Teachers and their classrooms are invited to take part in an exciting new learning opportunity in partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). This holistic program combines professional development for teachers, with a cross-curricular program for students in grades K - 12. With curriculum connections to science, social studies, geography, language and mathematics, students will use a variety of skills to create solutions to best achieve both the social and environmental objectives.

As participants, you will:

  • Learn the theory and tool of Integrative Thinking process that:

    • Help make our thinking explicit

    • Enable creativity

    • Facilitates better collaboration

  • Apply the Integrative Thinking process to a real-world problem faced by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority at Tommy Thompson Park or design a custom challenge for your students

  • Have access to support resources including video, slides and lesson plan

  • Co-develop best practices with other educators

  • Explore how you might use the Integrative Thinking process in the future for challenges in your own community

  • Be inspired by educators who have brought Integrative Thinking to their classrooms

 
This program is facilitated by I-Think Fellow  Erin Quinn.  She has taught grades 1-8 at the TDSB since 2007. Erin launched the 5 Days of Collaboration program that saw 200 students in grades 6-8 and 9 teachers engaging with Integrative Thinking.

This program is facilitated by I-Think Fellow Erin Quinn. She has taught grades 1-8 at the TDSB since 2007. Erin launched the 5 Days of Collaboration program that saw 200 students in grades 6-8 and 9 teachers engaging with Integrative Thinking.

This program is supported by  Raja Raudsepp.  Raja is a Teacher with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). She has worked as an educator with a number of environmental organizations. Raja highlights that we, as people, can absolutely have a positive impact on the biodiversity of our local habitats.

This program is supported by Raja Raudsepp. Raja is a Teacher with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). She has worked as an educator with a number of environmental organizations. Raja highlights that we, as people, can absolutely have a positive impact on the biodiversity of our local habitats.

 

Program Components

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Professional Development

Teachers receive two days of PD in Integrative Thinking and Innovation to support student creative problem solving.

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Field Trip

Classes have the opportunity to engage with experts from the TRCA. Students can visit Tommy Thompson Park to build their understanding of the challenge or engage in other opportunities with the TRCA, in your own community.

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Real-Life Problem Solving

Students will solve a challenge for Tommy Thompson Park or a customized challenge using Integrative Thinking.

In the program, all participants will get resources to lead the Tommy Thompson Park (TTP) Challenge. On Day 2, participants can also choose to design other environmental stewardship challenges.

For the TTP Challenge, students will be tasked with acting as consultants to the team at Tommy Thompson Park. Tommy Thompson Park is located on the Leslie Street Spit. It is an urban wilderness with opportunities for light recreational uses. The park has specific rules which aim to create, enhance, restore and protect the natural features of the manmade landscape while providing recreational opportunities for all. The main objectives of the staff and the park are to:

  1. Preserve significant species;

  2. Protect environmentally significant areas;

  3. Enhance aquatic and terrestrial habitats; and

  4. Enhance public recreation opportunities.

When open to the public on evenings, weekends and holidays, people use the roads and paths for biking, running and walking.  There are rules in place to help people use the park in harmony with the wildlife. However, rules are frequently broken. For example, the speed limit of the park is 20 km/h and cyclists exceed that limit on a regular basis. Other rules that are often broken are:

  • No dogs, e-bikes, no drones, no skating, no fires, no camping

  • Removing anything from the park is not permitted. This includes: plants, plant parts, sediment, bricks, wildlife in any form etc.

  • Staying on the trail

This behaviour negatively impacts the wildlife and its growth. Not all guests follow the rules, which puts people and nature at odds.

How might we help the TRCA design Tommy Thompson Park for all?


Curriculum Links

Below are example curriculum links for grades 4-8. Challenges can be designed to work for students in K-12 to meet curriculum expectations.

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Details

Dates and Times

Tuesday, July 2nd and Wednesday, July 3rd

9am to 4pm

October and December 2019 online check-in date TBD

Fee

Fee for the professional development is $449 + HST. This includes two days of professional learning and two one-hour check-ins, all resources, materials, a light breakfast and lunch.

Payment

To pay, either email transfer the funds to I-Think@rotman.utoronto.ca or we can invoice you. On the Registration Form please indicate which you’d like to do. Your spot is only secured upon payment.

Engaging with the TRCA

During the program you will have a chance to collaborate with the TRCA to choose from one of their programs or design your own. This can include a trip to Tommy Thompson Park, a workshop in your community, a Google Hangout with TRCA experts, etc.  

 

Locations

Professional Development in July will be taking place at Tommy Thompson Park. All areas are accessible. Washroom is a porta potty. There is walking involved and driving in the park can be easily accommodated.

October and December check-ins will happen online.

Who can participate in this learning experience?

Students in grades K - 12, with their teacher.

What is included in the total fee?

  • 2 days of professional learning

  • Check-ins with TRCA and I-Think staff

What will the professional learning encompass?

The first day and a half of professional learning will take place at Tommy Thompson Park.  Teachers will learn the theory of Integrative Thinking and gain practice using some of the tools of Integrative Thinking. This will broaden student approaches to problem-solving and help students seek out new perspectives when faced with challenges. The afternoon of day 2, teacher will customize a challenge for their students in collaboration with the TRCA.

Included will be resources - including a video, lesson plan and slides - to lead an creative problem solving experience in the classroom. 

What will occur during the field trip at Tommy Thompson Park?

If you choose to use the Tommy Thompson Park challenge, then we encourage you to do a field trip to the park. Teachers and students will have the opportunity to explore and learn about the history and evolution of Tommy Thompson Park with TRCA instructors.  Classes will see the diverse biological communities including some unique vegetation and wetland communities.  The park is an important stopover point for migrating birds, butterflies and other insects.