How a traditional exam system fails all students

A good educator recognizes that an intelligent student doesn't necessarily fit into a conventional box

How a traditional exam system fails all studentsA recent National Post column argues that the extra time Canadian universities and colleges allot for students with special needs to write exams is unfair, comparing it to “winning the gold medal for the 100 metres by running only 80 metres.” The column by Bruce Pardy, a professor of law at Queen's University, makes some…

Life, not death, the path that leads to the feast

The claim that suicide makes life meaningful is bizarre and wrong. Suicide is foremost an evacuation of all meaning and potential

Life, not death, the path that leads to the feastSeveral months ago, I left the classroom under a dark cloud. Suicide was on my mind. It came up in a class discussion. How we got to suicide, I can’t remember. What I do remember is the student who said that the person who commits suicide deserves respect, if not praise, for showing courage and assertiveness.…

Kids can be the best teachers

Canadian preschool teaches kids with autism and typically developing kids together in a unique integrative program

Kids can be the best teachersMy oldest son came home one day with an excellent idea. Little did we know how it would shape all our lives. In Grade 4, Liam handed me an application to attend Montreal’s Mackay Centre School where he, as a typically developing child, would learn alongside physically disabled and deaf children for one year. The…

Statues tell a story that people need to hear

You could fill volumes with the uncomfortable statements uttered in the past by people whom we now revere, from Abraham Lincoln to Mahatma Gandhi

Statues tell a story that people need to hearFrantic officials in the American south are joining with the Taliban and Islamic State as the latest group to destroy memorials to the past. Specifically, they are tearing down statues in praise of the Confederacy. We might well examine the racist speech of Civil War-era politicians to see what motivates the iconoclasts of today to…

High grades for Canadian students, high praise for their teachers

Canadian students’ results in literacy, mathematics and science are among the best in the world. What drives our schools to be so good?

High grades for Canadian students, high praise for their teachersA recent BBC article called Canada “an education superpower.” It referred to the fact that, in recent years, Canadian students’ results in literacy, mathematics and science are among the best in the world. We’re in the same echelon as countries like Finland and Singapore. The article drew primarily from results of the Programme for International…

The Ryerson name dilemma a no-choice, no-win situation

There’s a need for a greater confrontation of ideas, not less. Sameness, groupthink and orthodoxy are killing us

The Ryerson name dilemma a no-choice, no-win situationWhat’s in a name? That old question came up again recently, when rogue members of the Ryerson University’s student union publicly demanded their school drop Ryerson from its name. Egerton Ryerson, namesake of the university and founder of the Ontario public school system, contributed to the development of what eventually became the residential school system,…

Environmental propaganda masks positive reality

Al Gore, David Suzuki and others would rather scare our children than tell them about the valuable contributions Canada makes every day to protect our planet

Environmental propaganda masks positive realityThe release of Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power has drawn reactions from environmental groups and their critics, and made for some insightful dinnertime conversation with my children. Like many Canadian kids, they watched Gore's first film, An Inconvenient Truth, in the classroom. What bothers me is my children's belief that their…

Robots in the workforce: resistance is futile, so we must adapt

Nearly half of the Canadian labour force is at high risk of automation within the next two decades, so how should we prepare?

Robots in the workforce: resistance is futile, so we must adaptAutomation has become a scary word. As new technologies proliferate, unease and uncertainty surround the labour market of the future. Will jobs be destroyed? Created? Can a robot really replace what I do? What kind of career should my child pursue if we don’t know what the jobs of the future will look like? How…

B.C. government wants to fix a school system that isn’t broken

B.C. students lead Canada in student performance in several areas while keeping per-student costs in public schools among the lowest in the country

B.C. government wants to fix a school system that isn’t brokenBy Ben Eisen and Angela MacLeod The Fraser Institute Are British Columbia's schools really “starved” for resources? After a close election and lengthy period of uncertainty, New Democratic Leader John Horgan and his cabinet have been sworn into office. Former NDP leader Carole James is the province’s new finance minister and former education critic Rob Fleming…

Without loyalty to one’s own, criticism simply a destructive weapon

A casual scan of academic journals would make an alien reader think Canada is a country committed to genocide and soaked in patriarchal white supremacy

Without loyalty to one’s own, criticism simply a destructive weaponI consider cheering for humans a matter of loyalty. So much so that I’ll cheer even when I know our species is going to lose – which is what happened at the end of War for the Planet of the Apes, easily the summer’s most misanthropic movie. If it wasn’t for my loyalty to humanity,…