Supporting the educational change that’s driven by you
For educators driving change in their schools and classrooms, the new EdCan Network provides professional learning and voice to teachers, principals, superintendents and researchers. This growing pan-Canadian network of independent experts examine today’s school and classroom challenges with courage and honesty. We do this by delivering pragmatic evidence-based content that connects policy and research to classroom practice, bringing clarity to the often-polarizing debates about how best to improve Canadian public education.
Purpose of the EdCan Network Regional Exchanges
It may be tempting to talk about Canadian education as if it were a single national system that looked and felt the same right across the country. We know, however, that this is not the case and that, even within provincial and local jurisdictions, diverse social, economic and political contexts have a great effect on how our visions for public education are brought to life. The EdCan Network Regional Exchanges are designed to explore the common values that inspire our work in education as well as the complex contexts in which that work takes place.
Regional Exchange members will represent a wide array of roles and perspectives and will offer their unique experiences and insights to collectively identify the top priorities facing public education now, in two years, and in five years, helping to gain a clearer understanding of the trends, challenges and opportunities in their province and region. The EdCan Network’s Regional Exchanges are a valuable opportunity for the EdCan Network to put its “ear to the ground” as we continue the work of convening, engaging and supporting the growth of our Canadian education systems.
Why is the EdCan Network assembling these Regional Exchanges?
For over 125 years, the EdCan Network has actively worked with Canada’s education communities as an independent and respected convener of both thought and practice from a variety of perspectives. As one of the country’s only pan-Canadian education organizations, the EdCan Network is uniquely positioned to grow and strengthen its new EdCan Network. The EdCan Network Regional Exchanges will form vital hubs enabling the EdCan Network to become actively attuned to the very real and practical ways that provincial education communities across Canada are responding to their unique challenges and opportunities.
In addition to informing the work of the EdCan Network across the country, each Regional Exchange will help in the process of building the wider EdCan Network. Through their work, Exchange members will become network leaders and catalysts for conversation by sharing a wide variety of prevailing local and regional issues, trends and attitudes associated with some of our most complex challenges that we face in our public education systems.
Where will the EdCan Network Regional Exchanges take place?
What is the time commitment to participate in these EdCan Network Regional Exchanges?
Your participation in this process would include:
- Two face-to-face meetings (approximately four hours each in length). The first session in the fall of 2016 and the second in the spring of 2017.
- Some email correspondence and content review between meetings in order to maintain group dynamics and ideation momentum.
Who will participate in these Regional Exchanges?
Each EdCan Network Regional Exchange will be built on a commitment to diversity of voice and perspective. Regional Exchanges are open to:
- School-based educators and support staff
- School Administrators
- Superintendents and District-level staff
- Faculty of Education representatives
- Ministry of Education representatives
- School district trustees
- Professional association/stakeholder group representatives
- EdCan Network Advisory Council Members
But the role that Regional Exchange Members play is secondary to the attributes and characteristics that they bring to the table.
As an EdCan network Regional Exchange Member, you:
- are open to other perspectives and ways of thinking
- are willing to share your experiences and insights
- are able to find and recognize patterns and trends
- enjoy looking at issues from different points of view
- approach your work with a sense of curiosity and inquiry
- have an appreciation for complexity
Based on their familiarity with EdCan Network programs and content, current members of the EdCan Network’s Advisory Council will be invited to take on the role of thoughtful embedded observers during these discussions.
How will the EdCan Network Regional Exchanges be assembled?
Regional Exchange participants will be recruited in the following ways:
- Through public announcements published in EdCan Network’s e-newsletter, website and social media channels.
- By invitation, based on our network of current members who match the selection criteria and have attended past EdCan Network events.
- By referral from EdCan Network Council Members.
Once a pool of candidates has been collected, the Regional Exchange Facilitator will prioritize a target list of potential candidates, who will then be invited to the first meeting in their respective regions.
Individuals who have expressed interest in participating in these meetings, but are not selected, will be encouraged to follow the progress of these consultations and will be provided with ways to remain connected to this process.
What will happen at these Regional Exchanges?
Regional Exchange participants will share their unique experiences and insights to collectively identify the top priorities facing public education now, in two years, and in five years, helping to gain a clearer understanding of the trends, challenges and opportunities in their province and region. The following outline provides an overview of what will be discussed for the two annual Regional Exchanges that will take place during the 2016-2017 academic year. These exchanges will then reconvene during the 2018-2019 academic year to review and revise these priorities.
Session #1 (Oct/Nov 2016): Identifying Regional Education Issues, Trends and Attitudes
The visions that stakeholders hold for Canadian education are both inspirational and aspirational. They talk about success for all students, high levels of engagement, meaningful and authentic learning and the ability of school systems to prepare graduates for effective and fulfilling participation in a world outside of school.
Yet, we are also keenly aware that there are aspects of our current education systems and the contexts in which they operate that challenge these visions and frustrate even our best efforts to bring them to fruition.
In this first EdCan Network Regional Exchange session, EdCan Network representatives will set the context by offering a “lay of the land” presentation. Members will then be asked to work to better understand and identify the current specific trends, issues, attitudes and challenges within their own province. Through a facilitated process, participants at each Regional Exchange will then collectively identify the three priorities that most resonate with the entire group and that they would like to explore in more detail. This will form the foundation for a much more detailed discussion about these regional education issues, trends and attitudes in Session #2.
Session #2 (Apr/May 2017): Recommending the top regional education priorities now and in the future
The second Regional Exchange session will begin by members reviewing the issues and challenges identified during their first gathering. A focused discussion will aim to achieve consensus on what the top three education priorities are in their collective education contexts now, in two years and in five years. This process will challenge participants to work collectively, to step out of their comfort zones and to engage in some “advanced thinking” about the real issues in education for which we should be preparing, both now and in the future. Facilitators will challenge participants to move beyond merely identifying issues, encouraging them to think deeply about how they play out in the context of their own classrooms, schools and districts.
How will Regional Exchange participants benefit from these meetings?
“Exchanging” is defined as an act of giving one thing and receiving another (especially of the same type or value) in return. These EdCan Network Regional Exchanges will provide participants with:
- an opportunity to actively connect with other catalysts working within their regional context
- a chance to be part of our larger pan-Canadian network of passionate, dedicated practitioners from across the country
- a unique opportunity to have ideas and perspectives challenged and strengthened
- a chance to share effective practices, learn about relevant research and participate in the stories and experiences of other members
- an opportunity to contribute to building a pan-Canadian vision for public education.
- the experience of participate in guiding the research, programming and content work of the EdCan Network.
In exchange, these EdCan Network Regional Exchanges will provide the EdCan Network with an opportunity to:
- influence dialogue about education policy among decision-makers and the public narrative about the issues, challenges and opportunities that we should be paying attention to and sharing across the country
- develop a sharper understanding of emerging issues and trends in provincial education systems, how provincial research and policy connects to classroom practice, knowledge of new provincial education programs and initiatives and the issues, stories, content, and research that could influence the EdCan Network’s future focus
- gather data and information from regional contexts that could generate interesting research and analysis to support change
- establish a greater level of support to educational changemakers in their regions, elevating their ideas and programs to the pan-Canadian EdCan Network.
How will the regional/provincial ideas, issues, and stories from these Regional Exchanges be used?
These Regional Exchanges represent an opportunity for the EdCan Network to begin to influence the public narrative about the issues, challenges and opportunities that we should be paying attention to and sharing across the country.
These identified short, medium and longer term priorities will be included in a national “Year 1 EdCan Network Education Trends Report”, shared directly with each ministry of education and publicly through our pan-Canadian network. In addition to identifying common regional themes, the report will also feature insights related to the unique regional contexts that make up the Canadian education landscape.
Priority recommendations will help to influence dialogue about education policy and document as results are shared through Education Canada Magazine articles and opinion pieces, the EdCan Network website and social media channels.
How you can get involved
If you’re interested in participating in one of these Regional Exchange groups, please fill out the short application form available here.
EdCan Network Regional Exchanges will include a maximum 20 participants per region so we can’t guarantee a spot for all individuals who express interest in participating. We will, however, be using our communications channels to share discussion highlights and provide opportunities for everyone to continue to add input to these important discussions.
The submission deadline is 5 pm PDT (Pacific daylight time), Wednesday, October 5, 2016.
The EdCan Network will reimburse EdCan Network Regional Exchange participants for pre-approved travel, meal and accommodation expenses as per our expense allowance policy. The EdCan Network also can provide tax receipts if participants wish to donate their travel and accommodation fees.