This is the outline for a series of guided resources for use in teacher preparation and professional development in education. These thematically-based resources are also directed to all those who see education itself as an ongoing source of questions we can explore together.
The series was created from a video archive of more than 300 interviews with administrators, teachers, students, parents and community members who work and live in rural British Columbia, Canada. These interviews are part of the ongoing documentation of projects that are supported by the Growing Innovation in Rural Sites of Learning Initiative, a joint effort of the Rix Professorship of Rural Teacher education at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy and the B.C. Ministry of Education.
Under the auspices of the B.C. Rural Education Advisory, Growing Innovation is an important part of a rural education commons unique to British Columbia. It aims to provide a place for educators and their publics to participate in diverse ways proper to the powerful diversity of education as a whole. Not solely to represent what is or has already been, the documentation of Growing Innovation aims to extend and enrich the educational conversations that are ongoing in the Province and beyond, in places both rural and urban.
Since 2011, Growing Innovation has supported 39 innovative projects in rural education throughout BC. Numerous publications have been inspired by these projects, and their artifacts and resources, including videos, are available at www.ruralteachers.com. These videos represent shared investigations through “participatory video inquiry,” where interviewees join in the creation of questions and themes for discussion and documentation.
Some themes are common to all the videos, such as Innovation, Engagement, Community, Assessment, Curriculum and the encounter of First Nations cultures with contemporary educational institutions. Because of the wealth of the interview material, we continue to develop interactive platforms through which educators and administrators may participate in the conversations at the heart of Growing Innovation. This series is one such effort.
The project as a whole is animated by a vital commitment that has emerged through the work of Growing Innovation: Educational leadership should be “centrally concerned with beginning and sustaining educational dialogue” (Coulter et. al., 2007). Such dialogue is supported by these resource ‘Pathways’ or sequences, which may be viewed for various purposes:
- In teacher education as curricular and pedagogical resources;
- In professional development, as instigators of shared inquiry;
- In thinking through particular change initiatives at school, district and community levels;
- As bases for further research into educational questions.