Professionals should be allowed to speak freely

Regulatory bodies should stick to their core purpose and stay out of politics

Professionals should be allowed to speak freelyThe Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) serves as the regulatory body for public school teachers in Ontario. When a complaint comes in, the OCT is obligated to investigate and, if the teacher is found guilty, decide on an appropriate consequence. By investigating complaints against teachers in that province, regulatory bodies such as the OCT play…

Memorizing facts still has an important place in schools

Students learn best when immersed in a content-rich learning environment that builds up their background knowledge

Memorizing facts still has an important place in schoolsInstead of making students memorize a bunch of useless facts, we need to help them think like scientists and historians. Does this make sense to you? It probably does if you’re a curriculum consultant or an education professor. After all, that’s what’s being pushed in faculties of education. The problem is that this approach is…

It’s time to scrap the ArriveCAN app

This useless app has only contributed to the chaos at our major airports

It’s time to scrap the ArriveCAN appDeputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland thinks her government is too humble. At least that’s what she said when a reporter asked her why travellers are still forced to fill out the ArriveCAN app before entering Canada. After extolling the virtues of national humility, Freeland went on to take credit for saving 70,000 lives by enacting…

Violence should never be normalized in school

Schools must avoid the equally misguided extremes of zero-tolerance policies and permissive idealism

Violence should never be normalized in schoolSaunders Secondary School in London, Ont., is home to approximately 2,000 students. It’s been in the news a lot lately, but not in a good way. A recent CBC story quoted an anonymous teacher who described Saunders as a “tinderbox of violence” where students regularly challenge teachers to fist fights after school. Over the last six…

Teachers must stop undermining parental values

Teachers are hired to educate students, not to indoctrinate them

Teachers must stop undermining parental valuesWhen parents send their children to school, they place a lot of trust in teachers. It’s important that teachers not undermine that trust. Unfortunately, some teachers haven’t learned this lesson. For example, last year a school posted a message on its outdoor sign stating that farming affects oceans and that the chemicals used in farming…

Technology should never be the driving force behind education reform

Students need more time reading books and less time reading screens. Good teaching, not more technology, is key

Technology should never be the driving force behind education reformTechnology has had a huge impact on public education. Classrooms of today look quite different from those of a generation ago. It shows just how quickly technology changes and the extent to which it dominates our children’s lives. However, while it makes sense to ensure that students and teachers have reasonable access to computers, technology…

Teachers must retake charge of their classrooms

It is the only way to ensure quality education

Teachers must retake charge of their classroomsProspective teachers learn a lot about individualized instruction in faculties of education. That’s because teachers are encouraged to personalize learning for each student as much as possible. To a certain degree, this makes good sense. An inflexible, cookie-cutter approach to education serves no one well. At the same time, the pendulum has swung so far…

It’s time that students came first rather than last

Two years of pandemic restrictions have taken a toll on our kids

It’s time that students came first rather than lastFinally, provincial governments are loosening public health restrictions. Based on what many health officials are saying, there’s a good chance that our country will be largely free of these restrictions by spring. And not a moment too soon, particularly for our young people. Even though kids are in the age group that is least likely…

Handwriting remains a useful skill

We are more likely to remember words we write than words we type

Handwriting remains a useful skill“Sign here please.” Anyone who has ever accepted a UPS delivery, signed a permission slip for a school field trip, or filled out a legal document has likely seen this phrase. Although it takes only a few seconds to sign a document, our handwritten signature means we have read the document and accepted its terms.…

Teachers should keep using textbooks

Telling students to create their own knowledge by finding sources on the internet is just plain wrong

Teachers should keep using textbooksI learned a lot about Canadian history when I was an elementary school student. However, it had little to do with what happened during class. Rather, I came across an old Canadian history textbook in our school library and started reading it on my own time. What sparked my interest was the textbook author’s ability…
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