School Name: Nakusp Secondary
School District: SD#10 Arrow Lakes
Inquiry Team Members:Christina.Barisoff@sd10.bc.ca, Megan.Martin@sd10.bc.ca
Inquiry Team Contact Email: Christina.Barisoff@sd10.bc.ca
Type of Inquiry: NOII (focus on core competencies, OECD learning principles, etc.)
Grade Levels: Secondary (8-12)
Curricular Area(s): Applied Design, skills & Technology
Focus Addressed: Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Differentiated instruction, Experiential learning, Flexible learning, Formative assessment, Growth mindset, Inclusion and inclusive instructional strategies, Inquiry-based learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Will a combination of digital, text based, journal, geographical map or other media source styles of research be more meaningful than just digital web based research in a Secondary Foods class?
Scanning: After learning food and lab safety, theory and terminology, the process of making some North American teen favourites, and learning about First People’s traditional foods in B.C., students were asked if they were to further research a topic in foods, what would they want that topic to be? A good portion of the class responded that they would like to research, learn about other cultures, and cook international food. Students were asked why. Some students voiced an interest in travel. Some said it might influence their career choice, others not. The question was posed, “When you have to research something, how do you do it, what mode do you use, how do you know if what you are researching is meaningful? Do you stop at the first source of information?” In learning about other cultures, students often learn about their own identity and culture, as they start to question, “Who am I in all of this?” The process involves patience and time, and a proper sourcing and respect for the information gathered.
Focus: Students began their research in the computer lab and generated some information for their countries fairly quickly from the very first source that they could access. It would be beneficial to see students delve deeper into the information they seek and thus provide evidence of critical thinking.
Hunch: Up to this point, we have not collaborated to use the library or other methods of research, other than quick first-on-the-list web-based sources. Many times, students are just interested in making and tasting the recipes as much as possible, without an appreciation for how the recipe evolved, what culture it is from, and why it has the characteristic flavours or ingredients that it does. In addition, one of our school goals is to increase literacy, and so revisiting literacy aspects in Foods class aligned with that goal.
New Professional Learning: New areas of professional learning explored were some different resources and ideas suggested by our librarian, the use of chrome books, and phone technology (and what many students were resourcing for their immediate, initial information.). The use of signed-out chrome books and laptops with my second group directly in the Foods classroom were highly beneficial, as it allowed for students to multi-task and be more efficient.
Taking Action: The main strategy was to remind students to go beyond initial sources and dig deeper for information. Students commented that being asked to do more extensive research, helped them in learning more ways of finding information than just Wikipedia. I learned that in order for the project to run more efficiently to completion, I cannot just give the students a very structured assignment sheet and expect them to follow through with the tasks to the end, just because I provided the structure – gets overwhelming for some. On the other hand, if I over-support, and supervise the submission of each and every page on a timely basis, will I stifle their creativity, and hinder the inquiry process? And so, it is a balance – some students need that structure, others need space.
Checking: It took much longer time than I expected, but overall, students created showpieces to be proud of, and then cooked and shared great recipes with rich conversation among st themselves, self-led, comparing the different cultures and cuisines. Not all students completed the project to the end. For some, it was too vast, so some began, but then lost interest for different reasons (one of the reasons perhaps being they had to go beyond the quick information and this was new and challenging for some). Instead, they joined in helping their peers or observed. There was still the emphasis to experience the recipe, ingredients, and celebrate the cultures presented. One student in Grade 9 shared from the web an Abstract from Wageningen Academic Publishers Food Futures: Ethics, Science, and Culture. She described how her country of study, Portugal, is reducing cooked food waste by collecting surplus and sharing with families in need, via the Portuguese food safety authority. This generated further conversation and how would that look here? Not all students met the baseline requirement, and so their mark was lower; however, they were reassured that all was not lost. To show progress from their initial mindset prior to the assignment was beneficial.
Reflections/Advice: Ask students to meet more of the requirement where they must choose at least 1 public library book and 1 print recipe book. Another idea is that they log a visit and discussion with the school and public librarian about their research. Provide a structured web or mind map template for the assignment, and accessible google doc. Each class have a “ticket out” to a portion of the web being handed in before leaving, so that there is more continuous progress from all or most. Maybe have students contribute additions to a food blog on google classroom, have students compile their own foods videos, demonstrating a cooking technique from the country. Completion of the project could maybe be linked more to course completion. We may plan to do a similar project with an elementary school class across the street, possibly as a Year 2 project.