Awakening the female political voice

Donald Trump may have unintentionally succeeded where many have failed – he has awoken the feminine political voice

Awakening the female political voiceAs newly-minted U.S. president, Donald Trump has unintentionally succeeded where many have failed trying – he has awoken the feminine political voice. The proof is in the hundreds of thousands of women who protested in Washington, D.C., last weekend, and the millions who rallied around the world. In Canada, protests attracted more than 100,000 people. These massive numbers…

Lose the blackboard, embrace technology, so our economy can keep up

Canada can't embrace the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century unless our education system embraces new teaching technologies

Lose the blackboard, embrace technology, so our economy can keep upShifting Canada from an economy based on natural resources to one based on human resources will take time and investment, but it's essential. Starting with furs and fish, then timber, minerals and petroleum, Canada has prospered thanks to our abundant natural resources. But in recent years, governments have recognized that change is necessary and have pledged to…

The importance of unstructured recess

By organizing activities at recess, or replacing recess with more classroom studies, educators are doing a horrible disservice to children

The importance of unstructured recessEducators like to focus on the three Rs – reading, writing, arithmetic – but pediatricians say we should add a fourth R of equal importance: recess. Recess has long been thought of simply as a break in the day. Kids let off steam and then return to the classroom with renewed focus and resolution. Framed…

2016 a year of dramatic change in education

The implications of some of the biggest stories in public education in 2016

2016 a year of dramatic change in educationCanada's education system has faced a year of upheaval. As we compete in an increasing competitive global market, parents and employers rightfully demand that public education dollars are put to good use. So as a new year approaches, we should look back on some of the biggest stories in public education in 2016 and consider their…

Parents are paramount in a child’s education

Canadian teachers and other do-gooders have attempted but failed to eradicate the worst social ills through classroom instruction

Parents are paramount in a child’s educationAn Ontario judge has ruled that when it comes to teaching morals and ethics, a parent's wishes are no match for the government's curriculum, despite our rights of freedom of religion and expression. Eustathios Tourloukis, a devout Greek Orthodox father, demanded to be informed by his child's school before certain topics were taught in the…

Civics courses are something we can’t LIV without

Imagine how things would change if we educated our next generation to ignore the sideshow antics, the social media snapshots, and the meaningless jargon

Civics courses are something we can’t LIV withoutAs the Fraser Institute points out with its Tax Freedom Day, nearly half of your work in a year is spent earning income to meet tax obligations to municipal, provincial and federal governments. Yet despite the taxes we pay, too often Canadians are ill-informed about how governments operate, or what we can do as citizens to…

Testing the limits of an education system’s commitment

In the face of a cyber attack on an Ontario literacy test, a teachers' union casts doubt on the entire notion of standardized testing

Testing the limits of an education system’s commitmentStandardized testing is too important to allow a cyber attack – or a reluctant teachers' union – to derail it. A major denial-of-service hack recently disrupted Twitter, Spotify, Netflix and the New York Times web services, among others. The complicated attack started in Asia, using unsecure routers and webcams. A Twitter account affiliated with the hacker…

Nationwide standard on high school diploma would raise the bar

A lack of national educational standards for literacy, mathematics and sciences is putting Canada's economic prosperity in peril

Nationwide standard on high school diploma would raise the barU.S. presidential elections are always big events. With headlines dominated by scandals involving Trump and Clinton, some very important issues are getting very little notice. Our neighbours to the south are struggling with an education issue that Canadians also share. In the U.S., an initiative sponsored by the National Governors Association, known as Common Core…

Wynne’s education strategy all about her political ambitions

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is intent on bringing teachers into the fold with a new contract as she builds re-election allies

Wynne’s education strategy all about her political ambitionsThe Ontario government is signalling that the politics of re-election trumps good governance. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is secretly trying to negotiate a contract extension with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) to ensure labour peace before she seeks re-election. And she is even willing to change the collective bargaining laws that the Liberal government itself put…

Canada needs to put its education spending to better use

A disproportionate amount of money is spent on education, but our results are mixed and we are falling behind many other countries

Canada needs to put its education spending to better useCanadians don't get full value for the money they spend on education – and it's a great deal of money. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), made up of 35-member countries committed to democracy and world trade, has just released a report on the state of global education. Comparing the outcomes of Canadian…