If you could ask your government representative one question what would it be? I know what mine would be: “If you could save this province millions of dollars each year without cutting ANY services would you be interested in knowing how?” All that is necessary is for our next administration to demonstrate they possess some imagination, some creativity and political ‘balls’ to do now what will NEED to be done later if we want to maintain our reputation as a world leader.
If you’re a grandparent, single parent, co-parenting parent and you care about the future of your children or grandchildren then this article would be worth a read.
There is an overwhelming amount of data/research available to those who wish to read it that suggests the need to design a new paradigm regarding the methodology we use to educate our children and the curriculum offered to our kids. If you are interested in hearing the real experts talk about education and how the lack of leadership and vision is actually affecting the prospects of our kids being successful when competing for good jobs in the 21st Century economies, click on the underlined link.
Parents need to be involved with planning their kids education. Let’s not trust the ‘system’ to tell our kids what they must learn and how they will learn it. For the longest time Boards of Education have connected an education with securing a good job when they graduate. Today’s kids wont settle for a standard one size fits all education. They want to utilize their varied skills and talents and decide on career paths that stimulate passion about learning and contributing as well. They want to be excited about learning and preparing for their futures. Our children will need to receive the best education they can get in order to succeed but the current system is not getting that job done.
So how does this claim to save multiple millions of dollars come into play. Just think about how many schools are closing and how many kids are being bussed to other schools up to an hour away-at what cost? Our question needs to be why are schools closing? School boards would say that it is because of declining enrolments. However, the number of kids enrolling every year seems to be consistent so why aren’t they attending school? Answer: Because they are not stimulated by the curriculum, remain bored and have lost confidence in the system as it stands. In short: they are not learning what they need to in order to be successful and they know it. The more kids become passionate about learning and choose to engage in the new system the more they will attend school. The result: less mental health problems like depression and stress, less teen suicide, less use of social services, police services, hospital services, fire services and counselling services thereby saving hundreds of millions of dollars. Some researches suggest an overall reduction of at lest 30% of total health care costs could be saved. (30% of a 50 Billion$ budget-Ontario=15 Billion $)
Kids want to learn in groups now not sitting in single rows of desks. They want to share their learning experience with others who have the same career ambitions. They will learn faster from each other and that is a proven fact. Think about how long it takes them to learn how to use the latest technology.
So here is a quick look at what the ‘new’ learning centers will look like:
1. Programs will be designed, in part, by the learners (students), parents and the mentors asigned to the specific learning environments. This is referred to as a ‘student centered approach. Teachers will become ‘mentors’ providing guidance and instruction where needed. Mentors will be encouraged to be innovative and creative regarding how they manage their learning environments and not punished for thinking outside the ‘box’ as they are now.
2. Classrooms will become work labs where students (learners) will work in groups who have similar learning styles. Each learner will have a lap top. No need for text books. All the kids need to know and more is on-line. They need to be taught how to search out information. School Boards would save millions of dollars.
3. No homework. Homework is done at school so that any problems or questions about the work can be discussed and solutions found with the assistance of the ‘mentors’. Other learners, who might have struggled with similar questions, will benefit as well.
4. No more standardized testing. Learners will be encouraged to work at their own speed and level of understanding. Currently many students get pushed ahead into the next grade whether they are ready or not only to struggle at the next level because they didn’t completely understand where they had just come from. A sure recipe for ‘failure’ if there ever was one not to mention the increase in mental health related issues like stress and anxiety.
5. Any new paradigm should welcome/include hard to serve learners. I’m not speaking about the learners who have learning disabilities here. I’m speaking of programs that are designed to include the special needs learners who present as brilliant learners as well as those who learn at a slower than average pace. We are losing so much creativity and innovation from both ends of the ‘regular student spectrum’.
There needs to be a ‘revolution’ happen in the educational process and not an ‘evolution’. An evolutionary approach would just build on what we know doesn’t work.
Anyways, that’s how I see things–all the best, Jim
Comments are welcome-please pass this on to friends and family. TO contact me please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org OR through my web page at: jimcloughley.com