The Learned


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There is a teacher’s strike brewing here in British Columbia.  They began withdrawing all the ‘extras’ a while ago and now they are escalating the disruption of services provided by initiating rotating strikes.

All the years that my daughter went to school the above analogy played out every few years.

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I suppose the thing that frustrates me personally is that the issues the teachers complained about during my daughter’s time in the public school system are still being bitterly fought over with the government.

Considering how this battle has raged on, you would think the quality of the education being dished up has improved?  Sadly, no it has not.

This is not a slam against teachers.  It’s not a slam against government but rather against the whole system and how it’s set up.

It is no longer working.  Why?

Over the years it has become increasingly fractured.  As the union and government quibble over money, benefits, class size, special needs, etc., and a few more generations of students are heading out into this world not really prepared.

I say keep it simple.

No computers in the classroom from grades one to six.  Introduce them then and only then as a learning tool.  Nothing more.  These days they’ve become a lifeline.

Cursive writing is being abolished from the school system.  Why?

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This one tool is major in the brain’s development in terms of creativy and cognitive functions.  Yet the decision has been made on what and how we want to teach children.

Did you know that the illiteracy rate has made a dramatic rise?  Are you really surprised? Apparently 40% of students these days are borderline illiterate.

WTF?!  (A display of just one of the problems)

And what is the role of education?  Is it not there to teach our children how to become criticaly thinkers, free thinkers?  Is it not there to challenge them to question and value the world we live in?  Is it not there to provide the rudimentary tools of how to learn, how to reason?

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I would be a tough teacher but I would be a passionate one.

I am certainly not an academic.  Not even close.  Yet I am intelligent.  Were I able to teach the biggest payoff would be knowing that what I had conveyed to my class was based on the facts given. And if there were other viewpoints, those too should be observed and debated.

To teach someone to think for themselves, to explore their talents, to evolve…

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That would be an enormous blessing.

Yet the job gets muddled up in contracts and harried teachers trying to work within a system that has long been broken and are seemingly ever pessimistic about the process.

A smiling Premier who looks like she should be doing a toothpaste commercial rather than trying to run a province, grins into the camera and ensures us that ‘our children come first.’

Tell that to all those who are graduating and not certain if their diploma will be awarded to them.

Ms. ‘Aw Shucks Golly Gee’ just spews the same bullshit that her predecesors have.

With every election I’ve ever voted in the issues remain the same.

Jobs. Education.  The Economy.  Affordable Housing. Health Care.

It’s getting old.

If you’ve not heard, Levar Burton is trying to bring back The Reading Rainbow. Power to him.

There are two things that should always be taught in school and that is reading and writing.  Those two elements will open a mind to many worlds.

Jim Carrey recently gave a commencement speech.  At the end he told them…

“You have two choices when you walk through those doors.  Love or fear.  Choose love.”

Could we go back to basics?  Could we roll up our sleeves and pull our head out of our asses and see that this foolish power struggle between union and government is leaving far too many casualties?

I never graduated high school.  A stormy home life found me on my own at the age of sixteen.  Much of what I’ve learned has come from my love of reading and writing.

I know too that learning is a lifelong committment.  It is being able to assess information that is offered up and being able to deduce its value.

Education should be free.  These days, like so many other things in this world, it has become a commodity.

Foreign students pay handsomely to attend our post-secondary facilities. At home, students take out loans that won’t be paid off until they are in their late 30’s early 40’s training for jobs that are no longer guaranteed.

Maybe, just maybe we need to do a serious overhaul.

But remember too, education starts in the home.  This is where the seeds should be planted and encouraged to grow. There is no blame being dished out.  Simply an observation on some issues that require our attention.

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/themargin/2014/05/28/marc-andreessen-following-jim-carreys-career-advice-isnt-a-good-strategy/

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