The world needs what you have to offer

The goal of education is to stimulate constant growth in knowledge and wisdom in each individual

The world needs what you have to offerIn the world of education, we’re preparing our students for an uncertain future. Some of the jobs of today won’t exist in 20 years. And new jobs are being created all the time, the likes of which we can hardly imagine. Our educational system was primarily designed during the industrial revolution. We needed clerks and…

Drawing out the gifts every child carries

The key is to expose young people to many things and let them decide where they want to excel

Drawing out the gifts every child carriesThe greatest gift to a teacher is seeing former students doing well in life. I’ve been teaching for so long that I’m watching the children of former students enter my classroom. I laughingly refer to myself as an “educational grandparent,” but I can’t deny the joy of this experience. As teachers, we know that we’re…

Invest in education to ensure a strong democracy

The correlation between an educated populace and a vibrant society is clear. But B.C.’s education system is losing ground

Invest in education to ensure a strong democracyFormer American president Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard for democracy, therefore, is education.” I cherish democracy and the democratic process. I value the opinions of others, even when I disagree with them, and see respectful dialogue as vital to…

Don’t blame Alberta teachers for declining math grades

When a province mandates a single curriculum, it eliminates diversity and experimentation that can lead to better methods

Don’t blame Alberta teachers for declining math gradesBy Jason Clemens and Angela MacLeod The Fraser Institute The recent release of the latest Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) has Albertans again concerned about declining math scores. It would be wrong and misplaced, however, to blame teachers without understanding the role of the education bureaucracy. In reality, teachers are mandated to teach curriculum imposed by…

Independent schools should be encouraged, funded in Ontario

A survey shows that independent school graduates are much more likely to work for the common good. How can that be bad?

Independent schools should be encouraged, funded in OntarioBy Doug Sikkema and Dr. Beth Green Cardus More than six per cent of children in Ontario are enrolled in independent (non-public) schools. In the 1960s, such independent school enrolments made up a mere 1.8 per cent of the student population. Six per cent might not seem like much, but the long-term trend in Ontario…

Reconciliation and healing require forward perspectives

We must embrace who we are as Canadians, the values that set us apart from the rest of the world

Reconciliation and healing require forward perspectives“Sometimes the medicine we need most comes from remembering who we were so we can reconcile it against who we wish to become,” writes Canadian poet Shane Koyczan. As we study the residential school system and its impact, it’s very important to remember that it wasn’t the fault of 21st century Canadians. It’s a part…

Teacher competence in the subject they teach critical to learning

Despite what trendy education gurus say, a teacher's competence in their subject makes a noticeable difference to student achievement

Teacher competence in the subject they teach critical to learning“Teachers – don’t worry if you don’t have the knowledge or skill set. You are the lead learner. Inquire not lecture.” This was an actual tweet from a prominent education guru. Sadly, this message is far from isolated. There’s a common belief in education circles that teacher subject-matter expertise doesn’t matter a whole lot. The…

The trashy state of Ontario schools will only get worse

If schools look like internment campus, we shouldn’t be surprised if students try to escape

The trashy state of Ontario schools will only get worseOntario politics is never as interesting as when a Ford plows through the legislature and smashes everything. Since taking office as Ontario’s premier a month ago, Doug Ford has dumped a controversial sex ed curriculum, cut cap and trade, and promised to cull the number of councillors in Toronto’s city council. These decisions brought foam…

The rise of steel collar workers, the end of blue collar workers

Automation is taking over the workplace. That means our education system must adapt. So must the students seeking marketable skills

The rise of steel collar workers, the end of blue collar workersMy bank machine just wished me a happy birthday. It wasn’t the exact day but it asked me: Did you think we would forget that your birthday is this month? This struck me as just one more example of automation taking over what people used to do. No biological being had yet wished me a…

Education reform must be on the table in Ontario

The delivery and financing of education could produce better results for students and their families while saving money

Education reform must be on the table in OntarioBy Jason Clemens and Sazid Hasan Fraser Institute As the new Ontario government begins to fully grasp the enormity of the task it faces to return the province to prosperity, education reform must be front and centre. The need to balance the budget while introducing tax relief to make the province more competitive and attractive…

Why writing still matters

The combination of writing and speaking is thought itself. Only when we find the language can we grasp the idea

Why writing still mattersOf the educational policy battles currently raging, the usefulness of the SAT essay likely ranks near the bottom of most people’s minds. I know, you’re thinking: How could I not know this battle was raging? How have I not heard the artillery fire? You haven’t heard because it’s summer. And, truth be told, because the…

Ontario can learn from B.C.’s education model

Independent schools deliver higher student test scores at lower costs to taxpayers

Ontario can learn from B.C.’s education modelWith another school year ending, it’s a good time to reflect on kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education in Ontario. As the second largest area of provincial expenditure, it can’t escape review as incoming premier Doug Ford’s new government plans to rein in spending. Fortunately one only needs to look to British Columbia for an example of how independent…

Tests help improve student achievement

P.E.I. introduced standardized testing and student achievement substantially improved. Other provinces should take note

Tests help improve student achievementThe latest test results from the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) reveal that Prince Edward Island students scored among the highest in the country. It’s impressive, but even more so when we remember that a decade ago P.E.I. scored at the bottom of Canadian provinces. One shouldn’t read too much into the results of one assessment,…

Do you know who is watching your kids?

The academic world should allow students to speak freely, make mistakes, rebel and change their minds

Do you know who is watching your kids?The Chinese educational system takes a brute force approach to teaching: memorize everything. Teachers and parents smash information into the brains of students. The result is usually astonishing. The Chinese educational system excels at teaching discipline, and students from China are, to generalize, dedicated and earnest about their education, and smart, smart, smart. Through hours…

Chasing higher salaries, not higher things in life

Liberalizing the university curriculum offers something new but usually at the cost of wisdom

Chasing higher salaries, not higher things in lifeIs education liberal or conservative? I’m not talking about party politics. I mean something much more fundamental: Is the work of teachers inherently geared towards replicating scholastic and cultural traditions, or does school exist to prepare students for – and even usher in – social and cultural change? Does school make history or just teach…
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