Immigrant Student Success: Why Are Asian Canadian Students Soaring?

Amy Chua, the infamous Asian American “Tiger Mother,” is back with a provocative new book, The Triple Package, that started generating monsoon-high waves even before its publication. Teaming up with her spouse, fellow Yale law professor Jed Rubenfeld, Chua tackles what is considered a taboo subject – why certain “cultural groups” in the United States are “astonishingly successful” and perform particularly well in school.

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Teach For Canada can only make things worse

Have you heard of Teach For Canada? It’s a new project spearheaded by Nova Scotian Kyle Hill, a Rhodes scholar and business consultant; and Vancouver-born Adam Goldenberg, former speechwriter for Michael Ignatieff and fellow at Yale law school. Hill and Goldenberg want to address “educational inequality” in Canada, i.e. “[f]unding...

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Riding the 2013 Learning Curve: What Stood in the Way of Educational Change?

“What’s Standing in the Way of Educational Change?” is a fundamental question that deserves an answer.  On October 21, 2013, it was also the theme of a Canadian Education Association (CEA) Symposium held in Calgary and attended by some 300 educators, including delegates from seven ministries of education, 12 faculties of education,...

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Early Years Education: What Stands in the Way of Universal Early Learning?

A recent Ontario study of some 700 children attending the new Full-Day, Two-Year Kindergarten program claimed that the first cohort was better prepared to enter Grade 1, showing  strong language development, improved communications skills, and better social skills.   That report was welcome news for an Ontario Liberal Government,...

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Unions need to take the lead in getting labour education into our schools

  Pop quiz: Can you name three workplace benefits won by Canadian unions in the past century? What are some of the biggest labour organizations in Canada? What is the Rand formula?   If you’re actively involved in the union movement, chances are you’re able to answer questions like these. But if you’re an average...

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Facts in Education: Who Guards the Canadian “Facts” — and for What Purpose?

Bright red pencils and bold X’s used to be the preferred tools of correction in the North American classroom. Those methods came  naturally to educators with a bred-in-the-bone urge to correct others.  Today the red pencils and self-esteem destroying X’s are gone, but the underlying instincts to correct others remain....

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The Attainment – Achievement Gap: What do Rising Student Graduation Rates Actually Tell Us?

High school graduation season has come and gone and it seems an opportune time to step back and try to assess the whole matter of rapidly rising graduation rates. Now that high school graduation rates have topped 80 % in most Canadian provinces and some American states, it seems reasonable to ask whether rising levels of student...

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June Exams: Assessment or Rite of Passage?

I don’t know about you, but I am in the thick of exams. At the Senior Years level, we have been using exams as a huge  summative assessment piece intended to perhaps supply a bookend to the year and establish some sort of “rigour” within the learning process. I recall this process during my High School career:...

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Future Tense: Where is “21st Century Learning” Heading?

Educators are well known for recycling. The so-called “21st Century Learning Skills”, as Bob McGahey of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation recently noted, are a classic example of the phenomenon. Anyone familiar with North American education over the past fifty years is immediately taken aback seeing such old panaceas...

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TED Talks: What’s Spouting from the New Age Tower of Edu-Babble?

TED Talks are all the rage in today’s North American education world.  Since British educational visionary Sir Ken Robinson’s 2006 star turn in “Schools Kill Creativity,”  the short You Tube video talks have become a staple at most provincial teachers’ conferences and local Professional Development...

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