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You are invited This public event is part of an invitational symposium to follow on Thursday, February 11, The Ingenuity Challenge for the Red Deer of 2030. The symposium will extend the evening presentations with Pasi Sahlberg and Stephen Murgatroyd and include an exploration of the community and leadership challenges ahead with feature speakers including: • Morris Flewwelling, Mayor of Red Deer • Joel Ward, President, Red Deer College • David King, Executive Director, Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta To register for the symposium contact J-C Couture at or call 1-800-232-7208.

Photos courtesy of Tourism Red Deer

Real Learning First through the Fourth Way

Continuing the Dialogue to Promote Real Learning First

Learning our way to the next Red Deer

In Alberta, the focus remains on narrow measures of learning. We can no longer hold back our students from becoming their best selves—creative and innovative individuals who will belong to a world that honours the diversity and complexity of our communities. Together, we must put Alberta back on the appropriate path to a better future.

Wednesday, February 10

Alberta teachers are committed professionals who view educational accountability as an important opportunity to improve learning opportunities for students. Teachers use multiple sources of information to provide for the ongoing assessment, evaluation and reporting of student progress.

A Public Dialogue with

Dennis Shirley


in conversation with

Pasi Sahlberg

Red Deer Lodge 4311 - 49th Avenue Red Deer, Alberta

moderated by

Stephen Murgatroyd

Visit to learn more about assessment and accountability and to join the discussion on standardized testing in Alberta. The site offers links to Association publications as well as leading international research that points to more effective ways to assess student progress.

Registration, reception and networking:

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. with no host bar.

Performing artists from Red Deer and area schools will be showcased during the reception.

Tickets: $10.00 Table of six $50.00 For tickets contact Jennifer Bahler at or 403-505-5889

(Proceeds to: Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter).

Public lecture and discussion: 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. No-host bar reception to follow. PD-75-5e 2009 01

PD-75-5n 2009 12

Sponsored by the Red Deer Public and Red Deer Catholic Locals of the Alberta Teachers’ Association in partnership with the Red Deer Advocate and Red Deer College.

Media sponsor:

Putting Real Learning First in the 21st Century The Fourth Way: The Long-Awaited End of Standardization and the Inspiring Future of Educational Change Community dialogue with Dr Dennis Shirley


he current reliance on tightened testing regimes that rely on elaborate goals and targets driven by the obsessive belief that more data will improve schools is commonly known as the Third Way. This has narrowed the curriculum and diverted teachers and policy-makers from innovation and risk-taking. Our students deserve better. The Fourth Way releases schools from the bureaucratic grip of government control, and professional responsibility precedes and supersedes accountability. Parents become more involved in their children’s education, community members become more visible and vocal in schools, and the public engages more often in determining the purposes of education together rather than simply consuming the services delivered to them.

Dennis Shirley is currently a professor of education at the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. His work in education spans the range from the microlevel of assisting beginning teachers to the macrolevel of designing and guiding large-scale research and intervention projects for school districts, states and nonprofit agencies. Dr Shirley recently collaborated with Andy Hargreaves on a study of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust’s Raising Achievement Transforming Learning project, which raised pupil learning results in over 200 schools in England at double the national rate in a two-year period. The findings of that research have been presented in Hargreaves and Shirley’s first collaboratively authored book, The Fourth Way.

Dr Pasi Sahlberg


he current bureaucratic industrial, standardsdriven model of schooling and accountability fails to release the talents of students for the competitiveness or collaboration that will be crucial in facing the demands of the decades ahead. This presentation argues for policies, schools and curricula that promote creativity and a human capacity for innovation, not the relentless pursuit of externally imposed measurable standards. The types of learning experiences needed are explored, and examples from the Finnish experience of practices teachers and schools could develop further are provided. In answering the question “What does competitiveness and sustainable development require from schools and

Putting Real Learning First— The Ingenuity Challenge for Red Deer As we enter our second century as a province, how can we rekindle our commitment to the hallmarks that brought Alberta to where it is today? How can we move forward as citizens of Red Deer, committed to learning our way to the next Alberta? Internationally, education is undergoing a radical transformation. From the arts to commerce to civic life, Red Deer and its surrounding region continues to lead Canada in growth and opportunity. Yet are we truly embracing the most appropriate paths to our shared future? Are there other ways to the future? In Alberta, the focus on standardization and narrow measures of learning over the past two decades is coming to an end. We can no longer hold back our students from becoming their best selves—creative and innovative individuals who will belong to a world that honours the diversity and complexity of our communities. This public lecture and invitational symposium will be a unique opportunity to share among Red Deer and area residents a vision of learning that will bring forward the best values and attributes for becoming a forwardthinking member of the next Alberta.

Photo courtesy of Tourism Red Deer

Co-Creating the Next Red Deer teachers?” this presentation concludes that appropriate solutions are available, but they require redesigning curriculum to better include parents, business leaders and communities in creating conditions for real learning for our students. Pasi Sahlberg is an educator, researcher and school improvement activist. He has global experience in educational reforms, training teachers and leaders, coaching schools to change and advising education policy-makers. His work record includes teaching, teacher training, research, state-level administration (Ministry of Education in Finland) and international education development (World Bank, OECD, European Union). He has a PhD from the University of Jyväskylä and is an adjunct professor at the University of Helsinki and the University of Oulu. He works as the director of CIMO in Helsinki and can be reached through

Dr Stephen Murgatroyd


tephen Murgatroyd is an experienced educator who has taught in schools, colleges and universities and has worked with a variety of organizations in the fields of educational research, leadership development and organizational change. A former professor of management and applied psychology at Athabasca University and

founder of the world’s first online MBA, he has authored over 25 books, several hundred articles and book chapters, and has worked as a management consultant for governments, business and nonprofits around the world. Murgatroyd is a board member of the Galileo Educational Network, trustee of the Alberta Heritage Community Foundation and one of the founders of the Alberta Council of Technologies.

Real Learning First  

Learning our way to the next Red Deer

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