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 Jamie Pettit
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From: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 3:04 PM -0400
Subject:Bluewater Staff Share Learning and Research
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One of several professional development opportunities for staff took place this past spring at the Bluewater District School Board Education Centre in Chesley as participants in the Bluewater Action Research Network (BARN) met to share their self-directed learning and personal research projects.  BARN's purpose is to create meaningful, relevant, authentic and sustainable professional development for practitioners that can be directly transferred to the classroom to create similar learning opportunities for students.  This involves the use of action-reflection and data-driven self-directed inquiry in a collaborative community.  Members are supported by facilitators and peers as they engage in their projects.  Each participant presents the results of their research at a BARN symposium held in the spring.  Methodology is based on Living Educational Theory developed by Jack Whitehead.

Image of group discussion at BARN symposiumThe goals of BARN align directly with 25 out of 31 of the K-12 School Effectiveness Framework indicators, in addition to Bluewater's Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) priorities:

Priority #1:  To facilitate quality instruction and learning experiences for educators in which as-needed, individualized feedback and support is available through the development of mentor/mentee relationships, small cultures of inquiry and validation groups.

Priority #2:  To co-create an equitable and inclusive environment with a common understanding of group values, goals and success criteria with the improvement of student well-being and achievement at the core; in which educator learning is deepened through authentic, relevant and meaningful self-directed inquiry, and with measurable improvement in student well-being and achievement as an outcome.

Priority #3:  To promote and facilitate dialogue across subjects, divisions and levels of the board, and within the community through diverse sustainable growth over time and through the public sharing of our work.

Image of group discussion at BARN symposiumImage of group discussion at BARN symposium