Archive for the ‘Education Debates’ Category

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Ottawa convoy protest points to a failure of civic education in Canada

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

… Canadians will get an education in civics one way or another… Will it come from a robust and informed curriculum that teaches citizens about basic institutions like parliamentary democracy, charter rights and the differences between federal and provincial jurisdiction? Or will we simply leave it to YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms to fill in the void?

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Strong, stable funding for Ontario’s Universities is an investment in Ontario’s future

Friday, February 11th, 2022

Public funding for universities in Ontario is at record low levels, while tuition fees are high, and academic work is becoming increasingly precarious… OCUFA’s recommendations are to: Increase per-student public investment… to improve Ontario’s rank by one spot among other provinces… restore the enrolment-based funding model… Implement meaningful increases to the Northern and Bilingual Grants, special purpose funding (particularly for Indigenous programming and supports), and research funding…

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Why in-person learning matters: A dispatch from the front lines

Saturday, December 18th, 2021

As pediatricians working in school-based clinics in Toronto, we have witnessed the deterioration of students’ well-being with school closures… As we confront the next wave of the pandemic, we must focus on strategies to keep schools safely open, including: supporting pediatric vaccine equity and uptake, advocating for small class sizes, and access to high-quality masks and ventilation.

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Laurentian University’s collapse shows federal government must protect public institutions from private-sector restructuring

Monday, September 13th, 2021

… the interests of big banks, whose profits have soared during the pandemic, have been put squarely ahead of the university’s students, faculty and staff. Royal Bank, TD Canada Trust and the Bank of Montreal are extracting upwards of $100 million in debt repayments from Laurentian, leaving only scraps for the workers terminated without severance. The CCAA forces the most vulnerable to wait at the back of the line.  This is a warning to anyone who values Canada’s public institutions.

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Mental health must be part of curriculum as students cope with COVID-19, say experts

Saturday, August 21st, 2021

Mental health literacy must be at the top of the agenda as students return to school, say experts, calling for emotional skills to be taught as a core part of curricula… Emerging research suggests rates of anxiety and depression among Canadian youth climbed during the pandemic, prompting some advocates to warn of a mounting mental health crisis… mental health literacy is inconsistent across the country, and programs that are didactic or siloed off from normal coursework can do more harm than good. The Mental Health Literacy Project is striving to fill in these gaps with an evidence-backed curriculum

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Rethinking education: What the pandemic teaches us about the role of schools

Friday, July 30th, 2021

The incredible unfairness is that some families can provide all the things – camps, drama club, Saturday mornings at the museum – that help develop the skills and competencies that make you thrive in the world. And more and more we’re realizing, they’re it, those skills and competencies. If you don’t have those, it will be very difficult to thrive in the knowledge economy or in our modern world.

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The politics of math curriculum

Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

While mathematical theory is objective, teaching mathematics in our educational system and how it is experienced is complicated by layers of identity. This is true for mathematics, science, history, and all other curricular subjects.  Math has also been used to normalize racism and white supremacy, which undergird systemic inequities, including biased algorithms and the disproportionate educational streaming of Black and Indigenous students.

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Those who care about math education for all should focus on results, not rhetoric about colonialism

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

To the government’s credit, it took a big step in that direction vowing to end streaming in Grade 9 — making young teenagers choose between “academic” and “applied” tracks in high school. There are stacks of evidence that this has had a disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous and poor students, limiting their opportunities for the future… The real test will be if the government follows through and makes sure the intent in that paragraph is translated into action and results.

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Why Canada’s COVID recovery needs to include international students

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

While these temporary, one-time initiatives certainly provide interim relief for international students… we need to consider more sustainable measures… Our governments should also provide additional funding to colleges and universities to make it easier for international students to access better institutional support. Decades of government cuts to post-secondary funding has arguably made these institutions far too reliant on international tuition fees.

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Evidence suggests there was no benefit to Ontario closing its schools

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

By comparing the experience of Ontario with that of other provinces it is now clear that provinces that kept schools open longer had outcomes that were no worse and, in many cases, better… To this end, the government must solicit advice from a deeper bench of experts, from economics and other social science backgrounds, who can provide a more nuanced approach to the costs and benefits of keeping schools open.

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