pedagogy

Feb
09

Start a New Story

“Every story starts with the assumption there is some acceptable, canonical state of the world.  What starts the story going is that the expectable, the predictable, canonical state of the world gets violated.” Jerome Bruner, Loris Malaguzzi International Centre, June 2006 “Opal School definitely got me out of my comfort zone… [It] goes against a lot […]

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Dec
04

Pedagogical approaches and their political implications

Opal School led professional development workshops in Vancouver, BC last week. They were rich opportunities to connect and develop new ideas with educators in a region that has been inspired and transformed by Opal School’s work. Our second day’s session focused on play, the arts, and education for democracy.  Before considering the role that play […]

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Oct
09

What is a Teacher-Researcher, Anyway?

  The teacher is the chief learner in the classroom. Donald Graves (quoted in Nonfiction Matters)   When I was in my first (and second, third, and fourth!) year at Opal School, I wondered what it meant to be a teacher-researcher. For me, the term evoked images of data collection and analysis, statistics and percentages. […]

By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
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Sep
12

Intentions: Transformation

Dear Families, In this complicated and uncertain world, we believe school is where we learn to be human. And right now, more than ever, we need people who can listen with empathy and understanding, imagine multiple possibilities, communicate their ideas in a variety of ways, and see challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. One […]

By Tara Papandrew | Beginning
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Mar
31

Materials as Metaphors

My recent post, Say What You Mean, began as this post — but I got so tangled up in thinking about the relationship between knowledge and meaning and learning and relationship and power and vulnerability that I realized I’d better split these posts in two. In this post, I’ll share the experience I had recently […]

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Mar
31

Say What you Mean

We’ve been infected with this kind of pathological impatience that makes us want to have the knowledge but not do the work of claiming it. I mean, the true material of knowledge is meaning. … And the only way to glean knowledge is contemplation. And the road to that is time. There’s nothing else. It’s […]

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Sep
10

Setting Intentions for Our Year Together – Intermediate Team

Opal School has two intermediate classrooms, Opal 3 & 4, which include third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders.  In many ways, the teachers from the two classrooms function as a team.  As a first collaborative effort, the Intermediate Team composed and sent this letter to parents before the first day of the 2016-2017 school year.  We’d love to hear the reflections of Opal […]

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Sep
10

A Sneak-Peek Into Our Intentions

The Beginning School Team sent this letter to parents before the first day of the 2016-2017 school year.  We’d love to hear the reflections of Opal School Online members: What do you notice?  What do you wonder about? How do you imagine the process of composing this letter will influence the work of this group of teachers? […]

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Apr
11

Why we don’t do art in school (and why we should)

This post by Susan Harris MacKay first appeared on the Living in Dialogue blog. In these times, when the demolition of a place as historic as Sesame Street can be thwarted by editing for shorter attention spans and conversion to pay-per-view, it can be difficult to remember what all the fuss was about during the […]

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Dec
17

Where do you get your professional development?

  Magnolia Room (Grades 1-2) whole class doodle.  “It’s like an idea seed…” The question comes up, at some point, during almost every study tour.  A visiting educator will ask: Where do Opal School teachers get their professional development? I understand why the question is asked with such regularity.  The question poser came to Opal School […]

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