My name is Glenn Wagner. I have been an educator in the secondary school system in science education and Program Leader in Science, STEM & Sustainability. During my time as a classroom teacher, I have worked with students to amplify their gifts and help them with their challenges in classes ranging from the secondary level to adult education. As a result, I have a developed a strong understanding about the spectrum of student needs, both academically and socially, that Conestoga College will be asked to support as they enter their college programs.
My philosophy toward education is simple: To help educators be a bit better than yesterday so their students will have a better tomorrow. This is done, in large part, by improving teaching and learning using research-based and classroom-tested strategies – such as Concept Mapping, Question Formulation, Peer Instruction, Knowledge Building, Retrieval Practice, and general collaborative practices – that create engaging, inclusive and interesting learning environments for all students. My work has taken me around the world as a STEM consultant and workshop facilitator. I have collaborated with educators in Canada, Brazil, England, United Arab Emirates, and the U.S.A. to help improve science education through impactful teaching strategies. I was honoured and humbled to have my work recognized in 2015 as a finalist selection for the Global Teacher Prize.
My Ph.D. work had many practical components to support student learning which made it such a joy to complete. I was fortunate to have opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge of my Ph.D. work in my classrooms where I could observe the impact it had on student learning. For example, Knowledge Building pedagogy invites students to form collective communities of inquiry where students work together to wonder then create questions surrounding curriculum outcomes. Using a principled approach, students develop knowledge and ideas from those questions and share them within their community. By working as a collective, they work to continually improve knowledge and ideas often leading to new insights and further questions to pursue. My biggest takeaway of Knowledge Building was this: never underestimate the power of collective minds to build a body of knowledge that will always exceed expectations.
During downtime, I hit the gym, play tennis, basketball, and squash. I am also prone to very long walks while listening to podcasts, my favorites being: Hidden Brain, Hardcore History, The Next Big Idea, Honestly, and Modern Wisdom to name a few. The Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors keep me hopefully and heartbreakingly entertained while visiting my adult daughters always brings me the greatest joy whenever the time will allow.