too much to teach: Cultural wealth in an age of scarcity. Educational Researcher, 25(2), 4–16. doi: 10.3102/0013189X025002004
Mueller, J.S., Melwai, S., & Goncalo, J.A. (2012). The bias against creativity: Why people desire but reject creative ideas. Psychological Science, 23(1), 13–17. doi: 10.1177/0956797611421018

TEACHING

Teaching surely is the passing down of knowledge from the teacher (or parent, peer, etc.) to the student? Although the old fields of thought were focused on the simple passing down of a body of knowledge, teaching now is much broader than this. We no longer have a finite amount of information that needs to be gathered and projected forward. To teach then is not only an occupation that passes on ideas, but rather a looking ahead to the challenges and needs of the future, while remembering the lessons learned in the past. Teaching then is a gleaning process: weeding out and deciding on what is important, passing some of this information onwards. More than just passing on information, teaching must be clear guidance in the skills that the student will need in the future. Teaching does not only occur in a school setting, but in social settings, and in the whole world that lies around them.
Martin (1996) proposes that the teacher is no longer the means to an end (an education), but rather the guide for the future. The teacher cannot teach everything, and so must decide on what is important to move forward. If we truly want our students to be able to cope and flourish in their future lives, teaching then includes guiding and showing our students the skills necessary (creativity, teamwork, critical thinking, personal awareness, research skills, communication, etc.). Teaching then is sharing knowledge with our students in an attempt not to have them memorize lots of things, but to have them apply that knowledge in developing the capacity for future learning and growth. Teaching then should be guiding our students towards developing their own thought processes, and to realize their highest potential.

Resources:
Hennessey, B.A., & Amabile, T.M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569 – 598. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100416
Martin, J.R. (1996). There’s too much to teach: Cultural wealth in an age of scarcity. Educational Researcher, 25(2), 4–16. doi: 10.3102/0013189X025002004
Mueller, J.S., Melwai, S., & Goncalo, J.A. (2012). The bias against creativity: Why people desire but reject creative ideas. Psychological Science, 23(1), 13–17. doi: 10.1177/0956797611421018

LEARNING

While teaching is an active word, so too is learning, but in the opposite sense. To learn then is to acquire and take on various skills, knowledge or attitudes. Learning can be done in an educational setting, when it is explicitly being taught, and effort is being put into the action of acquiring knowledge, but it also happens daily without any effort. Learning is done using our memory (remembering important dates in a history lesson), using our emotions (how to cope with stressful situations), using our bodies (muscle memory of how to ski), and using broader attitudes (determination is a skill that can be practiced). Learning is a continuum that has no end: there are always skills to be improved, new information to be learned (especially in a fast-paced digital world), and ways to change our attitude. In order for learning to occur there must be some level of motivation (whether extrinsic or intrinsic) that enables us to put in the time, effort or money required to learn a new concept.
Martin backs up the idea that learning is continual when he speaks of the fact that there is now (and always was) too much to learn. Learning is not simply then taking in information, but a much broader, more holistic concept. Learning then begins by grasping the new concept, but then must include being able to process it and make sense of it in our own way. Mueller, Melwai & Goncalo speak to some of the fundamental skills that must be learned (creativity, determination, perseverance) rather than just information gathering. Hennessey & Amabile speak about learning that is a balance between intelligence and creativity (and the old and the new) in order to achieve both stability and change within our current society.

Resources:
Hennessey, B.A., & Amabile, T.M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569 – 598. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100416
Martin, J.R. (1996). There’s too much to teach: Cultural wealth in an age of scarcity. Educational Researcher, 25(2), 4–16. doi: 10.3102/0013189X025002004
Mueller, J.S., Melwai, S., & Goncalo, J.A. (2012). The bias against creativity: Why people desire but reject creative ideas. Psychological Science, 23(1), 13–17. doi: 10.1177/0956797611421018

Module 2:

History of Teaching & Learning

Bruce Curtis, in his article “The State of Tutelage in Lower Canada, 1835-1851” speaks about the changes that came after the rebellion and defeat in 1837-1838.  Tutelage is then defined as guardianship and instruction, and state as a system of institutions and condition.  The central feature of government at this time was the placement of the population into a state of tutelage.   It was after this rebellion in 1838 that many changes came to the people living in central Canada at this time: a thorough reconstruction of social, political, and economic relations.  It was a time of reform, with the central element being educating the people.   Before this time there was a very top-down way of governing: the Crown was sovereign, and they used that to create and maintain an ordered society.  However, after this rebellion they were trying to ‘force’ the people that they had the capacity to govern themselves… the people, though, were mostly opposed to these changes, and extremely complacent.

When reading “the people at this time were intelligent, moral and amiable; but they lack all enterprise, they have no notion of improvement, and no desire for it.  Their wants are few and easily satisfied. They have not advanced one step”, it was a strong contradiction to the earlier discussion about innovation and creativity.  Although the government perhaps wanted people to begin innovating, thinking, being more critical, the people had no desire to.  Teaching then would also have looked different: still a top-down transferral of knowledge to a group of people who had been taught to be obedient and to listen to the rules without much thinking.

At the end of this article it still wasn’t entirely clear whether or not the government was successful in their hopes of educating people to be more liberal thinkers.  It wasn’t clear what methods were employed to try to get the people to think more, or what the teachers themselves thought of this change.

Curits, B. (1997). The state of tutelage in Lower Canada, 1835–1851. History of Education Quarterly, 37(1), 25–43. doi: 10.2307/36990

Tomkins speaks about how curriculum has changed over the history of Canada (with curriculum then being what is taught, how it is taught, and the materials used to teach different topics or ideas. Curriculum of a country then is a set of uniform and consistent operational principles guiding what is to be taught and learned in schools. From our earliest history Canadians have began with copying the values and ideas of other surrounding countries: beginning with European nations, and later on the ideas of America. A central idea that I pulled out after reading this article was how although at times Canadians dealt with the challenges and changes of our society by changing the curriculum, many times they simply copied how other countries dealt with these issues.
By copying other nations to create our curriculum, there was not much innovation (especially in earlier times), especially when I look back to my definition of innovation: that changes are made according to the needs of society. One exception to the norm of a lack of innovation in this history, however, came with Egbert Ryerson (the superintendent of Ontario schools). He was very concerned about the breakdown of family and community, especially with the effects of industrialization, urbanization, and a high immigrant population. He then brought about a total reform, and dealt with these ‘problems’ in the way that he thought was best: a new curriculum focused on eliminating foreign influence, and promoting Christian values. Because of this, we could say that although we may not agree with Ryersons approach, this was both innovative and creative. His idea was novel (no other country had a system in place like this), and useful (especially when we consider the ‘problems’ that he hoped to fix).
The many changes in society over the history of Canada would inevitably led to changes in the way that teaching and learning occurred: however not much was said about this in the article.

After reading this article I was curious about how how innovative Canadian curriculum and policy makers are today, and how many of their ideas are coming from other countries. With a global society, many of the challenges that face a province, or Canada, are so similar to those happening around the world. In BC they hope to begin teaching a new curriculum this September (K-8), one that is based on 6 core competencies. The reason for this switch was to prepare our learners for a changing society. I wonder how much of this curriculum was also based off of ideas that other countries or provinces have also used…

https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/
Tomkins, G. (1981). Foreign influences on curriculum and curriculum policy making in Canada: Some impressions in historical and contemporary perspective. Curriculum Inquiry, 11(2), 157–180.

Historical Thinking

In other articles read in this course historical thinking was referred to, but not in a clear or specific way. Seixas & Peck in this article break down what that truly means. When I think of a good historical understanding of a topic, my mind is automatically drawn to good books I’ve read, historical re-enactments of a place, videos, etc… all of which paint a romantic, exciting or horrible picture of life in the past. The authors of this article would argue that a true historical knowledge is one that allows us to approach historical narratives critically, to ask many questions: who constructed this account and why? What sources were used? What others accounts could we find of the same event? Etc.

As I read through this the automatic connection for both a teacher and a learner is that true historical thinking requires innovation and creativity. This is not simply looking for the one correct answer (perhaps a date in history), but rather using their own background knowledge to think of connections that can be made, decide on significance, etc. Historical thinking will involve looking at multiple perspectives on one event, as both a teacher and a student choosing significant events or people to study, and looking at how things have changed and stayed the same. All of these things are difficult, and many adults would have trouble truly reaching the elements of historical thought, but the authors argue that it IS possible to have our students do this, with systematic and careful teaching.

The authors give concrete examples of HOW to teach each of the 6 elements, many of which had direct connections to the four definitions.
• For significance it was suggested that students take four most important events in their own autobiography, and compare them to the lives of someone in history. An activity such as this would encourage students to use the knowledge gained of the past, but apply it to their own lives, and hopefully lead them to look for connections to the future (innovation)
• For progress & decline it asks students to look for different ways that things in the picture/topic have improved, and ways that it has not improved. By asking a question such as this the students will have to draw on their own knowledge of the world and history, and think of a number of different answers. By pushing them to come up with more than one, they will have to think outside the box and really delve into the topic. (creativity)
• Students are asked to respond to the question: what is a group of people that have brought about social equality? Rather than the teacher giving the students the answer, the teacher here is encouraging the students to think of the possibilities, and guiding them towards their own thinking and finding of meaning (teaching & learning).
The very real prompts given in this article helped me to think more concretely about how I could structure the History lessons that I will begin giving in September. I like how the focus is less on simple rote facts, and more on thinking, connecting, inferring, and finding meaning with the material.

Seixas, P., & Peck, C. (2004). Teaching historical thinking. In A. Sears & I. Wright (Eds.), Challenges and prospects for Canadian social studies (pp. 109 – 117). Vancouver: Pacific Educational Press.

Osborne, in his article “the teaching of history and democratic citizenship” discusses what citizenship is,  how history used to be taught, challenges that come with teaching history, and suggestions for how to do it properly.  He defines a citizen as having knowledge (both of the country and the world), and informed about public affairs.  A citizen would be intellectually skilled, a critical thinker, and hold the values of the country or community.  He then connects history with citizenship: “The main advantage of history is that it enables us to think concretely and reflectively about important issues bearing on the human condition: we can see the world as it is, how it came to be that way, and how we could imagine the world as it might be.” 

For me this last quote had so many connections to the definitions posted in Module 1.  In order to teach history effectively there needs to be a balance of facts (we still need a working knowledge of history in our brain) with the ability to think historically.  Some ways to improve thinking historically include discussing issues within the context that they occurred, and connecting that to what is happening today; analyze public current issues, and participate in local government.  As alearner the goal then is to not only memorize the facts, but learn to become informed and reflective participants in the affairs of our society.  This connects with the definition of learning which includes not only grasping a fact, but being able to process and do something with it.  Innovation and creativity here are then essential in the furthering of historical teaching:  this must be the driving force in bringing a country forward.  Students will then need to take the knowledge that they have of their country, and find solutions (using that knowledge) of how to solve and move forwards.

One statement in this article was then about rather than covering a lot of topics in a vague way, we should strive to teach less subjects, and go more in depth.  As I look over the curriculum for Grade 8 in Ontario, I still see a long list of topics that need to be taught (in a relatively short amount of time). How can teachers then balance the need to ‘cover the curriculum’ with actually teaching students to be citizens?

Osborne, K. (2008). The teaching of history and democratic citizenship. In R. Case & P. Clark (Eds.), The anthology of social studies, volume 2: Issues and strategies for secondary teachers (pp. 3–14). Vancouver: Pacific Educational Press.

Module 3

Philosophy of Teaching & Learning

When I read the title of this article, “Why we must abolish schooling”, I automatically assumed that it would be about the school system, and faults in this.  Illich, however, is using schooling not in the sense of “an institution for educating children”, but in the sense of being brainwashed, pushed, or educated into believing something.  Illich then speaks of all of the ways that students, when coming to school (the institution) are made to believe things other than the truth.  Some examples that he gives of this:

  • Confuse teaching with learning
  • Grade advancement with education
  • A diploma with competence
  • Fluency with the ability to say something new.

Students then are predisposed to believe certain things about the world around them: ways to act, restrictions put onto what they can and cannot do, beliefs about self, and that institutions are the authority on all things.

Using Illich’s argument, then, would show then that under this ‘schooling’, we are losing out on both innovation and creativity because the belief that we actually can make a difference, think of a new idea, or find ways to improve our own reality is fully gone.  He argues that we are schooled to simply accept what we are given, and to not challenge the status quo or way of doing things.  He gives the example of a group of people in Mexico who normally would have died at home, with their families around them, but now have been led to believe (or schooled to believe) that if they die in this way they must be especially poor, and that it is normal to die around undertakers and doctors.  In this way Illich demonstrates that education has a place of vast importance in society, and that as such it needs a ‘de-schooling.’

Teachers, under this argument, then have the sole place of passing on the values and ideas of society directly to the children, in a way that does not encourage them to think or delve deeper, but rather to simply accept them. Learning, in this framework, then simply would be internalizing the norms and ideas of society, and the institutions that govern this society.  Illich does not view teachers as doing their job, if we go back to the earlier definition of teaching in that it is to share learning with another in attempt to apply that knowledge in developing the capacity for future learning and growth.  He would then say that teachers share learning in an attempt to have the pupils follow the norms of society.

Illich’s article was written in 1970, and many of the ideas written in it seem somewhat outdated, but his underlying premise is a good reminder that we cannot allow our students (and ourselves) to blindly follow what has been put out before us, but rather that we need to think critically and carefully.

If I could meet the author I would be curious to know how he feels about this subject today, and if his thoughts have changed (or might have changed) if he could spend time in many classrooms today.

Illich, I. (1970, July 2). Why we must abolish schooling. The New York Review of Books, 15(1), 9–15.

Martin, in the article “The Contradiction and the Challenge of the Educated Woman,” gives some background history on feminism and the education of women, and then ends with current life for the educated women (at the time of this article, in 1991).  From a very early time it was acknowledged that women WERE capable of becoming fully educated, but that if a woman were to become more educated, it made her seem as if she were a man (“she might as well even have a beard.”).  Being educated was automatically associated with being a male, and being too educated as a woman was seen as a plague, and not something to be desired.  When Martin wrote this article, she noted that today half of people in higher education are women, but in a more recent study done by Statistics Canada, it stated that over 60% of university graduates were woman.  Martin speaks about the differences in achievement (with women not performing as highly) in university, but yet the Statistics Canada website speaks of females performing higher.  Regardless, there are differences in the way that females and males work, and there should be differences in the way that we teach males and female.  There are differing learning styles that related to gender that need to be kept in mind, and when possible a teacher should build into the curriculum different instructional methods and learning environments that deal with trait genderization.

The glass ceiling is defined as “the unseen, yete unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising tot he upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.” In previous PME classes we have discussed whether or not this glass ceiling is real. Martin, in this article, is not arguing that there is a glass ceiling holding us down, but she talks more about the stigma that is attached to seemingly ‘female’ jobs (teachers, nurses, social workers).  In response to both the glass ceiling and Martins theory, I wonder why we desire so strongly to reach the top of that ceiling (in jobs deemed more successful, usually predominantly male jobs), and whether there is a way to change societies view on the varying jobs that men and women have to have them seen in a more similar, equally important light.

In light of this article, creativity and innovation have an even greater place in society than ever before, especially because women must have an important role with changing these views, as well as by innovating within the careers that they chose (many of which include caring, nurturing, etc).  More than ever we need males and females who are going to innovate, step outside of the mold, and be proud of the place that they hold in society.

Teachers then have an important role to show their students that all careers (regardless of what it is) are valuable, important and necessary in our society.  Teachers (especially female teachers) need to be the examples of successful women in both a professional and a personal way, knowing that our role IS different.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-004-x/2008001/article/10561-eng.htm
Martin, J. R. (1991). The contradiction and the challenge of the educated woman. Women’s Studies Quarterly [Special Issue on Women, Girls, and the Culture of Education], 19(1/2), 6–27

Philosophical Thinking

Why must we be philosophically mindful? This article talks about the extreme importance of teachers, in particular, needing to be mindful, thoughtful, critical. The authors talk about how we cannot simply accept what is going on around us, but that we must take a balance between opposing viewpoints that are given, and thinking critically about educational experiences. However, more than Falkenbergs article which spoke only of the act of reflection, this article pushes onwards to say that mere reflection isn’t enough, but that it needs to be a method of action. We cannot just theorize about moral action, but we must ACT in the correct way. As a teacher (or a learner) we must constantly be working towards an active construction of a deeper and richer understanding… but we are by nature lazy. The author speaks of the laziness that comes when we come to an idea or concept that is not in accord with our prior assumptions and beliefs, and how our initial reaction is not to consider the intellectual merits, but rather reject the new suppositions in favour of reinforcing our existing beliefs. Especially as a teacher, this type of thinking is very dangerous. We are the ones who need to be constantly innovating, taking new ideas, giving them space, and not just allowing them to sit there, but working through the process and work of uncomfortable spaces and change. The author speaks about how as a teacher it is so important to not presume that our own knowledge, curricula, policies, or practices are correct, but to start by looking critically at those. I know personally when I find something that works in my classroom, or feel strongly about, then it can be difficult to take a second, more critical look at it. When speaking with others about it, there are also times that I think only of my own success with it, without thinking about the merits of another idea.
To teach, then, would mean that we need to purposefully shock and encourage our students into an awareness of the world around them. The goal of teaching then would be to have our learns become more critical human beings in an uncertain, changing world. In order to teach in a way that encourages this critical, deep thinking, we as teachers need to be creative in our approaches, innovative in the ideas that we teach, and become a learner using these same ideas ourselves. We must constantly remind ourselves of the fact that knowledge is not fixed, there are many alternative worldviews, ambiguity is tolerable, and we must be skeptical of everything.
Questions: As a teacher is there a time to say “this is enough” in relation to new ideas, curriculum practices, etc? I feel that as a teacher I am constantly thinking, re-working, and changing what I am doing, but this can lead to exhaustion and burn-out as well. Over this last year I’ve had to take a conscious step back, and allow myself the space to at times say “this perhaps isnt the best lesson/method/approach but for right now it is the best I can do.” I am very critical of myself at all times, which leads to change and growth which I value so much, but I also think that we have to be gracious and allow time for some critical thinking. Thoughts?

• Christou, T. M., & Bullock, S. M. (2012). The case for philosophical mindedness. Paideusis, 20(1), 14–23.

Falkenberg has spent much of his time in the past years meditating to observe what is going on around him, rather than to just live out what goes on.  He has noticed that when observing thoughts he had a much greater awareness of things that go on around him.  He noticed how some objects of his awareness were easier to become awareness.  As he went on meditating he started in his day-to-day life to become more aware of things that went on, and in so doing became more aware of how his thoughts impacted physiological responses.  Many of his responses were occurring by habit and automatically.  He realized that by gaining a deeper understanding of his inner thoughts and awareness, he would be able to impact how he acted, especially as a teacher (when the balance between inner thoughts and outward engagement with the students is so necessary).

Teaching, then is seen as a moral endeavor, for the betterment of others, and so the teachers decisions, actions, and behaviour are central to this.  A teacher then must be aware of his/her inner life so that they can be more responsive to this moral purpose.  This awareness is an intentional state in the sense that you become aware of your own thoughts, movitves, feelings, emotions, and ou sensual stimuli.  These inner thoughts then manifest themselves in outward actions (I look at the clock and see that I am running out of time, I become aware of the fact htat I will not complete my lesson, and so my outward action is to speed up my talking).

Because teaching is seen as a moral endeavor with the purpose of betterment, it is critically important that we become more connected with our inner life so that it can help us decide what needs to be improved and worked on.  This connects teaching with innovation, because not only are we imparting knowledge, but we need to be constantly aware of the needs of our students, and how best to meet those changing needs.   As a teacher there are habitual ways that we think about or deal with situations, and so by being more aware of the way that we react, we can begin pondering alternative, better reactions, and then when we have to react we can become aware of the stimuli, and react in a more appropriate way.

Mindfulness, then includes learning more about ourselves as teachers, so that we can be innovative and creative when thinking about better ways to deliver a lesson, respond to the challenging child, and deal with the many changing needs in a classroom.   Vicki Zakrzewki, in her article “Can Mindfulness make us better teachers”,  suggests that being more mindful reduces burnout rates in teachers, as well as improves their performance in the classroom.  Patricia Jennings gives seven concrete strategies and ways to become more mindful in our practice.

A question that I still have for the author is how I can become more innovative when thinking of solutions to problems o situations that arise.  I often am very aware of the thought processes that go on in a stressful situation, but it can be hard to think of a good solution on the spot.

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/can_mindfulness_make_us_better_teachers
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/seven_ways_mindfulness_can_help_teachers
Falkenberg, T. (2012). Teaching as contemplative professional practice. Paideusis, 20(2), 25 – 35.

Philosophy Statement

Mission Statement: Janine Van Maren
vision and intentions for innovation in teaching and learning

Mission Picture: Janine

Vision
My vision is to be a teacher who not only models and exemplifies creativity and innovation in her own life, but also inspires, actively teaches, and encourages creativity and innovation in my students, both in their lives at school as well as giving them the skills that they need to move forward into life. Creativity is something that is both useful and novel, and is needed if we truly wish to push our students to think of the future, and to solve the problems that are in their lives today and those that will come tomorrow. Teaching then is guiding our students towards developing their own thought processes, and to realizing their highest potential.

Mission
I aim both for myself, but also for my students, to use my knowledge of history and basic skills and knowledge to guide me, and my students, towards understanding, solving, and being prepared for the future. As a Christian teacher this not only includes world knowledge, but also a knowledge of the Bible in order to look to the future, not only in our daily lives, but also in a spiritual sense. This mission is so essential because our curriculum dictates that we teach innovation and creativity, because we need to give our students the mindset and skills to be able to solve the problems of the future, and because we need to encourage our students to become deep-thinking, mindful and critical thinkers. This mission is important because being a teacher is an ethical and moral job, and requires that the decisions that I make be in the best interests of my students, and broader than that, in the best interests of society and the world. My mission applies first and foremost to myself: I must be a thoughtful, deep thinker who begins to understand myself, history, and how I can impact the future. My mission applies second of all to my students: I am then a role-model, a guide, and a teacher of value of innovation. My mission finally applies to the people around me, and that hopefully I can inspire change, some level of innovation, and a value in creativity to my co-workers, family, friends, and anyone I have contact with.
Values
• I value the Bible as the guide to my life, and the knowledge gleaned there to be the ultimate wisdom and knowledge needed.
• I value a constant drive forwards to think deeper, improve myself and my teaching, and a push for real action.
• I value a striving to excellence: for myself, for my students, and for my peers, to do the very best that I am able to at all times, and to never be satisfied with mediocrity.
• I value reflection, and the importance this can have in coming to know yourself, thinking about the future, and acting in a better, more appropriate, and thoughtful way in the future.

Resources:
Christou, T. M., & Bullock, S. M. (2012). The case for philosophical mindedness. Paideusis, 20(1), 14–23
https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/
http://www.diycommitteeguide.org/resource/vision-mission-and-values
Falkenberg, T. (2012). Teaching as contemplative professional practice. Paideusis, 20(2), 25 – 35
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/can_mindfulness_make_us_better_teachers
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/seven_ways_mindfulness_can_help_teachers
Hennessey, B.A., & Amabile, T.M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569 – 598. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100416
Martin, J.R. (1996). There’s too much to teach: Cultural wealth in an age of scarcity. Educational Researcher, 25(2), 4–16. doi: 10.3102/0013189X025002004
Mueller, J.S., Melwai, S., & Goncalo, J.A. (2012). The bias against creativity: Why people desire but reject creative ideas. Psychological Science, 23(1), 13–17. doi: 10.1177/0956797611421018
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