An exact formula for teaching doesn’t exist, according to the newest member in the Faculty of Education, Desirée Marshall-Peer.
Marshall-Peer has been teaching in the Okanagan for almost 10 years, and she’s seen that the traditional equation of teaching is no longer working for the next generation of learners.
“The world is different,” says Desirée, “we should be willing to look at what skills we’re teaching our students in order to succeed in the future.”
Desirée has spent the last five years collaborating with the Ministry of Education to design the new curriculum offered to BC students. She also made it the focus of her Master’s thesis, “inquiry-based competency learning.”
What that means, in short, is looking at the different ways you can teach students so that they are in control of how they learn and how they think. Asking students to constantly question how things work through study and experimentation.
Desirée has already seen the impact in her Bachelor of Education (BEd) program at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
“It’s very encouraging,” she says, “students who fear teaching science are given the opportunity to feel like, ‘hey I can do this.’”
Elementary teacher candidates are also enjoying learning from the scientist.
“She has a wealth of knowledge, her classes are always interesting and engaging,” says ETEP 1’s Laura Stoker, Katie Alexander, and Tyler Pentland.
Wendy Klassen, director of undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Education, believes the changes will reflect well in the next generation of teachers.
“Desirée Marshall-Peer is an amazing, energetic, passionate teacher,” she says, “her currency in best practices for teaching science, and her involvement in science education, curriculum and assessment at the Ministry of Education level make her a very valuable member of the Faculty of Education.”
Desirée says the best piece of advice she’s ever received about teaching is to be bold.
“Don’t be afraid of what other people think or say,” she says, “don’t dip your toe into the waters to test out, just jump right in.”
As we see a shift in the BC teaching curriculum, it’s clear that Desirée is inspiring her students to embrace the change.