Promote equity by promoting a quality education

A secretariat to oversee equity officers won't empower students from disadvantaged backgrounds

Promote equity by promoting a quality educationEarlier this year, a group called Equity Matters asked the province of Manitoba to establish an education equity secretariat to oversee equity officers working in Manitoba schools. Equity Matters wants to ensure that all Manitoba students are reflected in the curriculum and at all public education system staff levels. They don’t want any student to…

Why can’t Canada also address student debt?

America is taking a tentative step to help students. Canada needs to do the same

Why can’t Canada also address student debt?American President Joe Biden is wiping US$10,000 in federal student loan debt for those with incomes under $125,000 a year or households that earn less than $250,000. He is also cancelling an additional $10,000 for students who received federal Pell Grants to attend college. For context, more than 45 million Americans collectively owe over $1.7…

Canada desperately needs school choice

Tying funding to parental choices generates strong incentives for schools to provide higher-quality customization

Canada desperately needs school choiceWhen Canadian schools suffer from poor track records and students fall behind, provincial governments always favour the same response: throw more money at the problem. New crises prompt political actors to request further rounds of new investments, reinvestments, refinancing, and improved financing — the slogans change, but the strategy is always to try to secure…

Memorizing facts still has an important place in schools

Students learn best when immersed in a content-rich learning environment that builds up their background knowledge

Memorizing facts still has an important place in schoolsInstead of making students memorize a bunch of useless facts, we need to help them think like scientists and historians. Does this make sense to you? It probably does if you’re a curriculum consultant or an education professor. After all, that’s what’s being pushed in faculties of education. The problem is that this approach is…

Four critical things to know about critical race theory

Why an academic theory that dates back to the 1970s has become a political lightning rod today

Four critical things to know about critical race theoryIn April of this year, Georgia became the latest of 15 American states to ban the teaching of critical race theory in schools. In celebrating a similar ban in Mississippi, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves recorded a video in which he claimed, without evidence, that school children had been “dragged to the front of the classroom and coerced…

Violence should never be normalized in school

Schools must avoid the equally misguided extremes of zero-tolerance policies and permissive idealism

Violence should never be normalized in schoolSaunders Secondary School in London, Ont., is home to approximately 2,000 students. It’s been in the news a lot lately, but not in a good way. A recent CBC story quoted an anonymous teacher who described Saunders as a “tinderbox of violence” where students regularly challenge teachers to fist fights after school. Over the last six…

Indigenous knowledge sorely lacking in Canadian education system

Age of Enlightenment partly responsible for the destructive colonial logic that has wreaked so much havoc among Indigenous peoples

Indigenous knowledge sorely lacking in Canadian education systemThere is a wisdom principle known as wâhkôhtowin underpinning how Cree peoples fundamentally see the world. Literally, it means kinship but refers more widely to the interconnectedness of human beings with each other and with all other forms of life. According to Dwayne Donald – freshly appointed Canada Research Chair in reimagining teacher education with…

Group gives black students a voice and a welcoming space

The Black Graduate Students’ Association helps build a more inclusive university for all students

Group gives black students a voice and a welcoming spaceHeather Gray Lamm’s introduction to the Black Graduate Students’ Association came while she was sitting on the floor of the Butterdome at the University of Alberta. Lamm, a new graduate student, was taking a moment amidst the chaos and crowd of orientation to figure out where she was supposed to be. “You’re easily invisible in such…

Teachers must stop undermining parental values

Teachers are hired to educate students, not to indoctrinate them

Teachers must stop undermining parental valuesWhen parents send their children to school, they place a lot of trust in teachers. It’s important that teachers not undermine that trust. Unfortunately, some teachers haven’t learned this lesson. For example, last year a school posted a message on its outdoor sign stating that farming affects oceans and that the chemicals used in farming…

Joanne Weber named first-ever research chair in deaf education

The only professor in academia working on deaf education

Joanne Weber named first-ever research chair in deaf educationThere is a fierce debate raging in the deaf community. Many audiologists believe sign language is obsolete, recommending instead that deaf children rely exclusively on technology such as cochlear implants and hearing aids. Sign language, they contend, interferes with learning to speak. Joanne Weber argues the whole dispute is absurd and unnecessary. The first Canada Research Chair in…
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