As a school with a long history and deep roots in the local and global community, we recognize and value the educational partnerships we have formed with various organizations to support our academics, in particular our Global Leadership Program. We are extremely proud of these partnerships as they are an acknowledgement from external organizations of the academically rigorous, creative and innovative programming we offer our students.
UNESCO school, Associated Schools Network
Pickering College is proud to be a UNESCO school in the international Associated Schools Network. UNESCO, which is the acronym for the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes peace and collaboration between nations. UNESCO schools are in over 180 countries working collaboratively in support of international understanding, peace, intercultural dialogue, and sustainable development, all values taught at Pickering College. Pickering College was the first independent school in Ontario to become a full member of the Associated Schools Network. As members, we are able to participate in projects, conferences and special activities with schools worldwide.
I-Think, Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto
Pickering College is also partnered with I-Think from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Integrative Thinking, which was conceived by Roger Martin, the former Dean of Rotman, uses tools to teach problem-solving with the goal of developing creative and viable solutions. These thinking tools are incorporated across grades and subjects, so every Pickering College student has the chance to learn strategies that are used by students at the University of Toronto. Thanks to this partnership, the school has developed a special Grade 12 International Business course that was designed with the Rotman School of Management focusing on Integrative Thinking. In addition to our teachers being trained in these skills, Pickering College has also become a centre for I-Think, with our teachers acting as facilitators and mentors at our institute in which teachers from across the province came to be taught by Pickering College faculty.
Global Ideas Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs
Our relationship with the University of Toronto has been long standing in different areas, and in addition to our work with I-Think, our students have been a part of the Global Ideas Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs since its inception. For over a decade, Pickering College has sent a team of students each year to the university to attend lectures and activities. Supported by teaching assistants, the students are challenged to develop an innovative solution to a difficult problem. The program concludes with them pitching their ideas to a panel of academic and industry experts. This prestigious program has resulted in many of our graduates further developing their solutions after being inspired by their experience. In addition to our work with the Munk School of Global Affairs, Pickering College has hosted Master of Teaching students from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE) as they complete their practicum work at Pickering College to learn more about global education in action.
Facing History and Ourselves
Another special relationship for Pickering College is that we are the only Canadian partner school in the international organization Facing History and Ourselves. Their rich program for Middle and Senior School students uses history, literature, ethical decision making and unique teaching strategies to help students explore difficult topics, like human rights abuses. Students are challenged to reflect on their choices, the treatment of others, and examine prejudice as they become thoughtful, responsible citizens of the world. These pedagogical tools and strategies have been integrated across grades and disciplines. A focus in our work with Facing History has been around Indigenous issues in Canada, and the school has partnered with the organization to have guest speakers, events and professional development for our faculty and to train teachers from other schools.
In support of our beliefs in wellness and stewardship, Pickering College is celebrating that we have earned the Platinum distinction from EcoSchools Canada for our environmental work, and a Gold medal as a Canadian Healthy School, both the highest honours to be achieved in their respective programs. As a school, we have an engaging experiential outdoor education program integrated into our curriculum. Using our school property and the farm, students have numerous opportunities to explore and discover nature. In order to enrich this programming across grades, Pickering College is also working closely with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. Classes have the opportunity to complete nature studies and experiments to expand their scientific knowledge.
There are numerous organizations that the school works with over the year to support programming in different areas, including the Critical Thinking Consortium for teacher professional development and resources. Pickering College is also supporting the concepts of democracy and youth engagement by partnering with Samara and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship for curriculum development and civic engagement.
Pickering College is proud to be internationally and locally recognized for the Global Leadership Program and that these transformational partnerships will continue to enrich our work with our students.