Robert Cannone is a grades K-8 coach & consultant at Catholic Education Centre in Maple, Ontario.
Prior to becoming an educator, Robert was a television reporter and producer. His love of storytelling is evidenced in his commitment to helping students and teachers tell their stories and lift them up to realize their potential. As former pathways and careers teacher (intermediate guidance teacher), students would ask why he became a teacher, and to this question, he would respond “knowing who you are is just as important as knowing what you want to become”. He enters all of his professional roles with humility, openness, and a desire to uplift others.
Robert on Powerful Learning:
What’s one strategy teachers can use to incorporate Powerful Learning?
“Based on my experience, providing students with meaningful provocations that mirror their identities and lived experiences has both engaged students and elicited powerful questions. One easy way to do this is to explore current events in the classroom. Naturally, students are drawn to these stories, especially ones that relate to injustice in our world. Through this, my students and I will look at various headlines (both in print and television media) to interrogate bias and look closely at how language is used to communicate meaning and evoke emotion. Students come to understand the nuances of producing a news story and are inclined to re-story false narratives, create news stories of their own, and through this process, they come to learn about the stories and perspectives of others.
Exploring and creating news stories prompted students to reflect critically on their own bias and the bias often found in the news. In an effort to re-story these narratives, students asked questions to learn more about the people in these stories and their unique contextual circumstances. Additionally, students used technology to connect with experts, produce news stories, and share their work with the school community.”
What’s one student project that demonstrates powerful learning?
“Students prepared a bi-weekly news broadcast where they generated story ideas, interviewed students and community members, and spotlighted events within the school. Through this process, students assume various roles from writer, director, camera, and reporter to collaboratively produce a series of stories that reflected the vibrancy of the school community.”
What book has influenced your thinking on powerful teaching and learning?
“Think Again by Adam Grant. This book is a timely read in that it speaks to how to orient ourselves when presented with new information that may contrast our own deeply held beliefs. With contrasting news stories abound and armchair experts chiming in on topics, this book highlights the harms of being all-too-knowing and explores the benefits of being humble. Through his many examples, Adam Grant shows us that when we adopt a posture of deference coupled with a desire to unlearn, we develop a deeper understanding of the views of others.”
Ask Robert about:
“Starting a news broadcast within your classroom community. Additionally, I can support you with using social media tools and technology to support critical literacy practices!”
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