Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Recommendations Follow Up


In a follow up to yesterday’s blog about What The Best Educational Systems Do Right here are some of my recommendations that would help make all educational systems stronger.

  1. Within 5 years every teacher graduating from teacher’s college should have a masters degree.

The thought behind this is that right now having a Bachelor’s Degree and a B Ed are nice but if you want real commitment to education you need to demand that your teachers are highly qualified and are indeed experts in their knowledge area. The days of Gym teachers teaching Math are over. Make sure everyone is an expert.

  1. Every memorandum/ correspondence from the educational body should reflect a positive attitude demonstrating support for their teachers and schools. Parents need to become aware of this too.
We must get everyone on board, from politicians and media to the children in the school. It must be communicated loud and clear the purpose of education and the desire to make it right. When issues of conflict arise it must be seen that everyone is working to make the world a better place. This includes the bashing of unions. Most unions care deeply about the state of education and those working in it. Unions and school boards need to demonstrate they are working together towards a common goal. The commitment must be total.

  1. Assessments should in the area of application of knowledge. When this occurs we can better understand the student’s growth.

Having tests where students either regurgitate facts or simply pick the correct answer is not a test of their knowledge. It is a test of their knowing the facts they have been taught. Students need to be applying their knowledge to solve real problems that demonstrate their thinking skills. The application of those skills across many platforms to create realistic solutions of develop ideas to fruition is more important in this day and age.

  1. That schools should become the home base of social services that children can receive all the support the need to succeed. This should include parental support where necessary. If schools are the soul of the community then all the resources to ensure the success of children should be found there.

Let’s be realistic here. Whatever problems adults are facing in their community their children are also facing. Why is it then that these services are so removed from the local community? Why is there not a team of experts in every community who are on the frontline where people can access them? They should be not only to help those children who need counselling but also for families to access when their need is at it’s greatest. They should not have to wait months to access social sercices.

  1. Every school should make inquiry research the basis for their education with the interests of the children being the springboard for their education.

Inquiry research is thought of as the new thing in education. The reality is it is not new. It has been the basis of education for a long time but has been shunted aside as people focussed on the skills they perceived children to need in areas such as math and language. Inquiry research has the ability to infuse students with many of the skills they will need to be effective in their lives and careers. If used properly it allows students to explore and solve problems that are rooted in the world around them. Kids see problems clearer than adults do and seek solutions based on research infused with meaningful discussion.
  1. That two years of special education training should become mandatory to help teachers understand how to help weaker students become the best they can be in their lives.

This, when crossed with a masters program, gives the teacher a much stronger understanding of autism, behaviour problems, slow learners and other learning disabilities. It gives them ideas of how to work with these children rather than using a guess method.

Children deserve the best we can give them. It is time to replace the war machine with education. The benefits are astronomical. We must get past the fears we have and look at education with a new reality: that it is the most important part of our lives. Education makes us strong and helps us grow. Without education we are merely weeds in a vegetable patch.  

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