Manitoba Rural Learning Consortium 2011-2012 brochure
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Manitoba Rural Learning Consortium Co-Op Inc.

Facilitator

 
Al Friesen Photo

Al Friesen

Al Friesen, an independent education consultant, joins the team of mRLC facilitators as a social studies specialist.  Al provides services in curriculum development and in the Excellence in Teaching Minister’s Awards program for Manitoba Education; as an advisor and writer for a major educational publisher; and as a sessional lecturer in the Department of Geography at Brandon University.  

Al has 30 years of experience as a social studies teacher in northern, rural and urban settings in Manitoba and in southern Africa.  He spent six years working as a Social Studies Consultant (Senior Years) and curriculum developer and writer for Manitoba Education.  Al is a pioneer in the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) into the Manitoba curriculum and has facilitated related workshops in schools around the province.

Al’s approach to teaching is informed by the premise that students have much informal knowledge of geography and history from life experiences and that formal study begins by tapping this knowledge, offering explanations, investigating relevance, and prompting further inquiry.  The social studies provide critical opportunity for students (and teachers) to engage in authentic and meaningful learning as they grapple with complex geographical, historical, socio-economic and environmental issues that define the 21st century. 

Al is passionate about reminding teachers of the goals of social studies, as stated in the Manitoba curriculum, and to support them as they help their students achieve this profound potential.  “Social studies enables students to acquire the skills, knowledge, and values necessary to understand the world in which they live, to engage in active democratic citizenship, and to contribute to the betterment of society”.  What could be more important than that? 

Al lives in Brandon.  He can be reached by email at friesena@westman.wave.ca