Canada’s most vulnerable children deserve far better

First Nations children are denied the same funding for health care, social services and education as non-Indigenous kids

Canada’s most vulnerable children deserve far betterBy Jane Cordy and Raymonde Gagné National Child Day, which commemorates the adoption of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, has come and gone for another year, but Canada cannot celebrate much progress. Yes, the federal government has established a Poverty Reduction Strategy; there is a Youth Council to advise the prime…

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…

Teaching is a constant uphill climb

The best teachers know what they want students to become. They form students into free people

Teaching is a constant uphill climbTwice in the last couple of months, I had occasion to tell an old joke about teaching. The first time came at a teachers’ book club. The second when a man saw me reading school assignments on the train and struck up a conversation about teaching. The joke goes like this: the first time you…

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…

Bad news makes headlines, good acts make humanity

For all the advances in the last century, a legacy of wars, gulags and holocausts remind us that things were never good

Bad news makes headlines, good acts make humanityThe news is usually bad. And right now, things look dire. So I don’t blame my friends and colleagues who have stopped reading the morning newspaper. Shutting the drapes on the storm raging can return a sense of normalcy to the breakfast table. As somebody who can’t stop reading the news, I can say that…

Basic subject knowledge best way to improve reading skills

Reading is not just about decoding individual words. In order to read effectively, you must also understand what you’re reading

Basic subject knowledge best way to improve reading skillsLast year, Newfoundland and Labrador’s government published a roadmap to better government in the future, with the title The Way Forward. This ambitious document outlines how the government plans to modernize the public sector, build its economy for a sustainable future, and improve educational outcomes. Earlier this year, the provincial government released its Education Action…

Put an end to the use of seclusion rooms for children

We need a national conversation about how Canadian schools can better deal with issues that lead to the use of such rooms

Put an end to the use of seclusion rooms for childrenI’ve often wondered why there’s very little public outcry when the media reports on the cruel use of seclusion rooms for kids with developmental disabilities and delays in schools across Canada. I’ve worked with kids born with developmental disabilities since I was 16 years old. I started out as a respite worker for families through…

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…

Would you follow orders even when it showed a lack of compassion?

In the early '60s, Yale's professor Stanley Milgram performed an experiment that revealed some interesting observations about human behaviour

Would you follow orders even when it showed a lack of compassion?In the early 1960s, Yale psychology professor Stanley Milgram performed an experiment that revealed some interesting observations about human response. Though the result and ethics of his experiment have been questioned, his findings continue to cause us to ponder what each of us would do if we had to choose between following directions and showing…
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