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Back to the basics

January 4, 2014 by Tunya

In Defense Of “Salt-of-the-earth-parents”

As a descendant of prairie pioneers and further back yet of Russian peasants and serfs — I am keenly self-conscious of highbrow town folk talking down.

To tell a parent to lay off “the basics” is the ultimate put down.

I would hazard this projection — universally, EVERY parent in the world knows what he or she means when they say they want “the basics” for their kid in school.

It’s not just town folk but the teacher establishment that can make a well-meaning trustee feel “inferior” and put-down.  When our new Minister of Education, Peter Fassbender, was announced after the last provincial election, it wasn’t long before a “JOB” was done on him — a reminder of who’s who in the zoo, so to speak.

As a 70s trustee Fassbender was caught up in the “back to the basics” movements of the time when “fads and frills” started creeping in.  Reminders of that time when “status quo” won over reform efforts are brought up to this day.  If you read the story, note one parent comment — “As for Fundamental Schools…they are going strong in Langley and are no longer a joke but have looooooooong wait lists and once you do get in … well, you have pretty contented families.”

I can say that what parents mean by “the basics” is why early schooling — in most areas of the world —  to this day is either called “primary”, “elementary” or “fundamental”.  It’s seen as a foundation, the crucial first building block.  When will “the system” commit to this?

This is the Wikipedia take on the topic:

“The major goals of primary education are achieving basic literacy and numeracy amongst all pupils, as well as establishing foundations in science, mathematics, geography, history and other social sciences.”

I simply cannot understand why teacher unions object to our “Foundation Skills Assessments” in BC and why all teachers can’t commit to “the basics”.

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