During the 2013-2014 school year, teachers representing all schools within Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) came together to create a collaborative document to define what a Quality Learning Environment (QLE) should look like for the Division. The resulting document and accompanying visual QLE model are being rolled out to PWSD school communities during the month of October.
Key components of the QLE document are visually summed up in the form of a wheel-like model for quick reference. School staff became familiar with the QLE near the end of the past school year, and the model is now being made accessible to parents and students via a quick-reference poster, an expanded interactive website, and social media and school newsletter posts.
“The QLE acts as a guide to ensure that all PWSD teaching and learning environments consistently address the basic elements of classroom practice and research supported by progressive practice,” says Deputy Superintendent Mark Davidson who facilitated the group of teachers throughout the process of creating the document.
“We know our teachers are already doing great work in their classrooms – creating environments that honour long-accepted practice while remaining open to new learning options and effectively sharing those options with our students. The QLE document and accompanying model will simply represent our shared understanding of excellence. Also, the QLE is research driven; as research expands and context evolves, the model will shift to accommodate new knowledge and realities,” adds Mr. Davidson.
“PWSD is driven by a set of beliefs and commitments. Decisions are built around ensuring that all PWSD learning environments are supported by four Cultural Conditions which are the basic requirement of every classroom – Numeracy and Literacy, Honouring Diversity, Supportive Communities, and Inclusive Environment,” says Mr. Davidson.
Success in meeting the four Cultural Conditions has a direct impact on the implementation of the four Critical Elements of teacher practice – Collaborative and Engaged Educator, Intentional Practice, Purposeful Assessment and Evaluation, and Dynamic Learning Environment. The four Critical Elements are supported within the QLE document by corresponding Knowledge, Skills and Aptitudes (KSAs) as defined by Alberta Education’s Teaching Quality Standard document; the professional focus required to carry out each Critical Element; and statements describing the goals for teachers as they work to utilize Critical Elements in the classroom.
The ultimate goal of the QLE document is to ensure that PWSD teaching and learning environments are aligned with the Board’s vision to inspire all learners to become confident, collaborative and ethical citizens who are motivated with a passion to achieve a sustainable future.
The elements of the QLE are also supported by the 10 Core Competencies, as outlined in the Ministerial Order on Student Learning. To learn more about PWSD’s Quality Learning Environment and the interactive QLE model, visit http://bit.ly/pwsdQLE .
Photo Caption: PWSD’s interactive Quality Learning Environment (QLE) model is available online and acts as a visual guide to navigate the QLE document.