Developer and student development instructor Karen Wiesner says teaching students to develop moral development is a valuable skill for any person.
“When you’re young, you’re not thinking about how to get a job and you’re just like, ‘OK, I’m going to make a living,'” she said.
“I think the idea of building a moral character is something that people will come up with, that will take them on a journey and I think it’s a really good thing to be able to do.”
In 2017, Wiesnens work was featured in a report on the impact of youth homelessness on the Vancouver region’s economy.
She said her students have made an impact in the community.
“They’ve helped us create a community that’s a lot more inclusive,” she said, noting that students in the school have developed friendships and formed friendships with their peers.
“We also have students that have helped in other ways and they’ve also helped out in our community.”
Students at the school are working on their own personal projects, such as a project about how animals feel when they’re under pressure, but they’ve made some important discoveries in the process, she said: “They’ve come up and said, ‘Oh, I’ve done this,’ or, ‘I’ve done that, I know how to do that.’
And it’s really really exciting because we can use that to create something really special.”
Wiesnen is also working on a project to teach students how to be more ethical and responsible in their work.
She is currently collaborating with the school’s school resource officer, who has developed an ethics and respect project to address the issues raised by students’ stories.
“What we’re trying to do is just really get students to have a good understanding of the social and political context in which they’re living in and how that affects their work and what they want to achieve,” she explained.
“So we’re really trying to get them to understand the social factors that they’re working with and how they can change those social factors to actually change their work.”
The school will be hosting an event in June where students can come up to Wiesnen and ask questions about her work.
Wiesen said the feedback from the students has been very positive.
“They want to know how we can change our behaviour, how we could be more respectful of the environment we’re living under,” she laughed.
As part of the school project, Wysnen has also begun a program that aims to create more positive experiences for students.
Wysnen is a teacher in the Peaceful Society program at the School of Visual Arts in Vancouver.
She has been involved in many school programs in Vancouver over the past few years and has developed a strong connection to Vancouver.
In 2016, Woesnens and the school partnered with the Vancouver School of the Arts to create a program called The Next Generation: A Vancouver Teacher in Crisis, which teaches students about their roles in the city’s diverse workforce.
The program, which will run for three years, will help students develop their skills and help them become more ethical in their roles.
Students are invited to apply to join the program.
If you or someone you know needs support, please contact: school resources officer, school of visual arts, 3200 Richmond St. W., Vancouver V8H 3E6, (604) 839-6646, [email protected]