Spark Modules 2021

Cultural Legacies 

January 9th, January 16th, January 23rd, January 30th

We explore the concept of legacy, meaning handed down from the past. Are there different legacies? Or is there a dominant legacy? What criteria do we use to choose which ones we want to pass on and which we will oppose? 

Human Development

February 6th, February 13th, February 27th

How do humans grow and change? How do we measure development? To what extent are ideas about human development based in biology and to what degree are they cultural? In this module we will examine theories of development, their influence on the educational system, and the ways in which human development is socially constructed.

Residency Weekend *March 12th , 13th  and 14th

Organizational Structures

March 6th, March 13th, March 20th

What is the structure and organization of schooling and how does that mirror and reproduce the contradictions of the larger society? What were the historical forces giving rise to the present correspondence between education and other organizational structures in society and how these have been affected by changes in the class structure and by concrete people’s struggles? What are the forms of consciousness, interpersonal behavior and personality, the school fosters and reinforces in students? This module includes readings by scholars who have done research on the impact of larger societal structures on a child’s education and future. The discussions will focus on examining teachers’ experience in the structure and the ways in which we, as teachers, navigate and affect change within the structure to improve teaching and social, economic and political conditions in society. 

Readings from Man’s Worldly Goods, Education as Enforcement, and Education and Capitalism


March 27th, April 3rd

In this module we will examine the ways we have been taught, the ways we want to teach, and from where those philosophical approaches stem.  We will study educational theorists such as Paulo Freire and John Dewey, and examine pedagogical approaches such as culturally relevant teaching, democratic classrooms, responsive classroom, and restorative justice, among others.  

Rethinking Schools Books (1 + 2), The Mismeasure of Man


April 10th, April 24th

What are teaching tools that we can use during hybrid learning and beyond? We will also examine the history of technology in relation to nature. Who uses technology and for what purpose? 

Self and Society

May 1st, May 8th

What is the role of the teacher in our society? How are we, as teachers, influenced by society and how does that affect our teaching? What historical roles have teachers played in larger struggles? How do we engage with the world through our classroom? Historical examples of teacher community engagement inside and outside of the classroom..

Possible readings:  James Baldwin “Letter to a Teacher”; Howard Zinn excerpt from Democratic Education;  

*Exhibitions/Conference: May 14th , 15th  and 16th  

Term 3 August – December

*August 13th , 14th, 15th and 16th

*October 8th , 9th , and 10th

*November 12th, 13th, and 14th

*Graduation/Exhibition December 3rd,4th and 5th

*June 22* (or students’ last day at your internship school) Internship ends