How about rethinking the school?

When we talk about change and innovation in education, some people tend to want to heal the school rather than think about it. Back to "Rethinking school"

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When we talk about change and innovation in education, some people tend to want to heal the school rather than think about it. Back to "Rethinking school"

through Julie chamberland


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The event

When we talk about change and innovation in education, some people tend to want to heal the school rather than think about it: put a bandage on the sore, do not take risks, keep the achievements. From March 31 to April 2, a hackathon was held in Montreal, organized by Credo, whose mission is to implement projects that contribute to a better world (nothing less!). There, various community actors met who, for a weekend, would like to rethink the school by forming teams at random on the roads that cross. Their objective? Join forces to meet one of the 4 challenges proposed: coherent and positive monitoring of student progress, evaluation in the hands of teachers, a built environment conducive to learning or a menu designed for the better. to be of the pupil. So we were going to want to cure her and get her out of her torpor, this school that we love so much.

Collaboration and community

What first struck us there was this spirit of community, of collaboration between actors from different fields, this openness and the conviction that we felt that by working together, nothing is impossible. . Mentors gave generously of their time to answer people's questions, take an interest in team projects, give good advice or a special time to those who needed support. We felt a very special energy invade the place.

Creative environment

There were also the creative environments, stimulating places where the available space left room for all ideas. Whether at The train station, in the offices of ChallengeU or in those of Creed, we felt free to create and innovate. Quite naturally, we moved around in space as our ideas developed, imagining badly that we were standing still when in our heads, it was frenzy. All around us large windows opened up to new horizons and reminded us of @MarioAsselin when he said that the transition from a “knowledge society” to a “knowledge society” will happen when schools stop building walls and give way to windows. Teachers and parents among us could not help imagining young people in such an environment, daring to push back the limits that we too often impose on them, to see their talents and passions emerge.

Try the challenge

Each of the proposed challenges came with a list of criteria to respect and we would have to make a “pitch” on Sunday morning, in front of a jury. The teams had to show flexibility in learning to work together, creativity in finding an idea to emerge and cooperation to build around each other's strengths. There was a whole context stimulating commitment and effort to which was added the factor of time, the little extra that made us want to surpass ourselves.


On Friday March 31, at 8:40 pm, chance placed ten people together who registered under the name of “digital portfolio”, in challenge 1 (that of monitoring the student). Twenty minutes later, after barely getting to know each other, we each went our own way with a little trepidation and some uncertainties. This first contact had been correct, but too short to create the slightest bond of trust. The team could have imploded, as some did.

Yet the many hours spent together the next day were a near perfect example of the power of cooperation. If we all had a little idea of how to meet the challenge, no one would have come up with the idea Continuum as presented. Everyone was able to put their ideas forward and adhere to those of others by discussing intelligently and putting the student at the center of everything. We were all aware of our strengths and put them into action at the right time. We are more than proud of the result of this teamwork and had enough confidence that we could win the challenge… which happened a few hours later or we were all already winning, one way or another.

Rethinking school, we were already doing it yesterday, we will do it again tomorrow and we consider ourselves privileged to have also done so in this very specific context.

(first publication on April 25, 2017 on the author's blog)

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