Leaving & Coming Back to the Classroom: Making Meaning out of Learning

Series: CTLT Institute

Event Date & Time

  • December 4, 2018
    1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Event Description

As educators we are constantly reflecting on our practice in order to best meet the needs of our students. We think deeply about our instructional strategies and assessment practices, as well as how we will create learning environments that are challenging and engaging. Spending years perfecting our teaching can have an all-too-great risk of forgetting that we are learners first.

After years of being out of the classroom in order to pursue professional development and personal enrichment, I chose to return to the classroom and did so with a deeper sense of commitment and enthusiasm. By having years to reflect on education while working in secondary schools, at the university level and most extensively at a non-profit museum, it became apparent to me that an educator’s most crucial function is to support our students to make making out of their own learning. In this way, students recognise that true learning extends beyond the classroom and into a lifelong application and appreciation.

Allowing students to take ownership of their own learning and assessment, while guiding them to think critically and deeply, and explore new ideas, will lead to depth of learning. Students will internalise, and begin to articulate, their own fundamental truths and big ideas. The ideas-centred approached helps to foster a strong sense of social responsibility, active citizenship and allows students to recognise their own agency. It is a flexible, inclusive and equitable approach that meets the needs of all students.

Basing one’s practice on fundamental truths, or big ideas, has not only resulted in a total change in my instructional methodologies, the way my physical classroom is arranged, my gradeless assessment practices, and cross-curricular collaboration, but also models for my students my resoluteness to teach and learn with integrity. This interactive session will provide teachers with an opportunity to further reflect on their practices and discuss with their colleagues a variety of practical approaches to facilitating critical, relevant and meaningful learning in their teaching contexts. Participants will be challenged to think about and apply their learning on subjects of equity, differentiated instruction, assessment and ideas-centred education.


Marie Bonardelli, Educator & District Mentor, Delta School District