Archive for the ‘Education Debates’ Category

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Online classes will impoverish the university experience for students

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

Students come to university because they want to change: to become something or someone they are not yet. This transformation involves looking at the world in a new way and interacting with people who have a variety of world views and experiences. This is so much harder to accomplish virtually than face-to-face. Online education is effective for a small set of students: those who are highly motivated, mature, and who already possess considerable experience learning online. Most undergraduates do not fall into this category.

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Orwell’s Warning on Speaking Freely

Sunday, July 12th, 2020

… speaking freely is in danger… from liberal elites who, when tested, lack the courage of their liberal convictions; from so-called progressives whose core convictions were never liberal to begin with; from administrative types at nonprofits and corporations who, with only vague convictions of their own, don’t want to be on the wrong side of a P.R. headache.

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School pandemic plans don’t work for working parents, province told

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Other jurisdictions are thinking outside the box so students aren’t simply divvied into groups and told to attend classes half-days or every other day — and Ontario should be too… The “hybrid” model of in-class and online learning “leaves working parents with young children, single-parent households and low-income families in the precarious position of having to choose between educating their children and their own employment,”

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The 2020-21 academic year will be the best ever for postsecondary students who need a hand financially

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

… students who will have to borrow to cover their costs – half the undergrad population in a normal year – should consider how much extra money there is this year. Enough to chop thousands off their total amount borrowed, and years off the time it takes to repay the loan. Here’s a list of financial resources available to students for the 2020-21 academic year

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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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