UBC professors create a Learning Arcade, hosted by Quigley Elementary
The future of education will be very different from traditional classroom learning if UBC professors in the Faculty of Education have anything to say about it.
On December 4th, professors Stephen Berg, Robert Campbell, Scott Douglas and Greg Wetterstrand decided to combine their teaching disciplines and host a Learning Arcade at Quigley Elementary School.
The Arcade required future teachers in the Elementary Education Program (ETEP) to think outside the box when coming up with activities for the young students. Many of the teacher candidates dressed up as animals and airplane pilots in order to get the students to engage with the material.
“The learning arcade encourages children to learn with their heads, hearts, and bodies all at once. There’s dancing and movement, problem solving and collaboration. It focuses on embodied learning” says Campbell.
Berg previously hosted a Health Fair at Quigley, which focused on physical education.
“Projects like the Learning Arcade are designed to provide teacher candidates at The University of British Columbia Okanagan with a tangible way to integrate a broad array of competencies identified in the new B.C. Ministry of Education curricula,” says Wetterstrand. “It is possible to distinguish learning in Drama, P.E., technology, English Language Learning (ELL), science, math, and language arts, all represented in a coherent and engaging manner.”
ETEP teacher candidates had the task of creating elaborate displays, costumes and videos to get students interacting with the material.
“All the [Learning Arcade] activities are so engaging, the children don’t even know they are learning,’’ says Lisa Legree, a literacy support teacher at Quigley and graduate of UBC’s Education program.
The Learning Arcade was first piloted in 2012 when, Berg, Campbell, Douglas, and Wetterstrand created their own activities and tested it out on their university students. The Learning Arcade has been hosted by Quigley Elementary in Kelowna, BC since 2013.
“The best part of the Learning Arcade is how teacher candidates are engaging students in authentic, integrated tasks for real learning purposes,” says Douglas.
UBC hopes to continue to build relationships with school districts in the Okanagan so that programs such as the Learning Arcade and the Health Fair can continue.