Making is Connecting Workshop with Susan O’Neill and Sue Dyer, MODAL Research Group, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University
Over 20 teachers attended two 90-minute professional development workshops led by Dr. Susan O’Neill and Sue Dyer at Surrey Teachers’ Association Annual Convention on Friday, May 2, 2014. The workshops provided opportunities for teachers to learn about the theory and practice of implementing Making is Connecting—a cross-curricular, multimodal intergenerational learning program. Also assisting with the workshop was Rose Dyer, MODAL Youth Research Assistant.
The program, developed by Dr. Susan O’Neill and MODAL Research Group at the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, has been implemented in New Westminster schools in collaboration with Sue Dyer (Art Teacher and MODAL Research Assistant) through a partnership led by Dr. Peter Hall (SFU, Urban Studies) to provide opportunities for connected and engaged learning and creative collaborations between community home learners, elementary and secondary students and retired waterfront workers from the Longshoreman’s Union (ILWU). More information about Intergenerational Artistic Explorations through the World of Work on the New Westminster Waterfront: Past, Present and Future.
Making is Connecting: Intergenerational Multimodal Learning Program is based on research developed in partnership with schools and retired longshore workers in New Westminster. The partnership (Re)Claiming the New Westminster Waterfront, led by Dr. Peter Hall (SFU, Urban Studies) provides opportunities for exploring oral histories by bringing together a diverse set of community and Simon Fraser University partners to collect and share the stories of the people who worked on the waterfront in New Westminster. The Community Partners include the New Westminster Museum and Archives, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada – Pensioners’ Organization and Local 502, as well as individuals from local schools and the community.
Our understanding of history is incomplete without the experiences and perspectives of ordinary, working people. Too often ordinary citizens mistakenly feel that they have nothing special to contribute to our understanding of the past. Thus, community and SFU researchers are collecting the stories of workers on the New Westminster waterfront, with a special focus on the men and women who worked on the river and waterfront from the end of World War II until today. This period has been one of intense innovation in the transportation and other industries, and it is critical to capture the memories of workers who were part of it.
Examples of clay sculptures by teachers attending the Surrey Teachers’ Association workshop on Making is Connecting – a cross-curricular, intergenerational multimodal learning program. The teachers created these representations of their first job through a creative collaborative and inquiry process that is an integral part of the program.