Sunday, August 28, 2011

Asking Big Questions

Earlier this month I blogged about being touched by the words of Rob Fisher and Dean Shareski at  the UnPlug'd Canadian Education Summit.  Since then, the wonderful people responsible for translating the powerful stories and collective learning from this weekend experience have been working hard at producing, one chapter at a time, our UnPlug'd ebook.

 Chapter one, "The Change We Need" begins with Shelly Wrights' amazing story of a fundraising experience that changed her, her students from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and the students in Uganda who benefited from their efforts.  For me, Shelly sets a new standard for taking courageous directions into uncharted territory in education.

Chapter two, "Voices and Choices" begins with Bryan Jackson's story of integrating the tumult of the recent political upheavals in Egypt into teaching the history of Louis Riel. Listening to him tell the story of how his students struggled with questions of 'truth' and 'pespective' in life and in history was inspiring. His voice and writings are powerful and eloquent.  Take some time to read his blog and share it with other teachers.

Chapter three, "Shift Disturbing" begins with me sharing a personal story about why asking big questions matters in education.  I am deeply honoured that my story was chosen to feature chapter three as I am a small fish in a very big pond of truly amazing educators.  (I was not going to publish this blog post but my mother and a friend urged on.  Who wouldn't listen to their mother?)

Please stay tuned the UnPlug'd Vimeo channel and the website to enjoy the upcoming essays and videos.  Share this with your friends, especially other teachers so that we can talk about what really matters in education.


  1. So glad I got to watch you tell your story.

  2. I loved your story, and I agree about giving kids time to tell their own stories and ask questions important to them. So often the demands of covering the curriculum and preparing for the test leave precious little time for those most important learning and sharing opportunities. I don't have an answer except to hope that increased awareness of "doing school different" will be in all teachers' consciousness, and we can try to listen more and talk less.
    I also have to comment on the beauty of the locale of your Unplug'd conference. Gosh! All those learning opps and fun activities in one place. Maybe I'll get to attend some time. CT is not that far, I guess.