Posts tagged Canada

[CANADA] First Nation Education Act will be ‘transformational’, says Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt
The Harper government is poised to unveil education reform measures for First Nations children that are so historic it could turn the page on more than a century of economic and social ills faced by aboriginals, says a federal cabinet minister.
“We think it is high time, given the importance of population growth of First Nations living on reserves, that these kids get the same opportunities as other Canadians,” said Valcourt.
The problem, he said, is that aboriginal children are served by a “non-system” of education — which results in staggeringly high drop-out rates and which puts those young people in an “intolerable” situation. (via First Nation Education Act will be ‘transformational’, says Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt)

[CANADA] First Nation Education Act will be ‘transformational’, says Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt

The Harper government is poised to unveil education reform measures for First Nations children that are so historic it could turn the page on more than a century of economic and social ills faced by aboriginals, says a federal cabinet minister.

“We think it is high time, given the importance of population growth of First Nations living on reserves, that these kids get the same opportunities as other Canadians,” said Valcourt.

The problem, he said, is that aboriginal children are served by a “non-system” of education — which results in staggeringly high drop-out rates and which puts those young people in an “intolerable” situation. (via First Nation Education Act will be ‘transformational’, says Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt)

[Manitoba, Canada] Yet I’ve stuck it out. I’ve stayed in the classroom. I am beginning to see now that this is where I am meant to be. I am still interested in the big picture of education; in technology, possibility, social justice and empowerment. Probably more so than in the past. This school year coming up will be my twentieth year of teaching. I still feel that I have much to learn and many things to explore. Teaching can be awful. It can be stressful and alienating and overwhelming. It is often lonely as you struggle to keep kids alive and safe. But it is also a beautiful, very human profession where we help kids to learn who they are and help them to build a better life and a better world. It is a profession that is future oriented and focused on potential.

Toronto Catholic school board rejects call for ban on gay-straight alliances

The Toronto Catholic District School Board has rejected a call from two trustees to ban gay-straight alliances in schools — which Ontario now says schools must allow.

Trustees voted 7 to 4 against a motion Thursday by trustee Garry Tanuan calling on the board to defy Ontario’s year-old Accepting Schools Act that says boards must let students set up gay-straight alliances (GSAs) if they wish. Tanuan’s motion, seconded by trustee John Del Grande, said gay-straight alliances “promote a positive view of homosexual activity, which undermines Catholic teaching on chastity and marriage.”

However, students from two new gay-straight alliances in Catholic high schools argued they are having a “positive impact” on school climate and leading to fewer homophobic slurs.

The Quebec Ministry of Education is proposing to allow four-year-old children from underprivileged families to attend elementary school full-time as part of a campaign to curb the province’s disturbingly high dropout rate.

More than one in three students in the province – 36 per cent – leave school without graduating. And studies showed that most of them come from poor families. For instance, a study conducted in 2008 by the Montreal Health and Social Services Agency concluded that 35 per cent of 5-year-old kindergarten students on the Island of Montreal were from needy families, showed signs of neglect and had learning disabilities that would likely impede their academic progress.

Edmonton School Board to Offer Yoga Courses

“The program is designed to allow students to experience the benefits of increased flexibility, strength, focus and concentration,” the course description says. “Students will learn to be non-judgmental about their own and others’ yoga practice. Through continued practice, students will relieve stress, learn to relax and experience the health benefits of yoga practice.”

[EDMONTON, CANADA] A promising new program that teaches students to pause before reacting to turbulent emotions and conflict is being tested at a west-end elementary school, mental health and school officials said Tuesday.


The change in the students’ behaviour at Our Lady of the Prairies Catholic School was almost immediate when educators introduced the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) program in October, said Tom Shand, executive director of the Alberta division of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Schoolchildren used business school skills to build a better trebuchet

This problem-solving technique, which was developed at one of Canada’s most competitive business schools, is being introduced for the first time to students in kindergarten through Grade 8 at Ledbury Park Elementary and Middle School in North York. Five Toronto private schools, including Branksome Hall and Upper Canada College, began integrating the Rotman School of Management’s I-Think program into secondary and middle-school classes in recent years, but the Toronto District School Board is the first to integrate it at the elementary level.

OTTAWA — There are no computers at the Ottawa Waldorf School. No iPads, interactive whiteboards or flat-screen televisions either. Headphone wires don’t dangle from ears and pockets aren’t stuffed with smartphones. Students here don’t even have calculators.
The only apples and blackberries used at this small private school are baked into pies that are cut into pieces as part of a lesson on fractions.
As public schools race to equip classrooms with the latest in technological gadgetry, teachers of the century-old Waldorf model take a different approach. Here, technology is seen as a distraction — something that gets in the way of creativity and saps attention spans. The focus here is on human interaction and on equipping students with analytical and imaginative skills by using basic tools, such as pencils, pens and knitting needles. (via Teaching without distraction (with video))

OTTAWA — There are no computers at the Ottawa Waldorf School. No iPads, interactive whiteboards or flat-screen televisions either. Headphone wires don’t dangle from ears and pockets aren’t stuffed with smartphones. Students here don’t even have calculators.

The only apples and blackberries used at this small private school are baked into pies that are cut into pieces as part of a lesson on fractions.

As public schools race to equip classrooms with the latest in technological gadgetry, teachers of the century-old Waldorf model take a different approach. Here, technology is seen as a distraction — something that gets in the way of creativity and saps attention spans. The focus here is on human interaction and on equipping students with analytical and imaginative skills by using basic tools, such as pencils, pens and knitting needles. (via Teaching without distraction (with video))

How Canada Is Closing the Achievement Gap (Education Everywhere Series) (by edutopia)

Teacher training in Ontario will be bumped up to two years starting in 2014, says the provincial government.

The Liberals, who promised the move during the 2011 election campaign, began consultations with education groups on Wednesday about the change.

Three to four additional sessions are planned for April and May.

Teachers typically earn a four-year undergraduate degree and then spend another year at university completing their bachelor of education. (Ten of the 13 universities with education programs also offer the degrees concurrently so students can complete the two at the same time.)

The Liberals have said more training is needed given the challenges and increasing demands teachers face. The expanded program, the details of which have yet to be finalized, will include more practical, in-class training for new teachers.