Year: 2017 – Province: Ontario
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Cawthra Park Secondary School
1305 Cawthra Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5G 4L1
Principal: Don Ablett
School telephone: 905-274-1271
School website: www.schools.peelschools.org/sec/cawthrapark
Subjects and grades taught: Grades 9 to 12, Visual Arts
From Intergenerational Art Events with the local seniors' centre, to successful fundraisers for World AIDS Day, Donald Ball teaches by example. Thinking globally and acting locally, this arts teacher encourages his students to use art to challenge conventions and to think critically about the social issues around them.
Ball's assignments pull together different subject areas and grade levels to challenge students to form new perspectives – like exploring storytelling, projections and values through art, writing and dance, or developing a teaching garden that brings together science, technology and food production.
- Organized a biannual cross-curricular travel program for science and visual arts students to Latin American countries and Inuit communities in Canada, to complete community service projects while exploring the art, culture and ecology of the areas. Ball orchestrated a collaborative artwork designed by the students exploring the idea of "place" that was displayed at the local art gallery.
- Was instrumental in revising the province's art curriculum resources to be more local, Canadian and inclusive.
- Was the first Canadian to be selected as a member of the ART21 Educators program – an intensive year-long professional development learning community designed to support K-12 educators interested in bringing contemporary art and themes into the classroom.
- Facilitated international thinking about art making, race and civil rights between his students and their peers in the USA through videoconferencing and Padlet to share works and ideas in learner-sourced websites.
"Today I am a full time artist and costumer with my own studio, teaching practice and the co-artistic director of a performance company. I managed to find my way not because I was told how to, but because Don listened, trusted and encouraged me to explore on my own."
"Don generates situations where students are able to confront new ways of making and seeing while realizing meaningful connections to personal, social and ethical issues."