Tag Archives: education

Personalized Learning = Pre-Packaged Learning

Last year, when the notion of “personalized learning” started to become a popular topic here in British Columbia, I questioned its practicality. I asked how a secondary teacher could possibly create, supervise and assess 200 or so separate learning programs for his or her students. I concluded that teachers couldn’t possibly pull off such a […]

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There Are Costs Associated With Choice and Flexibility

The following is a recent contribution I made to the BC Edplan website; the government is using the site to gather feedback for its current forays into “21st century learning” and “personalized learning”. Admittedly, the site is probably also being used to legitimate any future policies that may turn out to be controversial, but I’ve […]

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Equality of Opportunity?

a The following is a quick letter I contributed to the online forum of the Globe and Mail: ____________ One of the great challenges to North America’s dominant political narrative is that it doesn’t actually believe in “equality of opportunity“. If one doubts my contention, simply review the attempts here in Canada to introduce a […]

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Students Consider the Future of Education

One of the more useful educational tools on the Web, especially for teachers of language arts, is the blog. As a platform for authentic communication, the blog offers students a relatively simple and convenient way to express their thoughts, archive those thoughts for the future, and, if desired, converse with others over issues that matter […]

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Back to the Future with Technology

One of the personal ironies of the current push to “21st century learning” is that I would be happy to return to the technology of the 1990’s. Back in those halcyon days, when I lived and worked in a small community along the Alaska border, our tiny rural school had one bookable computer lab fitted […]

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Tobey Steeves: Schools as sorting machines and the imperative of reform

I am pleased to offer a guest post from my comrade-in-arms, Tobey Steeves (@symphily). I think Tobey’s call to recognize the unique qualities of each student in the face of bureaucratic classification and stratification is imperative in today’s obsession with “reform”. Tobey points to a particularly egregious proposal regarding special education: as a sop to […]

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Changes in Core Competencies?

The following is my response to the Ministry of Education’s question, What new competencies will students need to prepare them for graduation and the future? The question can be found on the Ministry’s new website, engage.bcedplan.ca/ ______________ The most important competencies are the ones that have existed for millennia. In terms of the basic literacy […]

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Reflections on the Social Studies Conference

On Oct. 21 I attended the annual conference held by the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association. Given how touchy everyone is about Pro-D, I thought I should mention that I spent my time wisely! The theme of this year’s conference was a familiar one – “21st century learning”. In the sessions I attended, the tone […]

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Some surprising conclusions regarding creativity and innovation

Howard Gardner is well known for his theory of multiple intelligences. He is less well known for a fascinating book on creativity.  [This is obviously anecdotal, but I don’t know a single educator who has even heard of this book.] In his Creating Minds (1993), Gardner explores the lives of seven famous persons from the 20th […]

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America’s Education Politics: A Crass and Explicit Example

As if we didn’t have enough examples of the highly politicized nature of American educational reform, along comes another illustration that reaches new lows for crassness and audacity. Jonah Edelman is a leader of Stand for Children, a well-known and influential educational reform movement based in Oregon. The “grassroots child advocacy organization” is said to […]

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