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Student teachers want grade schools answering Calgary 2026 Olympic bid question

University of Calgary education undergrads tackle topical conundrum

University of Calgary pre-service teachers ask kids if we should host the 2026 Olympics.

Jennifer Friesen/ for Metro

University of Calgary pre-service teachers ask kids if we should host the 2026 Olympics.

What if the next generation of Calgarians tackled the Olympic bid question? Well, they certainly wouldn’t need a $5 million budget to do it.

Much like kids working towards a mock United Nations, student teachers at the University of Calgary Werklund School of Education have created detailed lesson plans for grade-school-aged children to ask the question: should or shouldn’t we bid for the 2026 Olympics?

This year, interdisciplinary lesson plans developed by more than 400 pre-service teachers explored many topics that would have kids using math, social sciences and other faculties as part of their school year. On Wednesday, they were presented to University of Calgary profs, the school’s deans and even had the scrutiny of school kids.

Alisa Nixon and Kelly Ann Meeuwisse were behind a group that created a Grade 10 lesson plan tackling the Olympic bid question. Students would spend four weeks researching the economics, ethics and impact of a bid process, acting as impartial members of the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC).

Jennifer Friesen/ for Metro

“We felt the question was authentic to Calgary right now,” Nixon said. Meeuwisse added as students do their own research and inquiries they can follow along with current events.

The group felt Grade 10 students were more than capable of analyzing the question, and what’s more, they might offer a different perspective.

“I think they’d definitely be excited, and want to have the Olympics hosted in their city,” Meeuwisse said. “They wouldn’t be as influenced by the politics.”

Dianne Gereluk, associate dean at the U of C Werklund School of Education said although this is an exercise in the student teacher’s schooling, there’s a chance their projects could catch the eye of the mainstream education system.

“What’s interesting is last year one of our posters was taken up by a community organization and implemented into a curriculum guide,” Gereluk said. “Student teachers are…developing very impressive unit plans.”

Some projects had murder-mystery themes, one group was how to address poverty, and another was how to use music to teach about the ear.

“What we’re trying to get away from is students asking if this is on the test,” Gereluk said. “Now what we’re doing is taking key concepts from the subject area to say ‘oh, I now understand the role this plays.’”

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