Bylaws: Then and Now
Draws on the primary resources of the Municipal Bylaws of Alberta website to help students understand the history of their town, as well as to put today’s Bylaws into context. This project exemplifies student work within one Grade 6 classroom, but in fact, could be modified to meet curriculum outcomes in any grades K through 12.
This inquiry study emerged from the Galileo Educational Network belief that schools ought to be communities of robust inquiry that strive to foster intellectual habits of thought, meaning-making, and discourse in all students, rich and poor, gifted and severely ordinary. Not only that, but schools ought to be communities where students come to do rich, engaging work – work that inspires, develops insight, and stirs the imagination.
Educational Mentor Judy Martin, in collaboration with Magrath Elementary Teacher Ryan Blackmore, set forth, and achieved, the following intended outcomes as they worked together with students to create “By-laws… Then and Now”:
- Children will create artifacts, information, and/or products of value beyond their schools
- Children will connect with experts in legal studies, history, and municipal government to create online resources for youth (i.e., podcasts). Students will be creating artifacts and information of value to others across Canada.
- Teachers from across the province will be able to access the IO online planning environment for implementation of similar projects in their own classrooms.
- Students and teachers will build deep understanding through an inquiry-based instructional design process and hands-on experience.
- Students will have the benefit of interacting with municipal government experts and leaders.
- Classroom teachers will receive professional development and mentorship.
- Students and teachers will use current technologies to reach a world-wide audience.
In addition to curriculum-related tasks and activities, in order for this inquiry to be effective, assessment needed to occur on an ongoing basis while the students still had a chance to make adjustments to their learning, and while the teachers could still make adjustments to their teaching. The primary purpose of assessment, therefore, is to improve student learning and as such must be tied to meaningful, authentic tasks and activities.
Further explanation of teacher planning, resources, assessment, and curricular connections for “By-laws… Then and Now” Magrath section can be found at the following link: Bylaws: Then and Now - Magrath
Further explanation of teacher planning, resources, assessment, and curricular connections for “By-laws… Then and Now” Stirling section can be found at the following link: Bylaws: Then and Now - Stirling
Further explanation of teacher planning, resources, assessment, and curricular connections for “By-laws… Then and Now” Cardston section can be found at the following link: Bylaws: Then and Now - Cardston