Touchstones in Canadian Public
And International Schools
“To us the magic of the Touchstones Discussion Project (Touchstones) is threefold:
- gets students to a level of deep understanding
- gets teachers away from the delivering content mode, and gets them into a different method of teaching
- provides a formal setting, once a week, where students speak and think in French.
For us, this is work in progress to get our schools into a 21stCentury paradigm shift and away from the hundred-year old model of doing curriculum. I see Touchstones as opening the door to this paradigm shift.”
Touchstones programs in English have long-been in many schools in Canada. More recently, however, Touchstones became a part of a province-wide implementation in French. In 2010, the bureau of French education for the Province of Manitoba contacted Touchstones after a comprehensive search for a curriculum to build critical thinking systematically among their French-speaking students.
They identified Touchpebbles A and Touchpebbles B; Touchstones Volume A, Touchstones Volume B, and Touchstones Volume C; Touchstones Volume I and Touchstones Volume II; and Discussion Leadership: Getting Started as ideal means for achieving their goals. Through a partnership with Touchstones, the Teacher’s Guide and Student Edition for each of these volumes were translated into French and Touchstones staff trained a core team of provincial educators to train their own teachers.
In 2012, 30 teachers in 15 schools piloted Touchstones with at least 655 students using our French volumes. Since then, hundreds of teachers have been trained in Touchstones and many thousands of students participate in Touchpebbles and Touchstones discussions each year.
Click here for more information on our partnership in the Province of Manitoba.