Connor Chair inspires educators from UCC and beyond

Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, UCC’s Connor Chair, visited the school for an enriching professional development day in January.
Says Academic Dean Julia Kinnear, “Heidi Hayes Jacobs is a renowned international expert in curriculum, pedagogy and school structures that support modern learners. Her expertise aligns well with the school’s current academic initiatives flowing from the strategic directions, especially our renovation of the curriculum and pedagogy, timetable review and redesign of learning spaces.”

The Connor Chair was established by past parent and grandparent Gerry Connor to not only support professional development for UCC faculty, but to make an impact on the broader educational community through knowledge sharing. Connor and his son, Greg ’87, remain strongly committed to the dual aims of the endeavour.

Dr. Hayes Jacobs has held the Connor Chair starting in the fall of 2018. During her term, she has lent her knowledge and insight to a variety of programming. Last August, Hayes Jacobs gave a virtual presentation about learning spaces during the Senior Leadership Team retreat. Last October, she facilitated a full day of faculty professional development, focused on curriculum renovation.

Hayes Jacobs’ January visit included a presentation to Upper School faculty about the role of learning spaces as enablers of contemporary pedagogy and how the flexibility of spaces can be used to engage learners. She met with the team creating the curriculum for the new Year 10 interdisciplinary course in civics and global citizenship and also spent time with the Primary Years Programme Coordinator and a group of teachers who are leading an internal study on mathematics instruction in Senior Kindergarten through Year 5.

“A wonderful aspect of the Connor Chair is that it supports sharing our learning with the wider community,” says Kinnear. “During our engagement with Heidi Hayes Jacobs, the College has hosted a session led by Dr. Jacobs for teachers and curriculum leaders from public and independent IB schools across Ontario.

“We’re fortunate to have such a valuable resource to draw on.”
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