My Parental POV & Significance Of researchED in Toronto (Nov 10/11, ’17)
I wasn’t there, but was tuned-in to the audio and twitter feeds. Hoped to hear things that would warm my parent-advocate’s heart. This was, after all, not for parents but a conference intended to inspire teachers to become more research and evidence-based in their practice. That in itself is #1 in my praise of the conference. On the whole, I feel parents strongly do want their kid’s teachers to be grounded in practices that are proven to work — not fuzzy stuff. I have always said that the education field lacks discipline and rigor and not a profession like health, accounting, or engineering. Pleased to hear someone on the first panel say to this effect: “ Why is education the least empirical of all human pursuits? We need to build an empirical base.”
#2 A highlight at the conference of 30 speakers was Michael Zwaagstra, with standing room only. If his presentation was anything like his article of the same title: Content Knowledge is the Key to Learning, I can see why it was popular. Maybe it got out that he has strong views on progressivism and its latest manifestations in the provinces of AB, BC and ON where some parents are getting a bit antsy. Read just the Executive Summary, p4, of 18 and you get the picture: http://michaelzwaagstra.com/…/FC200_Content-Knowledge_JL311…
#3 It was twittered out that Greg Ashman, a “graduate” of three such researchED events in Australia had just been published in a UK magazine — worth reading — https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/11/a-teacher-tweets/ People who have been bedeviled by the education enigma should be happy to know there is a movement where the leading founder says: “We are at the mercy of gurus and snake oil fads without evidence-based education.” (Tom Bennett, #rEDTO17)
[on FB 12 Nov ’17, with some of my comments in conversation]
= Tunya Audain Brave New World ? ? ?
Jan 2016 this OPINION by a university professor, David Livingstone, described BC’s new curriculum, designed by “education experts”.https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/Grassroots-Education/3UuuiBWJU74
“The next generation will lack the desire, the ability, and even the attention span to read with understanding. Their thoughts will become shallower, not deeper . . . No longer tethered to the past, the future will look more like a blank canvas upon which “the experts” can plan a Brave New World.” Such is tyranny.
Michael Zwaagstra presents similar fears and in his essay hits hard on the need for proper reading methods to be taught. His presentation will shortly be in audio and I’ll report when.
Doesn’t all this smack of our fears a decade ago, Heather? You, as trustee, visited a successful program to teach reading in Scotland.You brought back the information. Why don’t school systems learn? Who runs the show? These are questions that must be asked, AND answered.
Accelerated Contradictions – False Dichotomy – BC New Curriculum
I can remember when Michael Fullan, one of those mentioned at rED2017 as a “guru”, visited BC in 1986. His topic: New Cultures for School Improvement. (I wasn’t there: It was for administrators.) It’s been a steady flow of such gurus to BC who undoubtedly chalk up massive frequent flyer points!
In January 2015 Tom Albury (GELP) said: “This is a pivotal moment for BC . . . if we can continue to work together in this way we can build on how far we've got and really accelerate and sustain this — we'll achieve what nobody else has yet achieved and that is to transform the system across the whole province.”
Where are we now? It takes an international event like reasearchED in Toronto to highlight BCEd Plan as a False Dichotomy (Zwaagstra’s slide) https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DOYEthYXcAAphSq.jpg