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Durham teacher Katie Tremblay-Beaton wins ETFO Curriculum Development Award

Her teacher resource forges deeper understanding of how students can learn music. 

August 15, 2017

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has presented Durham teacher Katie Tremblay-Beaton with its 2017 Curriculum Development Award - Women’s Program for her teacher resource Experimental Practices Through Music Inquiry, which forges deeper understanding of how students can understand and learn music.

The award is presented to a member or group of members to recognize a curriculum unit or resource that they have developed.

As Katie explains, arts education in Ontario is experiencing change. While the European performance tradition is an integral aspect of music education curriculum, teachers are looking to claim relevance in a world that no longer reflects these ideals. Her resource is designed to help teachers by focusing on creative processes that are driven by inquiry, a strategy that confronts learners with problem situations and moves throughout the process of questioning and connecting with previous experience and experimentation in order to gain new insights and understandings.

Katie’s resource is driven by the inquiry question “What would you do if you had one period in a week to do whatever you want in music class?” Her resource allows students to engage in the building of creative knowledge through technology and non-traditional music notation. Such an approach in music class invites students to share responsibility and connect with the content of music education on a personal level through their own experiences.

Katie continues to give numerous educator conference presentations for the Durham District School Board, Ontario Music Educators Association and at the International Society for Music Education in Glasgow, among others. She received the ETFO Writer’s Award in 2016 for innovative music practices.

“We know that the arts play a valuable role in providing students with ways to discover and interpret the world around them and achieve their potential,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Katie has produced a significant body of teacher pedagogy that will greatly enhance the ability of educators to help students be the best that they can be.”

ETFO is committed to building better schools. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at buildingbetterschools.ca. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 78,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.