A modern-day case in point is the widespread belief among North American educators that children learn better when they receive minimal guidance from their teachers. This belief has had a powerful impact on schools and the education our children are receiving, and not in a good way.
Former President, Society for Quality Education
Mrs. Dare began her career as an elementary school teacher after graduating from the University of Western Ontario and London Teachers’ College. She later joined the Department of External Affairs and served in Hong Kong and Barbados. As a result of her concern for the state of education in Ontario, Mrs. Dare was one of the founding members of the Organization for Quality Education (OQE). She was OQE’s founding president, a director of the Society for Advancing Educational Research in Education, a member of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Appointments for the Province of Ontario (West and South), and the author of Stairway to Reading and How to Get the Right Education for Your Child and Stairway to Reading. Mrs. Dare was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of School Choice.
Public education is a cartel, and cartels can be very hard to disrupt. But disruption is already taking place in the post-secondary sector -- see UoPeople, the world's first non-profit, near tuition-free, accredited online university. When it comes to the disruption of elementary and secondary education, the challenge is greater.
01/05/2016 02:42 EST
According to the dictionary, a cartel is an association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition. The provision of elementary an...
01/04/2016 03:37 EST
I propose that the Alberta, B.C., and Ontario ministries of education authorize the establishment of some schools with the experimental approach and some schools with a more traditional orientation, and then let parents and teachers choose between them.
10/14/2015 05:49 EDT
So far, two weeks of summer have passed, and another seven weeks of summer stretch ahead -- an endless expanse of aching boredom for parents and kids OR a shining opportunity for fun and learning? Here are some tips for parents who choose the latter option.
07/12/2015 09:42 EDT
While I have some reservations about the fairness and wisdom of ramming the new sex education curriculum down the throats of unwilling parents, I am still scratching my head over the strength of this parental protest. Why are parents more upset about the somewhat-flawed new sex education curriculum than the known-to-be-very-flawed math and language arts curriculum already in place? Nor do the problems with the Ontario curriculum end with math and language arts. What about its music curriculum that doesn't teach kids how to sight read or sing in tune? Why aren't students taught cursive writing?
05/11/2015 05:15 EDT
Canadian teachers love their students and want only the best for them. Our teachers work very hard and conscientiously, but often their best efforts are thwarted by a system that fails to give them adequate training, assigns them to teach subjects they aren't qualified to teach, micromanages their teaching methods and materials, and largely ignores their input. Canadian teachers are not getting the support they need and deserve. But it doesn't have to be this way. Here's how four other countries support their teachers' professionalism and give them a voice.
03/20/2015 06:03 EDT
A few months ago, we released a study showing that for at least ten years Edmonton students have consistently and significantly outperformed Calgary students, and furthermore the gap gets larger the longer the students are in school. There is no reason why every city can't get the same great results as Edmonton.
02/17/2015 08:57 EST
First, the PISA standing of Canadian students has been dropping over the years, both in terms of raw scores, and also in terms of comparative scores. Our students are getting lower marks than they did in the past -- at a time when a number of other countries are dramatically improving their scores and rocketing past Canada.
10/24/2014 12:39 EDT
For many years there was no educational Louis Pasteur for reformers to rally round, and so educators have been able to cling to their unfortunate philosophies. This is no longer the case. Unfortunately, many education leaders are ignoring these new findings. Why is that?
09/02/2014 12:31 EDT
Children's futures are too important a matter to be decided by ideological battles. As a matter of social justice -- an urgent matter of social justice -- we need policies that will help disadvantaged children. That should be an objective whether you're right-wing, left-wing, or even Martian.
08/20/2014 12:57 EDT
At present, Ontario parents are, at least theoretically, allowed to send their children to a school other than their neighbourhood school. In practice, however, there is a large group of Ontario families who are quite unlikely to be able to access any of these options. That group is English-speaking, lower-income, non-Catholics, and it includes a great many recent immigrants to Canada.
06/03/2014 12:42 EDT
In Ontario, an election is underway, and the Progressive Conservative Party is promising to create one million new jobs over the next eight years. Chances are, a lot of these new jobs will be in the STEM sector (science, technology, engineering, and math). But already Ontario doesn't have enough citizens with the ability to do these STEM sector jobs! Virtually all of the occupations experiencing skill shortages require math proficiency. Unfortunately, very few Ontario citizens are very good at math. Even more worrisome, the math scores of Ontario students have been dropping for the past five years.
05/22/2014 12:32 EDT
Most low-income parents can't buy expensive homes or afford private schools or tutors or access specialized public schools or home-school. Their children, for the most part, are stuck with their neighbourhood school. If that school doesn't meet their children's needs at some point, those needs just go unmet.
03/14/2014 05:49 EDT
Governor Bush was well aware that he was taking a big political risk in championing such big, bold changes, but he was willing to take this risk for the sake of the children. And, as it happened, Governor Bush's risk paid off handsomely -- both in terms of his own popularity at the polls and also in terms of student success.
01/27/2014 08:28 EST
Parents are really fed up. They are sick of paying for Kumon, sick of struggling with ridiculous homework assignments and nutty textbooks, and -- most of all -- tired of seeing doors slammed in their children's faces because they can't do math. In Ontario, an election is coming soon. It's time to make a change.
01/15/2014 12:14 EST
Everyone agrees that there is more bullying these days and that it could be handled better. However, no one is asking why the incidence of bullying has increased so markedly. People used to think that bullies act the way they do because they suffer from low self-esteem. The truth turned out to be exactly the opposite.
04/16/2013 08:39 EDT
Western radicalism appears to be triggered by an individual's feelings of alienation and a need for identity and purpose. Perhaps if Aaron Yoon, Ali Medlej and Xristos Katrisoubas had been able to attend schools where they felt welcomed and part of a larger community, they would be alive and well today.
04/09/2013 12:34 EDT
According to Statistics Canada, approximately 42 per cent of Canadian adults do not read well enough to cope with everyday tasks. Sub-par reading instruction is having a dramatic effect on our society. How can we compete internationally when more than two out of five of our citizens can't read well enough to do most jobs?
03/25/2013 05:43 EDT
The TIMSS and PISA tests conform to the highest scholarly standards of reliability. If it comes down to a contest between the EQAO tests on one side and the TIMSS and PISA tests on the other, most objective observers would choose the TIMSS and PISA reporting.
03/18/2013 05:15 EDT
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