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A great deal can happen in a week. Just look south of us for a minute to see the White House and Trumps’ government beginning to implode. Part of that craziness comes from the relentless pressure and media attention created by citizens picketing and protesting. All in all people are using what resources they have at their disposal to try to, legally, interrupt the Presidents’ plans for ?we are not sure.
Last week I outlined 2 majors issues that have the potential to be more serious to our long term mental and physical health than most other social issues combined. One of those is the continued use of an educational system that is actually stifling our kids creativity and their thirst for knowledge and innovation. The other issue is fatherlessness. This is a problem that has a direct influence on school attendance, behaviour, bullying, increased violence in schools as well as our communities.
Single parented homes are increasing and the number of women who get left with the burden of being a being a single mom is also rising. Approximately 80% of single parented homes are parented by moms. These are issues that we, as a community, can ‘fix’ provided there is a political will to make that happen. The fatherless issue is one I have written about many times in the past. I will continue to expand my knowledge base about this important concern and send along information to those who want to learn more about it.
The approach of providing education is another one that I will continue to learn more about. I have included a website that will be of great interest to those who share a common concern about the type of education our kids are receiving. It’s a bit lengthy but worth every minute of your valuable time.
Canada currently ranks 7th on the international rating system considering educational programs. However, this ranking sees Canada falling behind other countries like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Cong, Finland, UK and then CANADA. The U.S. is 14th despite spending more money per capita on education than most other countries. Money can no longre fix this realization.
Finland is usually in the top five internationally but recently declared that they will, starting next year, remove the core subjects of math, literature, science, history and geography from their curriculum. I believe it to be a brilliant idea, a bold move and long overdue.
Before you tell me that I’m crazy please read the article that explains their thinking about this controversial move. This is not a country which makes decisions lightly especially when it comes to the education of their children and ultimately their futures. As successful as Finland has been internationally they see the need to approach education from a different place in order to continue to provide the best educational system for their learners of the future.
We, also, need to pay attention and keep up if we want to remain competitive in the world marketplace.
Here are 7 things that we can do to begin the march toward ensuring a better and more relevant education for our children:
- Become informed. Use the internet. It’s free and has a wealth of articles and information that will help provide unbiased answers to your questions. Information is power. Get it and use it.
- Seek out other concerned parents and care givers including disgruntled teachers whose numbers are growing. Many are frustrated because they see what is not happening for learners but are powerless to change the system. Innovation needs to shift from the boardroom to the classroom.
- Organize town hall meetings and invite local MPP’s and school trustees to participate. Help them become aware of how you see things as a group and what you would like to see happen next. Don’t settle for their promises to ‘look into things’ or to ‘study’ your concerns. The studies have been done. The outcomes are public knowledge. The proof for the need to change is there.
- Go to U-Tube and listen to experts who have been an integral part of the ‘studies.’ I would suggest listening to Dr. Ken Robinson first. Brilliant.
- Read a book called ‘Abundance’ written by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. They outline the need for developing a new global educational plan and some suggestions to consider about how to get started. It is a book filled with innovative ideas and hope.
- Keep your children connected to you as a family member and as someone who has value and importance in the family. Our kids need us to be leaders for them now.
- Be mentors to your kids and not dictators. Don’t always be telling them what they have to do but rather ask them questions about why they want to do certain things.Get to know them for who they are. Parental common sense needs to take hold for sure but our job is to teach our kids not train them to be something they don’t want to be.
It’s a new world and one that is not totally understood by us as parents. Our kids get it. Truth be known we could learn a great deal from them. The point is we need to do right by them so they can do right by us when the time comes. We need to help them prepare for success over the next 20 years. That means a great deal of thinking regarding a new educational paradigm needs to start right NOW.
Anyways, that’s how I see things. All the best, JIm
Please pass this along to your family and friends. Any comments can be sent to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org OR through my web site at: jimcloughley.com/
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