TOMapleLaughs Posted September 1, 2015 Share Posted September 1, 2015 Public school students in British Columbia are about to experience a new way of learning. The B.C. government says a new curriculum is being launched, and the first phase of a three-year transition begins this fall for students in kindergarten to Grade 9. A Ministry of Education release says 100 teachers worked together for three years to create the flexible learning curriculum to help students understand core subjects through projects related to their interests, such as music, hockey or dinosaurs. Students will continue to focus on reading, writing and arithmetic, but the new curriculum is also aimed at building the critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills vital for higher education and the work force. It also offers aboriginal perspectives at all grade levels, an examination of the residential school system, new content on the history of East and South Asian immigrants and a renewed emphasis on environmental sciences. Teachers in kindergarten to Grade 9 have the option of using the new programs this year before full implementation across B.C. next fall, while a draft curriculum for Grades 10 to 12 has been developed and will be finalized during the upcoming school year.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/new-bc-curriculum-fosters-student-passion-through-projects-flexible-learning/article26183299/ My personal experience with sending kids to school out in the valley has seen a diversification of schools. Meaning more and more schools are becoming 'specialized'. There's an arts-based curriculum, traditional schools, etc. The result is more options for parents, but perhaps a growing divide among the classes, because certain parents aim for traditional schools, while others are content with regular public school, or have no choice but to send their kids to the closest school. ie. Are poorer people missing out on some conceived benefit that 'traditional' schools provide? Or are traditional schools, arts-based etc. and the amount of choice available just a bunch of bs and we need a return to a unified public schooling system? This is an ongoing debate. Meanwhile, here's a critic on the changes to the curriculum: When my kids were little, I took them to see the Canadian womens hockey team practise at a local rink. I wanted to show them what dedicated and committed athletes did on their days off practise. One player in particular stood out Hayley Wickenheiser. She was the first player on the ice and the last one off. She went through drills and shooting pucks before the practice session, and stayed after for more of the same. She is one of the worlds greatest hockey players. Talent aside, it was her infinite hours of practice and hard work that got her to where she is today. Another factor behind success comes with good coaching and management. When contrasted with Wickenheisers experience with the national team, todays coaches and managers in the B.C. education system are failing their players. This upcoming school year will see the circulation of a math pamphlet to parents, as well as the introduction to the new B.C. Education Plan (Major school curriculum changes coming to B.C., Aug. 30). Both were created using failed learning fads that have been around for generations and tested on unsuspecting students around the world. The latest trend is 21st-century learning, and our education leaders just love this stuff. It likes to focus on big ideas, rather than on learning multiplication tables. Their agenda seems hell-bent on dumbing down our next generation. The B.C. Teachers Federations provincial math association, the B.C. Association of Mathematics Teachers, published a math pamphlet this summer. The pamphlet states that memorization can lead to anxiety and can be harmful for children. This is absolute drivel. A review of their research confirms this organization prefers to cherry-pick studies that support their agenda, rather than provide solid evidence that what they are promoting is actually valid. They also fail to acknowledge the biggest deficit in education today: a lack of foundational skills. And the proven path to mastering foundational skill teacher-led, explicit instruction, memorization and daily practice is the opposite of 21st-century learning. In April, a parent advisory group invited University of Manitoba math professor Rob Craigen, a proponent of effective math instruction, to discuss the upcoming changes to the math curriculum. Parents, educators and others were invited. The BCAMT refused to post the flyer and they didnt allow this information to reach math teachers across the province. Given the subject content and timing, why wouldnt the BCAMT let its members know about this event? Creators of the new Education Plan claim foundational skills will be an integral part of the new curriculum. But where is the evidence? In the new math curriculum, there are no measurable learning outcomes. The words memorize or mastery do not appear in the document. Daily practice and ongoing classroom assessment are ignored. But most damning of all is how the arithmetic operations of fractions (addition, subtraction, multiplication and long division), have been postponed to Grade 8. Cognitive science has already determined which elementary school skills, empirically, best predict success in mathematics at the end of high school. The findings are clear: There are no better predictors known than skill in division and fractional arithmetic. By delaying this important step, how are B.C. kids able to compete with kids globally, who have already mastered fractions four or five years earlier? In the bid to compete in a world economy, our kids will be at the back of the pack. This is not a balanced approach to education, its educational malpractice. Some countries have already experienced the damage these learning fads have inflicted on a generation of students. And they are reacting to this abysmal failure by making positive changes. In the U.K., this years math curriculum will include introducing more complex fractions at an earlier age, curtailing the use of calculators and insisting that teacher-led instruction be utilized with greater frequency. New Zealands latest independent education study has examined the failures of its math program. Overwhelming evidence suggested 21st-century learning the same learning fad B.C. education leaders are promoting was responsible for poor math skills in their students. If these learning strategies have already been dismissed globally, why does B.C. insist on promoting them? I have seen the research, Ive reviewed it, its horrendous. Every child does not have to become a math genius, but they all deserve to have a firm grasp of arithmetic. Get back to work, and fix this. Our children are worth it.http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-failed-fads-resurface-in-new-b-c-curriculum-1.2046243 In: "Big Ideas" and "Flexible Learning" Out: "Math fundamentals", "Memorization" and "Daily Practice" imho This is in-line with 'traditional' school thought. That fundamentals, memorization, daily practice are enforced, because that's what the parents went through and there's a perceived benefit. ie. It gets them into college easier. Is this true? Is our public education system worsening? Dumbing down our kids? I know one thing, we shouldn't let our schools dictate our kids' education 100% no matter what our public schools do. My wife and I have hounded our kids all summer long with learning activities including old core values like memorization. It can't hurt. It seems that in this day and age, public schools are getting fluffier, and less inclined to get kids up to a higher standard. Citing hurt feelings and anxienty. Anxiety? From grades K-9? Hah! Wait until adulthood. When you're underprepared for life, that's going to cause plenty of anxiety. At the end of the day every teacher is different though. Their effectiveness will impact your child's learning experience more than curriculum change will. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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