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What does 'more' mean to you?

Students need more from their schools, but what? We asked some of the best.

by Glen Herbert


What does 'more' mean?

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A few years ago Microsoft partnered with the McKinsey Global institute to ask a big question: What do today’s students need? The study is one of the largest of its kind, with research drawing on surveys of 2000 students and 2000 teachers across Canada, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States; an in-depth review of existing research; and interviews with 70 thought leaders, including educators, researchers, policy makers, and technologists. The goal is to find creative, effective ways of empowering students to achieve more. 

The results were published in a joint report, The class of 2030 and life-ready learning: The technology imperative. As you might imagine, it’s an interesting read. The biggest lesson is that the answers aren’t obvious. “More” can be a slippery idea. It can be exceedingly difficult to know what students will need when the context for that need is unclear.

So, we thought we’d go directly to the well, asking educators from across the country a deceptively simple question: What does “more” mean to you? This is what they said: 


“ … to be bold, to come in with more questions than answers, to engage, to be curious.”

—Karrie Weinstock, Deputy Principal, Branksome Hall


“ … to recognize that everything cumulatively adds up to a person, rather than adding up to an engineer, or a doctor.”

—Terry Donaldson, Director of Teaching and Learning, Meadowridge


“ … to be social beings and get along with others in a complex world.”

—Hugh Burke, Headmaster, Meadowridge


"giving students the opportunity to explore their imagination and creativity while they deepen their knowledge."

—Kimberly Bartlett, Senior Director - Teaching, Learning and Strategic Partnerships, Pickering College


“ a kind of go-after-it-ness … confidence, an ability to think critically”

—Kristal Bereza, High School Principal, Meadowridge


“ … to understand why water should be clean, where fish come from, how plants grow.” 

—Hugh Burke, Headmaster, Meadowridge


“ …  international-mindedness and inter-connectivity will help us to understand each other." 

—Justin Medved, Director of Learning, Innovation and Technology The York School, founder of #cohort21


“ … to jump in and take risks.”

—Sarah Charley, Director of Citizenship, The York School


“ …  inspiring and equipping our boys to take on the complex global issues of our time …."

—Naheed Bardai, Head of the Upper School, Upper Canada College


 “ … to know yourself and your story."

—David Hanna, Director of University Counselling, The York School


 “…  the development of the whole student, not just the academic.”

—David Ingram, Trinity College School


not settling … achieving closer to true potential, students striving to create their best work.”

—Myke Healy, Director of Teaching & Learning, Trinity College School


"giving students the opportunity to explore their imagination and creativity while they deepen their knowledge."

—Kimberly Bartlett, Senior Director - Teaching, Learning and Strategic Partnerships, Pickering College


" … every student knows they are valued and they have value as individuals as they learn in a caring community."

—Kimberly Bartlett, Senior Director - Teaching, Learning and Strategic Partnerships, Pickering College


“in the classroom, in sports or in service. … allowing our students to go above and beyond.” 

—Alex Gordon, Junior School, Trinity College School


“… more time to do what you love …  having an interest in learning, listening, trying new things, exploring … being vulnerable, treating others as you would like to be treated  … to enjoy each day, live in the moment. Most of this has nothing to do with education/teaching and everything to do with living.” 

—Steph Feddery, Mathematics, Science, Trinity College School


“…  breadth, exploring more than the traditional/required aspects of education, and depth, digging deeper into what they traditionally learn”

—Sasha Vojnov, Head of Computer Studies, Mathematics, Trinity College School


to embrace the dual purpose of education: a strong educational foundation, of course, and a host of character skills, like self-regulation, perseverance, kindness, and optimism. The world needs more of both.”

—Kristopher Churchill, Head of Senior School, Trinity College School


"... giving students the opportunity to explore their imagination and creativity while they deepen their knowledge. More means every student knows they are valued and they have value as individuals as they learn in a caring community."

—Kimberly Bartlett, Senior Director - Teaching, Learning and Strategic Partnerships, Pickering College


“… developing habits in kids that aren't typical high school curriculum. It means not settling for 'getting to' the 40 community service hours required by the province to graduate and rather understanding that service is a responsibility we all share with membership in our community."

—David Ingram, Trinity College School


“ … to be open to find the truth." 

—Anthony Westenberg, Manager Marketing and Communications, The York School


“ … celebrating students who achieve not just in absolute terms but also in relation to ability. .. effort, resilience and perspective matter.”

—David Ingram, Trinity College School


“ … to be social beings and get along with others in a complex world.”

—Hugh Burke, Headmaster, Meadowridge


“ … to find solutions to the 'wicked' challenges we find ourselves facing today.."

—Justin Medved, Director of Learning, Innovation and Technology The York School, founder of #cohort21


“ … confidence, an ability to think critically about things, and to be engaged in the world.”

—Kristal Bereza, Meadowridge


“it’s about learning the content, but then being able to take it within yourself and analyze it, [so that] it becomes a part of your thinking system.”

—Kristal Bereza, Meadowridge


“it isn’t what mark your child gets, or what top university she gets into. It’s ‘Who is the human being that is walking out into the world?’” … [asking] How will you shape a better world?”

—Karrie Weinstock, Branksome Hall


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