Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry

The Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry is Victoria’s newest high school, offering a truly personalized education. Through a formal inquiry process, learners at PSII develop interdisciplinary pathways leading to learning activities that take them through a curriculum all their own, while also meeting or exceeding BC graduation requirements.

While visiting PSII today some valuable insight into the world of alternative inquiry based schools was had. I found it interesting just how much choice the students had and how different this was in comparison to the traditional setting most of us are used to. While having the chance to chat and observe students and teachers, just how big these differences are became apparent. The school focuses on completely different core values and competencies then public schools but then molds them to fit the BC ministry guidelines after the fact.

As seen below many values include open inquiry and collaborative learning. This is a cutting edge way of thinking about how students learn best. With the new BC curriculum the ability for more inquiry is present, however, PSII takes this to the next level. They have no formal classrooms or assigned teachers. Instead students are encouraged and free to dive deep into topics that interest them, finding the answers to questions they are most passionate about.

Having such open curriculum makes it hard to organize projects and students. At PSII they use Trello to help organize the students learning and make their own lives easier. This is a great tool for while using inquiry projects. In class we use Trello and have first hand experience into why this is such a wonderful tool that can be used in our own classes.

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