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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Laurier learning trip to Haiti May 2015: The importance of learning about and with

Each May, I co-lead a learning trip to Haiti. I used to call these service-learning trips - and we certainly engage in service - but I want to put an increased focus on learning. We have a number of projects that we will be working on while in Haiti but we emphasize that these projects are really just avenues to learning about Haiti and with our colleagues there.

This year's trip will have four focus areas for our team. Central to these four areas will be a social media and video project that we will be doing for the first time.


1. ESL - our Laurier Bachelor of Education students will be supporting English as a Second Language classes in universities and secondary schools.

2. Micro-credit - a group from Laurier's School of Business and Economics will be meeting with a Haitian NGO that they have been working with to support a micro-credit initiative.

3. Teacher and Leadership Training - some of our participants are involved with teacher education in Ontario and will be engaging partners at schools in continued professional learning, specifically in Science and Mathematics.

4. Special Education - we have supported a special education needs assessment and training in Haiti for the past year and will be continuing our support of that project on this trip.

One of the things I am really excited about is the participation of two people who will serve as our videographers and social media leads for this trip. We are working with Haitian university students to use videos and social media as a way to support inter-cultural learning of Canadian and Haitian students.

We will be in Cap-Haitien (northern Haiti) from May 10-17. Regular posts will be made on this blog and you can also follow along in "real-time" on Twitter:

@drstevesider or @Laurier_haiti
#LaurierHaiti2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Laurier Master of Education: Thoughts on our final Capstone class

Last night was the final night for our current cohort of students in the Capstone course of our Master of Education. The Capstone course is the culminating course in the M.Ed. and provides an opportunity for students to share evidence of how they have met the M.Ed. program goals. In our final two classes, the course participants have shared their journey of learning over the past three years.

I have sat in awe over the past two weeks as the participants have shared their artifacts and the stories that surround them. I am truly amazed by the reflection, courage, innovation, and deep learning that these participants have demonstrated.


Some participants chose to submit their portfolio of learning through a hard copy format while others chose digital means. The following links provide an opportunity to explore the learning that these M.Ed. participants have experienced:

Sean Jackson

Jenny Loebsack

Kimberley McMillan

Jessica Weber

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Alvin Toffler

Monday, March 9, 2015

Eyes forward assessment: Changing how we conceptualize and engage in assessment

This past week, two of the students in my M.Ed. course, both teachers in local school systems, led a Master Class on "eyes forward assessment." They made a strong case for strengths-based, assessment-driven instruction ... the analogy being that when we drive we look forward and not backward. I am sharing the following resources with their permission.

They posted some great resources using a platform called Padlet: http://padlet.com/missjessweber/assessment. I really appreciated the global perspective they added to their presentation as attested to by two resources they used.




They posted their presentation using Google slides: http://goo.gl/qcLT6k

They also wrote reflection blogs on the experience and their professional learning plans. They are excellent posts and I would encourage you to check them out:

Jessica Weber -


Jenny Loebsack -  http://msloebsack.ca/masters/Blog/Entries/2015/2/28_Re-thinking_Assessment.html