When Dr. Janneke Frank (former Director of the Centre for Gifted Education at the U of C) suggested the Destination ImagiNation for the Challenge Pull-In Program, I was a little skeptical. I am not good with what some have called “cookie cutter” approaches to educating and when I got all the “stuff” I was worried. I emailed my worries back to her and before I knew it I had Roger Garriock, the Canadian Director on the phone trying to explain to me how it was different. I was still skeptical and so he suggested that his wife Faith, who has been involved in running tournaments in British Columbia for more than 20 years, come to Grande Prairie and do it with teachers and students.
I was won over when I saw how the students responded as were the teachers who attended as well as the Centre for Research and Innovation who are sponsoring the program this year. While it is not the panacea that will meet the needs of all gifted children, it does hit on some key areas: challenging students with open-ended projects, providing a safe place for them to take risks, allowing them to integrate their passions and creativity into the work they do and offering them a real world audience with whom to share their work.
This is the first time I’ve done Destination ImagiNation…I am sure there are going to be a few bumps along the way. Bumps make us slow down and review how and why we are doing things.
You can learn more about Destination ImagiNation here.