Monday, December 06, 2010

What's wrong with our skools?

When I was in grade school, way, way back in the early 1970s (yes I am that old) I was subjected to (victimized by?) education reforms that were considered "progressive."

This included "open concept" where five different classes were taught in one massive room, with no walls to divide them; a "teach yourself" model, where students were expected to create their own lessons using the teacher as only one of many resources and "fun Fridays" which meant we got to go bowling.

At the time I thought this sort of "progressive" learning was great, but as it turned out the only thing I really learned was how to graduate without learning anything.

High School turned out to be a bit of a shock: "What do you mean there's no bowling?!"

Anyway, I am bringing all this up because I recently attended a meeting put on by the Society for Quality Education where a Manitoba teacher, Michael Zwaagstra, was speaking about what's wrong with public education.

And he made it clear that unfortunately progressivism is still alive and well in our schools.

Protecting "self-esteem", it seems, is deemed more important than you know, actually teaching kids stuff.

Zwaagstra has co-written a book on this topic, which includes ways to set our schools back on the right track.

It's too late for me, but perhaps we can save a future generation of students.


Anonymous said...

Went through the same type of educational "experiments". Did you have rods in math? They also did away with all exams from grade 7 until the year after I "graduated". Yep, really prepared me for the world.

Anonymous said...

School sucked for me too, but it wasn't that bad. I think the progressiveness got toned down a bit, at least here in Victoria.

Anonymous said...

Socialism puts collective morale above individual achievement and self realization. In a socialist utopia, nobody achieves anything unless it is sanctioned by the state and deemed worthy. It is insidious, spiteful and frankly unhuman. (real conservative)

Anonymous said...

Self-esteem is achieved through accomplishment. The progressives need to figure this out.

Kadam said...

Anon at 6:31am AHEM!

What value is self esteem gained without accomplishment or trials. That kind of external creation of self esteem simply cracks under the pressure of life and experience.

The self reliance and esteem created from struggle and accomplishment stands up to troubles and tribulations, and is the source of those people that continue to create and build even when its difficult not only when its easy.

Robert McClelland said...

And right on cue...

Canadian 15-year-old students continue to perform well internationally and have strong skill sets in reading, mathematics and sciences. Canada's results remained stable between 2000 and 2009.

Rightwing gibberish is getting easier and easier to debunk every day.

Doretta Wilson said...

Thanks Gerry for your post.

The latest international test results (PISA) just came out and Canada has slipped down.

"Canadian students continue to slip in international rankings of math, science and reading skills, but the country can boast of an education system that lessens differences of social class and gaps between immigrant and native-born students.

Canada sat tenth among 70 countries in math skills in 2009, down from seventh place three years earlier, according to the largest international survey of its kind.

The country ranked eighth in science scores, down from third in 2006, and sixth in reading skills, sliding from fourth place three years earlier."

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Ah, nice try at a positive spin Robert but you nicely missed the point in the "universal" test results that has Canada falling from 2nd place to 5th place among nations.

Anonymous said...

Robert, please take a moment to read the entire article. As is your wont, you have cherry picked.

I think it is less about the subject of posting than it is about trolling conservative blogs.

Robert McClelland said...

Ah, nice try at a positive spin Robert but you nicely missed the point in the "universal" test results that has Canada falling from 2nd place to 5th place among nations.

So what. Gerry's obvious point is that Canada's education system is in decline when it's not. How another country's education system is doing has nothing whatsoever to do with the state of Canada's education system; which, again, is doing quite well.