The Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence honours eight Canadian educators who have gone above the call of duty to inspire students in and outside of the classroom. Teacher at Emily Carr Public School, Mr. Steve Revington, received this award primarily for his unique teaching style he calls “authentic learning”.
Mr. Revington is able to showcase this teaching method through an annual tradition at Emily Carr P.S. The students in his grade 4 class took on different roles ranging from bakers to blacksmiths in their Ancient Roman Market Living Museum.
UWO Associate Professor in the department of Classics of Roman Archaeology, Elizabeth Greene, says she has never seen students so engaged in a school activity before and credits it to authentic learning. “One of the things that’s amazing is the hands on work they’re doing in there”, Greene noticed. “They’re actually not just pretending, but they’re making a pot, they’re actually crushing up spices”. She believes this kind of hands-on learning is what children will remember and take further into their lives.
This is an event not only the teachers and faculty look forward to, but the students too. Once their characters were chosen, the kids went full speed ahead to prepare for the museum’s debut. Both Keira Jarvis and Petar Orelj were excited to share who they were portraying and show off the hard work they put into their projects.
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Orelj went on to explain Mr. Revington’s class is more fun because you can learn new things in different ways. He thinks it’s more engaging to do hands-on learning instead of book-learning.
Jarvis also noticed that even though a lot of her friends and classmates were nervous in the days leading up to the performance, their butterflies went away as soon as they got into character.
With congratulatory greetings coming Revington’s way, for the award and for piecing together this live museum, seeing the children learn and grow through his class is what means the most to him.
This is a popular event as E.C.P.S with a lot of foot traffic. “In authentic learning, it’s not real until you’ve shared it with the community, or you brought the community in to do it”, said Revington outside the full classroom and behind the line of students waiting to enter.
The award winning teacher wants to see more opportunity for hands-on learning in the curriculum. He says the more the school boards embrace this style of teaching, the better it will be for the students.