Education Takeover — Where To Start?
I don’t use the word “takeover” lightly. Yes, it also has these other tones of meaning — invasion, conquest, penetration, capture . . .
I had my “awakening” one year ago when an Education Ministry Official told a small group of parents — one month before our provincial election that the “transformation” of BC education (being planned for several years already) was a go ahead, regardless of which political party would win the election (May 13, 2013). “It’s international!” we were told.
I was astonished because we had left, right, and center parties running. How could it be that the public and an elected government would have no say in this radical “transformation” called Personalized Learning?
I researched and found this was indeed part of a global effort, related to the Common Core in the US and 21st Century Learning under various names in other places. So far, it’s a go-ahead in BC, Alberta and Ontario.
Some features of this international shift are: quiet implementation; parents and public and everyday teachers not consulted; shift from content and knowledge to competencies that include collaboration, inquiry-based learning and critical thinking; cross curricular themes such as sustainability and social justice embedded into most subjects; social/emotional emphasis in classrooms.
While some people have become concerned because the methods of implementation themselves are suspect and foreign to our democratic expectations, it’s emerged that Math is becoming a flashpoint for gathering alarm. Math is not a “soft” “abstract” subject easily sabotaged and it is here where parents and some educators are starting to challenge this “transformation” by stealth.
This is no small-time politics. Even the UN with its Agenda 21 is mixed in. It is seen as indispensable that “human (which may include spiritual) development should be integrated in all disciplines”. (Ch.36)
I wish I could recommend one place to start. Of course, the Internet will provide both pros and cons for the topics I’ve touched upon.
This cartoon will help us understand the Big Shift http://www.parentsteachingparents.net/2013/11/zack-hill/