Private schools treated like outcasts in Ontario education system

Ontario's single public school system will never adequately meet the needs of all of its families

Private schools treated like outcasts in Ontario education systemRecent controversy over the provincial government’s provision of rapid tests to independent (private) schools but not public schools stems from the fact that independent schools in Ontario exist in a policy no-man’s-land. If education policy throughout the pandemic has proved anything, it’s that the provincial government doesn’t have the framework to make adequate provisions for…

How independent schools provided quality education in the pandemic

The public system, on the other hand, failed in its response to Covid-19

How independent schools provided quality education in the pandemicAs Ontario’s public schools struggle to accommodate students in a new school year amid what could be a fourth wave of COVID-19, what can the provincial government learn from the last 17 months? For starters, the government needs to accept that huge, industrial-scale schools (typical in the public system) are pretty weak at responding to…

Teaching nothing less than an authentic quest for truth

If I’m not willing to risk being questioned and to even risk being wrong, then I have no business calling myself a teacher

Teaching nothing less than an authentic quest for truthI’ve always believed I shouldn’t ask someone to do something I wouldn’t do myself. This generally works very well. If employees see the boss picking up garbage, for example, they’re more likely to do it themselves. This principle also applies to teaching. I can’t ask my students to treat each other with respect if I’m…

Why principals, teachers don’t belong in the same union

New legislation will allow Manitoba to follow the lead of Canada’s biggest provinces, creating clear lines between management and staff

Why principals, teachers don’t belong in the same unionPrincipals and teachers shouldn’t be in the same union. That was a key recommendation of the Manitoba Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education report. Clearly, the Manitoba government has taken this recommendation to heart. Bill 64, the Education Modernization Act, proposes to remove principals and vice-principals from teacher bargaining units. This is a significant…

Covid-19 an educational catastrophe for disadvantaged kids

200,000 young people have lost complete touch with their schools

Covid-19 an educational catastrophe for disadvantaged kidsThere are fewer students at my school this year. There are also fewer disciplinary issues, but it has become even more difficult to establish and maintain contact with our at-risk students and their families. I didn’t realize until recently, however, that this is a global issue. There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted…

Giving future teachers Black history lessons to take to the classroom

Commemorating contributions Black Canadians have made to our country

Giving future teachers Black history lessons to take to the classroomDo you know about the Black Canadian inventor whose innovations were associated with the phrase “the real McCoy?” How about the Black Canadian vocalist who became an international star decades before Celine Dion ever set foot on a stage? Or the Black hockey league that was founded in Nova Scotia in the late 19th century,…

Why we need to maintain performance-based education

Instead of pursuing the unattainable ideal of academic equality, we should focus on redefining our idea of educational success

Why we need to maintain performance-based educationCanadians have an unhealthy obsession with statistical parity. In 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced his 50-50 cabinet, prioritizing gender over merit in the name of equality. And last summer, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the end of academic streaming to combat “systemic racism.” Streaming refers to grouping students based on performance. Beginning in…

What Jeopardy! teaches us about learning styles

It’s important for schools to have a knowledge-rich curriculum that sequentially builds on knowledge year by year. Alex Trebek taught us that

What Jeopardy! teaches us about learning stylesCanadians were saddened to learn that longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away recently from pancreatic cancer. For more than 35 years, Trebek was a familiar face in our homes. There was no better way of testing your general knowledge than seeing how many Jeopardy! questions you could correctly answer. The outpouring of emotion over…

The case for creating informal neighbourhood schools

In the midst of a pandemic, home-schooling is an important option. And tutor-led neighbourhood schools can help fill the curriculum gaps

The case for creating informal neighbourhood schoolsMany parents are frustrated by the limited educational choices their children have right now. For example, a recent article in the Calgary Herald (“Parents regretting in-person classes with no options to go online”), suggests that parents are concerned about sending their children to school. They’re equally concerned by the lack of spaces in online courses…

Online learners falling behind in their reading skills

Especially if they already struggled with reading before COVID-19

Online learners falling behind in their reading skillsLast spring’s COVID-19 school closures put young, struggling readers further behind in their skills – and the situation won’t get better unless there are changes to online and at-home instruction, suggests a University of Alberta reading expert. A comparison of reading ability scores among students in Grades 1 to 3 in a sampling of Alberta…
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