COVID-19 forces the return of traditional teaching

COVID-19 forces the return of traditional teachingDesks in rows with students facing the front of the room. Teachers providing lots of direct instruction. Students spending plenty of time doing individual practice work in their desks. No, we didn’t travel back to the 1950s. This is what many classrooms look like during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not a bad thing. In fact,…

Social connections critical for students with learning disabilities: study

U of A education researcher offers advice on how post-secondary schools and students can foster a sense of belonging and improve learning

Social connections critical for students with learning disabilities: studyFor any first-year student, university classes can seem scary. Add in a learning disability and it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Just ask Lauren Goegan. Now a post-doctoral researcher in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education, she vividly recalls one of the first lectures she attended as a new undergraduate with dyslexia. The class was delivered…

How parents can help their kids succeed at online learning

Teamwork by parents, teachers and students is key, says U of A education expert who offers four ways to make it happen

How parents can help their kids succeed at online learningFor students learning from home this year, there will be some lingering challenges from last spring’s COVID-19 shutdown: parents busy balancing their own work needs, no in-person connection with teachers, technology headaches. But the best way to support online learners is through solid teamwork involving everyone in the equation, says a University of Alberta education…

School choice key to improving education

Competition is always better than monopoly and the education system is no exception

School choice key to improving educationThe Ontario government recently announced a new elementary school math curriculum. It’s likely a positive step but more fundamental funding changes are necessary to truly improve the province’s education system. The province will return to a “back to basics” approach to math aimed at improving standardized test scores. It will also introduce lessons on financial…

Why remote learning takes new ways of thinking

Students, teachers must be more mindful of how they think, says U of A expert who offers advice on making the shift

Why remote learning takes new ways of thinkingAs students log in to online classes this fall, they’ll have to adjust their thinking caps in a new way, a University of Alberta education expert advises. “People will have to be more mindful of how they think, not just what they think,” said Greg Thomas, a Faculty of Education expert in metacognition – one’s self-reflection on…

Extra support needed for ESL students in junior high, study shows

English language learners in Grades 7 to 9 perform worse than monolingual classmates in vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension

Extra support needed for ESL students in junior high, study showsA sizable proportion of junior high school students whose first language is not English are falling behind in oral language and literacy skills, according to a recent linguistics study. After testing 227 Edmonton and Vancouver English language learners in Grades 7 to 9, University of Alberta's Johanne Paradis and her colleagues found that many performed below…

Canadian students need a return to regular classes this fall

Students learn best when they develop strong personal connections with their teachers. We need to stop dwelling on worst-case scenarios

Canadian students need a return to regular classes this fallOne thing we’ve learned this year is that global pandemics have a big impact on teaching and learning. In mid-March, regular kindergarten-to-Grade-12 classes across Canada were suspended and instruction moved online. While schools in some provinces partially reopened in June, this doesn’t mean things are back to normal just yet. Students gained limited access to…

Polytechnic education critical to the front-line workforce

Government needs to be thinking about smart investments to make applied education safe and accessible

Polytechnic education critical to the front-line workforceThe important role of front-line workers has never been more apparent than over the last several weeks. They include nurses and personal support workers, paramedics and other first responders, technology professionals and skilled tradespeople, and those working in advanced manufacturing or supplying us with food. These have been the people with the skills and know-how…

Can parent-teachers adequately educate their children?

Greater accountability in teaching and learning could be a very positive outcome from this enforced homeschooling

Can parent-teachers adequately educate their children?Canadian students have been out of school for more than two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and parents are taking on increased responsibilities in homeschooling. In many cases, parents are reluctant teachers, asking themselves if they’re doing an adequate job. There are three questions they probably want answered: Can I do a good job…

Pandemic gives us a chance to re-imagine education

Why do we try to force kids into the same educational mould – especially when we have the technology to do things differently?

Pandemic gives us a chance to re-imagine educationWith school districts in some parts of Canada drafting plans to reopen, it’s time we ask: What have we learned about education from the days our school buildings were closed? We might say we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic that there’s a lot more good out there than we’d have hoped to imagine – a…
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