Archive for the ‘Education Debates’ Category

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Let’s admit it – online education is a pale shadow of the real thing

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

… the massive and sudden shift in teaching at all levels exposes social and economic faultlines that pre-date the current pandemic… Even at places where in-person teaching will resume in the fall, the social and cultural aspects of campus life will be almost entirely absent… Given physical distancing, the in-person option will presumably be available only for small classes… online education is what we are forced to accept… that we’ve been forced willy-nilly into this viral-virtual corner is no solace, or solution.

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A recession is a great time to go back to school. Governments must help make that possible

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

… unlike previous recessions, postsecondary education has itself been partly shut down… For the sake of Canada’s future, governments need to encourage young adults to keep pursuing their educations, and older and unemployed adults to consider a return… The pandemic presents an opportunity for educational innovation, born of necessity.

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This Is How Scandinavia Got Great

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

The idea was to create in the mind of the student a sense of wider circles of belonging — from family to town to nation — and an eagerness to assume shared responsibility for the whole. The Nordic educators also worked hard to develop the student’s internal awareness… If you have a thin educational system that does not help students see the webs of significance between people… you’re going to wind up with a society in which people can’t see through each other’s lenses.

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E-learning in Ontario: Way of the future or an ineffective teaching model?

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

… the most important factor for student achievement is how well e-learning programs are designed, delivered and supported… Contrary to popular opinion, quality e-learning programs cost as much as or more than the traditional classroom model, because students require extra resources to do well… in Michigan, students taking virtual courses have both a teacher and a mentor.

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If Doug Ford’s government gets its way, Ontario risks losing its educational edge

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

… provincial laws in Ontario restrict teachers’ legitimate concerns – what they can protest about, or bargain for – to issues of salary, benefits and working conditions. Teachers are expressly prohibited from negotiating on issues of policy (for example, curriculum), even while policies may be serious issues of concern to them… the factors that allow teachers to teach well, and to know it, are the same factors that support student learning.

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Ontario’s educational assistants deserve proper pay and support

Monday, January 27th, 2020

EAs… are already terribly underpaid for the crucial support they provide… Imposing pay cuts against inflation isn’t just an insult to them; it’s an insult to every parent and person in the province. It’s a clear message from the government that it places a higher value on the rich people benefiting from tax cuts than it does on investing in a safe and stable learning environment for educational workers and kids.

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Why performance-based funding for universities is not the answer

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Universities do not control the labour market and governments are poor at predicting future labour market needs… the key to navigating such a future is to remain flexible and fluid… in order to remain consistent in their quality offerings, universities require predictable funding. Keeping universities in a perpetual state of uncertainty will only limit, not enhance, their ability to offer innovative programs that build on their traditional strengths.

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The right formula: Why math is the key to a more equitable society

Monday, January 20th, 2020

Everyone should have a right to fulfill their intellectual potential. The research suggests that math is the subject in which the vast majority of people could – if teachers were empowered to use evidence-based methods in their classrooms – enjoy that right today.

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How can prisoners be rehabilitated without proper access to education?

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

CSC policy makes clear that prison staff are expected to facilitate access to postsecondary schooling. But that policy conflicts with another: the total ban on inmate access to the internet… As the federal Office of the Correctional Investigator put it in a 2016 report: “It’s hard to understand how an environment deprived of computers and Internet, and thereby deprived of information, can be rehabilitative.”

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Doug Ford wants his Mike Harris moment. Teachers won’t give it to him. Taxpayers will pay for it

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

Under the pretext of an inflated deficit, Ford’s Tories pre-emptively imposed a legislated salary cap of one per cent on the public sector, just in time, coincidentally, for teacher negotiations. They did this knowing that the courts overruled such overreach when a Liberal government abrogated collective bargaining rights in 2012 (during a real fiscal emergency, unlike today’s imaginary crisis)

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