Category Archives: Education

The False Argument of Equivalence

Mike Smyth’s Sunday editorial [Ed. The link is no longer available.] is a classic example of BC’s mainstream corporate media once again spinning the narrative of equivalence with regard to BC’s education system. We’ve seen it for years from mainstream commentators like Keith Baldrey, Jon Ferry and Tom Fletcher. [Les Leyne of the Times-Colonist is a recent […]

Share

A Review of Tom Bennett’s Teacher Proof

[D]on’t let the fashions crush you. And so many of them are so, so very bad. The thrill of innovation, the desire for simple answers, and the mistaken belief that educational research will shine a guiding light to a smarter, more efficient system, has proven the undoing of us, and will undermine us further if […]

Share

Reflections on a 21st Century School

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day at Thomas Haney Secondary School in Maple Ridge, BC. The school is known for its commitment to flexible, personalized, learn-at-your-own-pace education, and is touted by many as an exemplar of progressive pedagogy. As a teacher curious about the phenomenon of “21st century learning”, but also a little […]

Share

Let’s Hope High School Won’t Be Your “Glory Days”

After another day of classes, and another round of adolescent glowering and truculence, I am reminded of Springsteen’s classic, “Glory Days”. Nobody said it so well: let’s hope your years in high school won’t be your glory days. If they are, then the rest of your life will be a big disappointment! One of the most […]

Share

Presumptuousness in Education

Here’s a comment I made today on Scott McLeod’s progressive education blog, Dangerously Irrelevant. My response is to his question, “When will we view educators that opt out of the use of social media for professional learning as an aberration rather than the norm?” ______ As someone who embraces many social media technologies but who […]

Share

The Rip Van Winkle Effect: Back in the Classroom after Eight Years

Last September I knew I had to make a change, and so I took the plunge and moved back into the classroom after eight years in distance learning. I decided to leave DL because I really missed the classroom. I wanted to work face-to-face with students again, and embrace the challenges and rewards that come […]

Share

Skydrive: Slowly Working My Way to the Cloud

I haven’t been very keen to embrace the “cloud”, but in the last few days I’ve witnessed how simple and useful it can be. Two days ago I downloaded Microsoft’s new Skydrive app to both my laptop and my home desktop computer. By allowing me to seamlessly synchronize data, this app extends the capacity and […]

Share

Is online education cheaper?

One of the major debates in modern education is whether or not online/distance/distributed learning (DL) is cheaper and more efficient than traditional “brick and mortar” education. If it is cheaper, then obviously it becomes a useful option in a neo-liberal world where public education expenditures are shrinking. [In BC, for example, “the proportion of the […]

Share

Riffing on MacLennan: The Two Solitudes of Education

After participating in today’s Twitter conversation (#bcedplan) with the Minister of Education, I’m more convinced than ever of the two solitudes in modern education. The ascendant group is made up of the so-called progressives. They seem naturally drawn to modern technologies, and, as a result, are over-represented on Twitter. The other group, what we might call […]

Share

Same Coin, Two Sides: Resurrecting the Liberal Arts Ideal

There are truths on this side of the Pyranees, which are falsehoods on the other.  ~Blaise Pascal ————- Have you noticed that the same behaviour can be described in diametrically opposed ways, depending on different people’s perspectives? For example, if you were taught, “If you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything at […]

Share