Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More bureaucracy not the answer.

The education system is deeply flawed. This is the message of the Canadian Council for Learning in calling for a national “Council of Minister’s on Learning” Another board, more committees, more offices, files, memos, directives, and paperclips. But will this have any effect on the system? It took the CCL seven years to compile this report. Asking any teacher anywhere in the country would have given you the same answer, and at an infinitely cheaper cost. The CCL’s conclusion is the typical response of bureaucrats, add more bureaucracy. It will however, have no positive impact on education, but merely create further hoops for administrators to jump through, adding more forms and reports to their already hectic lives.
                Improvements to our education system do not need to be centralized, they need to be carried out at every level. Right down to the individual classroom. In today`s school system, a lot of lip service is given to different learning styles, that is, until a student actually needs to learn something at which point, he had better hope his teacher happens to be instructing in a manner that helps him learn. If we wish to see better results, we need to expand our methods of teaching. Standing at the front of a classroom lecturing is not the best learning method for every student, but neither are hands on activities. Group work is a great idea in theory, but all too often one or two students from the group end up carrying the weight of the work; be their peers too lazy to do work, or, more commonly, too shy.
                There is no perfect solution for the school system, no magic wand. Standardizing schools nationally would simply hold the entire nation to one level of mediocrity. Better to let dozens of different schools try different methods, and then exchange information with each other to discover which ideas work. As such, I propose the creation of a “National Teacher’s Internet Discussion Board” it would cost about as much to host as you pay for coffee each day.

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