Read the latest news on year-round education in British Columbia from The Tyee here. Third in a three part series.

By Aleksandra Sagan, 4 May 2012, TheTyee.ca

© The Tyee

Read the latest news on year-round education in British Columbia from The Tyee here. Second in a three part series.

By Aleksandra Sagan, 3 May 2012, TheTyee.ca

© The Tyee

See the latest news on education reform, the revision of the school calendar, The School Act, and the response from the BCTF from the Tyee Newspaper The Hook Blog.

Complete The Hook blog article here.

The Tyee Education News here.

© The Tyee News

While conversations are ongoing in BC and around the world focused on innovation that are linked to larger system goals including a  greater focus on personalized learning and giving kids greater ownership of their learning, these are not new objectives. Some practices worth highlighting are not only 21st century, or 20th century learning, in fact, some date back to the 19th century, and are an excellent fit for our current educational directions. At least, this is true of Montessori.

Maria Montessori, who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, developed teaching methods which are often described as part of the “21st century learning” phenomena.  When I spend time in our Montessori School, Eagle Harbour Montessori(currently expanding from a K-3 to a K-5 school), I am always in awe of the self-regulation and keen focus these students have.  When I walk into the room, students continue to work and there is a sense of calm and alert focus. Students are owning their learning, the conversations with primary students are very articulate; they talk about what they are doing, why they are doing it, and what they need to learn next.

What I have seen at Eagle Harbour is also supported in the recent book from Shannon Helfrich, Montessori Learning in the 21st Century:  A Guide for Parents and Teachers which links Montessori teachings with the latest neuroscientific findings.

So just what does Montessori look like in our setting:

Principles Include (from the Eagle Harbour Montessori Program 2012):

Continue reading here.

January 10, 2012 by cultureofyes

by Chris Kennedy

UVic historian of education paints a bleak political picture, and blames all sides.

By Crawford Kilian, 3 Jan 2012, TheTyee.ca

Title: Worlds Apart: British Columbia Schools, Politics, and Labour Relations Before and After 1972

Author: Thomas Fleming

Published by Bendall Books (2011)

Just about everyone with an interest in B.C. schools will have to read this book — parents, teachers, trustees, administrators, politicians, the media. None of them are going to like it.

That’s because Thomas Fleming, a professor emeritus at UVic, has studied our schools for many years; he knows the system we set up back in 1849. He knows how it’s changed, not always for the better. With energetic impartiality, he finds fault with teachers, trustees, civil servants, and politicians, especially since the first NDP government took power 40 years ago.

From his earlier books and articles, I was familiar with his thesis: B.C. education had been effectively nonpolitical from 1872 until 1972. A handful of dedicated ministry officials had run the schools in an “imperial” style from Victoria, while sending equally dedicated inspectors out to make sure the system was running well. Those inspectors were often veterans of rural and urban schools who had risen through the ranks.

Read complete article here

According to a new study, the introduction of full-day kindergarten in half of B.C. elementary schools last year was a remarkable success.

Click here to read the full post, on Janet Steffenhagen’s blog.

A recent study by researchers at the University of Western Ontario indicates that full-day kindergarten may have a negative effect on the learning and personal development of some children. You can read the article, published in the Vancouver Sun, here.

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