Truth Talkin’ Thursday: Episode #74

Greetings-Join Jane and I this week as we chat about the perils of being ‘fake’. Why do so many people feel the need to be who they are not? Why do folks feel that they have to create this false sense of reality or chat up their importance to the world they live in. The hardest thing for people to learn about is a friend or partner who has not been honest about who they are and what they do or believe. If they become important to us we often let them get close to us. Then we find out that they are not who they said they were. It not only hurts us but it  makes us wonder about what we believe to be true, who we are and what we stand for. It just sucks all ’round.

Come join us for the rest of our conversation. Just click on the link below.

Check out my new web page at: for other stuff that is going on.

Thanks for stopping by, All the best, Jim

Should Learners Design Their Own Educational Futures?

Many people who are parents, professionals, business owners-large and small, teachers and students are beginning to voice their thoughts and feelings regarding the very question that headlines this article. Some are saying ‘yes’ and some are saying ‘no.’

My answer to this question is an enthusiastic “yes.” The following is “why.”

First of all there are the very basic thoughts about this question.  Of course there are many questions that will come from the question itself. Generally speaking some of the obvious ones are: Why shouldn’t they be able to decide what they want to do to earn a living when they grow into adults? Are learners mature enough to make these important decisions? Parents worry that junior will pick all the “easy” stuff and won’t be prepared to “do battle” upon graduation for those diminishing employment opportunities?  If I am willing to pay the cost of tuition and all the attached costs why shouldn’t I study what I feel adds interest and relevance to my life? There are many more but hopefully you get the gist of what I’m writing about.

There are concerns about education becoming too dependent upon technology to adequately educate our children and that we are moving much too fast. Learners still value contact and the connectedness they experience with human beings–mentors/coaches. If the learners aren’t getting what they need, they’ll slow down the use of technology.

For me my reasons speak to the need to grow the understanding that our learners need to be more competitive on the International stage. We need to demonstrate, more clearly, the need to address the long overdue changes identified with the current pedagogy. In 1962-Hall-Dennis suggested dramatic changes in how we educated our kids and not much was done to address those ideas. Now we are playing “catch-up” because many other countries who were struggling with global standards and ranking saw the need to change-did so-and now we are following their lead in many cases.

This is not a condemnation of our system. This is not a criticism of our teachers. This is, however, a comment on some of the decisions that were made years ago that have hampered our growth and our inability to change how we do things in education. The University of Toronto-a fine school by all accounts ranks 22nd Internationally tied with The National University of Singapore. U of T is the only Canadian School in the top 25. Oxford and Cambridge rank 1 & 2 Internationally. These are the 2018 rankings.

The point to this is we have to change the way we do business-the way we do education in this country and we need to start by letting the actual drivers of the system have a much greater say in how things are done–student satisfaction and success go a long way to changing the perception other countries have of us.

Here are my 5 reasons why learners should design their own educational futures:

  1. The most important driving force in education today is the learner. They are the ones who foster change in the system and we would be well served if we paid more attention to what it is they have to say. In a true sense the system is supposed to work for them and not the other way around. They would be the ones who regulate the overall content and the amount of influence technology would have on course design. They recognize the importance of the human factor in any learning environment.
  2. It’s a given that there still is some need for rote learning in a number of the courses the learners might choose. If we listen to the learners they will tell us (the system) how much is enough. It needs to be dropped as a practice but continued as a necessity for those professions that require it. It still can be a learning tool.
  3. Learners need to be able to select and study what they favour–what they are interested in doing when they grow up. They will never know what those interests might be if they are never exposed to the information and a hands-on opportunity to experience working in a particular field. We need to get over the idea that university is a 4 year  plan and that we know what’s best for them. If it takes 5 or 6 years to graduate then so be it. Kids learn at different speeds-It is too great a mistake for kids to be pushed through a course of study to graduation just because they changed their minds half way through a program. Better they have a chance to pursue something they are interested in than to work at something they dislike.
  4. In the future certifications will not hold much value. The true proof for a potential employee will be how well they do with on the job examinations testing for particular skills sets and how successful are they are with the competency based testing they are likely to experience. Kids need to select particular skill based programs that they will need to develop so they can be more successful. THEY are the ones that know what they need more than others. They should be able to choose what they need to be comfortable and more confident.
  5. Kids just learn better and faster when they choose to study and learn about topics that are of interest to them. The system needs to put together a study plan that includes these interests but also prepares them for the supporting education that helps them to succeed.

Anyways, that’s how I see things, All the best, Jim

Comments can find me at

(Disclaimer: Photo resources used in this article were used for Education, Research or Criticism purposes only. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image.)

Truth Talkin’ Thursday: Episode #73

Greetings All–this week Jane and I talked about whether or not employers should be able to drug test their employees. Keep in mind that alcohol is considered a drug as well. It’s not just about cocaine or heroin or cannabis. Alcohol is in there too.

No surprise that I fully support the idea-Jane was almost there as well although we came at the topic from different places we ended up in the same place. Click on the link below for our reasoning and if you want to weigh in on the discussion please send us an email pointing out how you see it. We would welcome the feedback one way or the other. My email address is: and Janes is:

Thanks for stopping by

All the best, Jim

Wisdom Of The Ages . . .Not What I Thought

It is interesting what we remember as we grow older. I can remember my parents or grandparents?? saying something about “the wisdom of the ages.” Now I always thought what they were talking about was related to history and how we are supposed to learn from it because it has great lessons to share. I always supposed that was correct and so I always tried to learn about what the message was from history. Perhaps it is still like that for some but I no longer count myself among and amidst those folks.

My experience has been different. Now that may not surprise some but that’s the truth of it. I have now come to understand that wisdom of the ages does not refer to any point in time or an event but rather it refers to all of us who have managed to live this long and who have travelled this far. It is about me, the person, and us the people–not a space of time. We are the wise ones now who bring with us what we have seen and heard. WE are those “ages”-right now-in the flesh for all to see and interact with. Although I have found some interesting lessons to be learned concerning things that happened before I arrived it was not because the “ages” taught me anything profound. It was due to the fact that the combination of experiences I have had and the consequences of some of the decisions I made coupled with how I handled myself and those around me who might have been affected helped me recognize that certain things happened when other certain things happened and the result was I learned something important. It is about me NOT about the time that it happened or any particular “age.” It is me who passed and continues to pass those “wisdoms” along to my kids and a few important others in my life. Others do the same for me so that I can learn from them. And on it goes.

So those “wisdoms” are what I offer today. After all the thinking and all the relating those thoughts to folks who might be interested I have come up with a couple of thoughts that make my remaining time here so vitally important. I believe it is the time to share some of my wisdoms. Most aren’t new but they are to me and that’s all that matters. I have come by them honestly and have not incorporated them into my life because someone said I should. They mean a great deal to me. My hope is that others whom I care about and trust to a large degree will share their wisdoms with me.

  1. I do not and will not tolerate or trust those who only take and don’t share their good fortune with other people. I have no time for greedy people.
  2. I trust the children of the world to tell me how things are. Of course they can only tell me what they witness but they haven’t, for the most part, been subjected, yet, to the dishonesty and duplicity of evil people so what they tell me is likely close to the REAL truth.
  3. Simple pleasures are, by far, more enjoyable than those that take a great deal of effort to create.
  4. There is nothing-not money, not fame and not fortune that is more important and more valuable than time.
  5. Do all that you can to satisfy your passion while you still can. Live it now. There is no guarantee that “next week” will come.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best and thanks for stopping by, Jim

Comments will get to me if you send them to:   OR   by way of my web site:

Truth Talkin’ Thursday: Episode #72

Come and join Jane and I as we discuss some parenting stuff around how much do we do for our kids? How much should we do for them? What is the importance of allowing them to experience the consequences of the decisions they make? If they want to act like adults and be treated like adults then they need to understand that adults are responsible for their decisions as well. Our job is to help them learn life lessons by discussing the pros/cons of an issue they are dealing with. Then we step aside to allow them to make their choices. If they turn out to be  mistakes we help them learn something of value from those mistakes instead of blaming them and calling them names or telling them how disappointed we are in their behaviour. Punishing and consequences are not the same thing either.  .

Click on the link below for the rest of the discussion. All the best, and thank for stopping by–Jim

Send any comments to:  OR to Jane at:

5 Reasons Why A Student-Centered Education Is The Right Move . . .

Ok so I agree that I have a definite bias when it comes to this topic and the answer. For a large portion of my life I was a confirmed traditionalist. Teacher centered education was the only way to learn what I needed to in order to succeed in life. Teachers had all the answers to all my questions. To listen to them one would think that they knew EVERYTHING there was to know about everything. I was wrong on both accounts. I guess my change process began when I was given my Grade 12 Diploma in 1966? (wow) and encouraged never to return to my school again. I wasn’t exactly sure about what had happened there but I knew that I was so happy to not go back to that experience again. It was boring, uninteresting and none of the stuff they were trying desperately to teach me made any sense. It had no relevance to me whatsoever.

Fast forward to 1990 and I was involved in College life and loving the opportunity. I had found a career choice that I was excited about and gifted with instructors who understood what I needed (how I learned) and encouraged me to do it my way. What a great experience. This was the kick start to many years of researching education and why the current pedagogy works for some and not for others.

Fast forward once again and it is now 2015 and a colleague of mine and I began to think about how WE would do it differently if we could change how education was presented. What followed were discussions about the differences and the pros/cons of a student centered education and a teacher centered education. Then we took the topic out into the public and we found ourselves in heated discussions with those who were dyed in the wool traditionalists as I once was.

What is clear to us now is that a change is coming. Of this there can be no doubt. The only thing left to decide is the “when.” Perhaps my mini comparison will sway some of the fence sitters. For the sake of saving my fingers I will let SC=Student Centered and TC=Teacher Centered. The question will be: What are the benefits of a SC education.  

  1. Learning How To Collaborate–Being able to share thoughts and ideas and to work with others in order to seek common solutions to assigned problems or develop new products and methods is vital these days. One of the strong points of SC educations is it usually requires group work, discussing ideas with a common goal in mind and being able to consider other points of view.  TC focuses on working as an individual and then providing a solution.
  2. Participating in active learning. Learning should be fun and exciting. This is what maintains a learners interest and keeps them coming back to learn more. TC is a passive approach to learning. It is learning in a vacuum where, for most learners, the process is not very stimulating. It gets done because it needs to be done but the passion that is generated in SC learners is seldom there for the TC learners.
  3. Hearing all the voices. By their design SC educations encourage all the learners to have a voice in what goes on in the classroom. Whether by open debate or providing a report on a piece of work followed by a Q&A session kids have an opportunity to learn from their peers-to hear other thoughts and ideas. In a TC classroom the only voice that is generally heard is that of the teacher. He/she is the one with all the answers and only their point of view or information is the one to be considered. It is widely accepted that kids will learn more effectively from each other than they do from the one voice at the head of the room.
  4. SC educations are “inquiry” based. TC are “knowledge” based. Part of the goal of education should be to teach our children how to learn. Once they know how to learn knowledge becomes a by product of that skill. Asking questions and seeking answers is more important than trying to remember prepared scripts that require nothing but memory.
  5. SC educations allow the learner to learn and progress at their own speed. Not all kids will grasp concepts and understand                    processes at the same rate or time. SC approach allows the learner to say when he/she is ready to move on to the next learning requirement. In a TC style education the teacher is often the one who decides what happens to the learner who might be a bit slower on the uptake.  Often moved on to the next challenge the learner may not be ready to take on the task of learning further information while not having a good solid grasp or idea of the work to be done and so he/she doesn’t do well. It is a set up for “failure” not to mention anger, depression or stress.

Alvin Tofler said, “The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.”

There are so many other reasons why a student centered approach to education makes so much more sense but you need to figure that our for yourself. I will be writing more about this stuff in the weeks to come so stay tuned if your kids education and their well being are of interest to you.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best, Jim

Send any comments to : or check out my new web site at

Thanks for stopping by. Please send this article along to family and friends who may have an interest.

(The image used in this article is used for research, criticism or educational purposes. I derive no financial gain from the use of this photo)

Truth Talkin’ Thursday: Episode #71

Join Jane and I for this weeks conversation on the expectations that are made of the teachers of our children and how they are unfair. We also identify some of the issues that plague the educational system today and why the kids are the big losers here. If  you, as a parent or a care giver, want to begin to understand what is really happening or not happening in our children’s classrooms  and why our kids aren’t doing as well as we had thought they might then check out our chat.

During the next few weeks we will deal more with what needs to be done to be among the worlds best programs-currently we rank 13th in the world in terms of determining which country offers the best overall educational program globally. Who sits on top?–South Korea followed by Japan, Russia, Hong Kong and then China. Think about that for a moment and ask yourself why are we so far away from the top of the list? Over the next little while we will explain why we aren’t closer and what we can do about it.

Comments can be sent to me at:  OR to Jane at:

Teachers Lives Matter Too . . .

Unless you have been passed out under a rock somewhere for the last week or two you will know that 17 young lives were taken for no other reason than they were where they were supposed to be and the murderer wasn’t. Among those who were wounded or murdered were the teachers who get up every morning with the very thought that this might be the day. That’s a hell of a way to start anyone’s day. Those I don’t admire-are those who refuse to show a backbone and have placed children’s lives ahead of the right thing to do. That would include the politicians who spend their time sucking up to those who are positioned at the underbelly of the NRA.

Those I do admire are those students and teachers who have not shrunk away to the shadows to feel sorry for themselves but rather those who have stood up, brushed themselves off and have shown more grit and courage and passion to do the right thing than the so called leaders who are supposed to protect them. These kids will be heard and they will make a difference.

I guess what bothers me the most is that whenever an African American or Latino citizen gets shot all kinds of marches happen and cries of racial bias and lack of caring fill the air. But who is marching for the Teachers? Who is out there chanting for justice to find them?

These Teachers are the people who actually hold the nations future in their hands and yet no one seems to recognize the significance of what just happened. It is about far more than losing the precious lives of these 17 human beings and their minds. The world lost their creativity and vision as future scholars and difference makers. Every time a tragedy like this happens more people decide to either leave the teaching profession or they get involved in another career choice. When a suggestion like giving guns to teachers is made it is not only the most ridiculous and repugnant suggestion that could have been made but it shows a COMPLETE lack of understanding and empathy for teachers and what they go through every day to try to do the best they can as educators. They spend their days with one eye on the door each minute of each day not knowing who may be on their way through it with malice in their hearts.

The NRA can and will keep this debate alive and well for as long as it can because there is a fortune to be made each day the rules stay as they are. This isn’t about fundamentals. This is about cash-pure and simple. I believe the law makers need to stop trying to ban guns and re-think how guns will be tolerated. Here are three suggestions they might want to consider:

  1. There is no question or doubt that assault rifles need to go. They serve no logical purpose and they are only made and sold for one purpose and that is to KILL other human beings. A 357 will do the same thing. So assault rifles are to be owned by law enforcement or military personnel only. Home owners do not need an assault rifle to protect and defend their property and their liberty.
  2. If you feel you need to own a gun to defend your property then you would be able to purchase a hand gun after going through the proper and most thorough process known to man. Only after completing the appropriate assessments, background checks, criminal records and after an appropriate waiting time do you get the chance to purchase a legal fire arm from a legal retailer–no gun shows-no magazine purchases. If you are found to possess a hand gun bought on the street the time served should be on a chain gang (first offence-1 year-no fine) cracking rock and making new roads.  If you are able to purchase a hand gun you take it home and it stays IN YOUR HOME. It does not see the street. It does not see the light of day. If you need it to protect your home then it should stay in your home-locked, loaded and safety on.
  3. If you have a burning need to have a rifle of some kind then you join a gun club where they have lockers that can be secured. Join a club where the targets move and you can hunt them. When you are done the gun(s) are locked back up again and you leave knowing that it will be right there for you whenever you want to go back and blow off another 100 or 200 rounds-who cares.

The problem today is the NRA has people believing there has to be one solution that fits all situations and of course that is never going to happen. The NRA will continue to spill the “life blood” of the citizens and businesses will continue as usual.

The bigger problem for me is that more innocent children will die. More teachers will die or quit. The educational process that is absolutely vital for any country to succeed or survive for that matter will become an afterthought instead of a priority. Nature hates a vacuum. Dictatorships are born from citizens who demonstrate a lack of education which, in turn, creates limited thinking and no political will. Laugh if you will–would never happen here you say. When you look around at the troubled countries of the world there aren’t many that have the freedoms we enjoy at present. Our high rate of education keeps us insulated from the chaos that other countries experience. To continue to do that we need to protect our teachers not drive them away or worse yet kill them off.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best and thanks for stopping by, Jim

Comments will find me at:

(Photo image used for education, research and criticism purposes. I derive no financial gain from the use of this image or any others.)


Truth Talkin’ Thursday: Episode #70

Jane and I got into a discussion about being honest and is there a good time or not so good a time to be honest with others especially at times when truth needs to be shared or spoken. We each started out by seeing it a bit differently but eventually we got closer together with how we each saw things. For more-click on the link below to see how this ended up. Comments are welcome–please send them to : and I’ll get back to you. If you want to connect with Jane do so at:

Thanks for stopping by–Jim


One Relationship Killer Most Don’t Think About . . .

After 25 years working in the Human Services field there is one thing I have come to understand and that is we, as human beings, are capable of changing our behaviour but not our DNA. We are what we are but it remains to be seen who we become.

Fast forward to the time when we are dating and we are introduced to someone we really take a shine to. In my case she would be energetic and adventuresome; self confident and yet not self absorbed; intelligent and excited to learn about new things; be her own thinker and able and wiling to defend her beliefs, morals and values. I would need to be physically attracted to her as well. Not a lot to ask–is it?

There is nothing quite like a new and exciting relationship wherein you find yourself thinking about being with the other person all of the time. Time really does stand still at times and goes by so quickly when you are together. Most other things that seemed important at one time seem unimportant now.  There isn’t much you wouldn’t do to preserve the quality of the time you spend together.

So why are there so many failed relationships? Why are so many people tired or bored or willing to give up on a relationship that had so much promise not so many years ago? When I look at the climbing numbers of failed relationships/marriages I have to believe that the “experts” are missing something really important.

Lets go back a bit and think about when we were dating. Do they still call it “dating” by the way? For the sake of discussion I am going to say yes. You knock on the door to announce you are there to pick him/ her up–he/she answers and you are smitten all over again. How many females would answer the door with no make-up on or your hair not done just the way you know your date likes it. How many guys would show up dressed like they climbed out of a grease pit at the garage with hair that hadn’t been washed in three weeks, breath that would stop a truck complete with your smelly old running shoes on? I still believe that most would put themselves together in a way that says they care about how each is seen by the other.

Most, even today’s folks, want their companion to see the best side of who they are most of the time. Agreed, that effort does, sometimes, wear thin a bit the longer you are around the same person or people but for the most part, we are still interested in making sure the other person isn’t going to start looking for someone else to start hanging out with. If we care about the other person and are contemplating a long term relationship most will continue to present themselves in a way that remains quite favourable to the other person. Each of us holds this one belief–this one EXPECTATION very near to our hearts. It is the one thing that needs to remain constant and seldom does. Most of us can’t or don’t want to see anything or anyone who isn’t who they used to be when they were first seeing each other. We demonstrate our best and that’s who we believe we are getting for the rest of our lives. We don’t expect that part will change. When it does, as it almost always does, that is more likely the time when disappointment, confusion, even resentment begins to set in. Relationships and the desperately needed communication that needs to be engaged in seldom takes place. Things often hit bottom shortly thereafter. Couples will try counselling and weekends away but at this point there is a basic trust that is often missing or that is questioned. Is he/she just doing this so that we don’t separate? Will it matter after we have “reconciled” things?

EXPECTATIONS held by each partner, to me, present the most important talking points in any relationship and are likely the least discussed by the “professionals” or by the partners. Once these expectations are abused, refused, discounted, forgotten or bargained away the walls go up and things don’t get much better. We hang on to our expectations because that is what/how we first got connected. This early person was our reality in the beginning and we expect that who we fell in love with back then will remain the same way all through the relationship. That includes the physical and emotional parts of who we are. Is it unrealistic–certainly. Does that matter–nope.  It is easy for some to jump to the conclusion that should those expectations change then the relationship must be over.

When we are helping our kids through their mine fields called life we need to be sure to help them understand not only the importance of sharing the expectations they have of their partner with their partner but also to ask what expectations their partners have of them. Don’t assume that it won’t matter. It does and it will.

Anyways, that’s how I see things. Thanks for stopping by.

All the best, Jim

Please feel free to forward this article to family or friends. Any comments pro or con can be sent to me at: or go to my new web page at:

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