Douglas Vallance brings a dynamic and creative teaching style to his classroom and presentations. As a middle school teacher, Douglas expands curiosity in the classroom and challenges the students with Problem Based Learning, Inquiry and the use of technology, at a stage where students’ wonder is fragile. His classroom activities are designed to have the students ask harder question, and make informed decisions about their fields of study.
As the science and technology department head, as well as Grade level Chair for several years, Douglas works together with the rest of the staff to create cross panel programming for the students to experience deeper seeded meaning to their learning. His breadth of understanding in the field of science and technology as well as other fields established his idea of what education is. Douglas strives to make the people around him better problem solvers; this is seen in the depth to which he can direct his class to excel at using technology, in all its forms, to learn and grow as global citizens.
Recently, he co-created a cross-curricular and social justice game, which runs alongside of his regular interactive programming, throughout the school year. This game has the students incorporate their knowledge of game theory with problem solving, political geographic awareness, scientific core curriculum expectations, and world trade and relations. This program has taken form in the framework of a game –as it is something that students can enjoy and learn at the same time. Within the game construct, they would be challenged, while enhancing collaborative and communication skills. As a result, when a student is taking part in this game, they will never ask the question, “When will I use this in the real world?”
Doug and Matt will be focusing on The League of Regions, a year-long simulation, role-playing game, designed to promote cross-curricular thinking, real-world problem solving skills, group collaboration and independent decision making skills. The game is based around creating and maintaining a civilization that experiences real-world scenarios, with the final goal of progressing that civilization towards a developed status.
This game is intended to develop within students an understanding of the interconnected nature of each curriculum strand and apply it to a real world situation. As a result, when a student is taking part in this game, they will never ask the question, “When will I use this in the real world?” Through game play, students not only gain an understanding that content is connected, but also how the world around them functions without reading it from a book. In this game, they are the ones in control, as they set the course for their own civilization.