Modern learning on display as Kenaston School hosts expo

Grade 4 student Kash Ringdal demonstrates iPad apps to his uncle Luke Ringdal and Chantalle Bussiere during Kenaston School's learning expo on Thursday.

Grade 4 student Kash Ringdal demonstrates iPad apps to his uncle Luke Ringdal and Chantalle Bussiere during Kenaston School’s learning expo on Thursday.

By Joel van der Veen

KENASTON — To older eyes, the school of the 21st century may seem somewhat foreign, and each classroom looks a little different.

Open the door, and you might find students working in groups or on their own, under a teacher’s direct supervision or at their own pace.

They may be paging through a textbook or using a tablet or computer to guide their learning.

Even the posture is different. They might be sitting behind a desk, curled up in a cozy chair or even sprawled out on a yoga mat.

“A lot of people don’t quite get what we do in school these days,” said Kenaston School principal Greg McJannet. “They want to know how learning happens nowadays.”

That was the impetus behind the school’s first-ever learning expo, held Thursday night with upwards of 150 people in attendance.

McJannet described the event as a student-led showcase of what modern learning looks like in Kenaston.

Rather than forcing all students to learn the same way, the new approach recognizes that each one learns differently. Teachers become facilitators, allowing students to guide their own education.

Thursday’s event was planned in much the same way, McJannet said, explaining, “We really place the onus on kids to share and talk about what they learn with parents.”

The afternoon began at 3:30 with scheduled teacher and parent conferences.

Afterward, chili and buns were served by the Grade 9 practical and applied arts class, with the meal sponsored by the Kenaston School Community Council (SCC).

The expo kicked off with a performance by the circus club, featuring plate spinning and acrobatic acts.

Dr. Guy Tétrault, director of education for Sun West School Division, spoke about the division’s Personalized Electronically Blended Learning (PeBL) initiatives.

“It’s a very different world out there,” Tétrault remarked. “You as parents want us to ensure that your kids are ready for it.”

Kenaston SCC chairperson Tara Rink also spoke about the council’s role and activities, later introducing the other council members and encouraging interested people to attend their annual general meeting on April 26.

Afterward, parents and other guests toured the school, visiting classrooms where students had set up stations and demonstrations.

For the full story, please see the March 27 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

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