Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Vancouver teachers voted in favour of a proposal to give 10 more days off per year. These days will include an extra week at Spring Break. The requirements of the BC Curriculum will be met by extending the school day.

I am beginning to think, after the day and night that was in it today that perhaps the solution would be to overhaul the BC Curriculum which consists of some of the barmiest conceptions of learning invented. Completely unfathomable maths texts that even the teachers complain about (yet still somehow on), a dated relationship with technology (except in “technology schools” where they’re designated) for starters.

The concept of extending the school day will not be popular in this abode. School days are long. They often extend far into the evening if you attempt to complete the homework. When are children supposed to decompress? i.e lie on the carpet and stare vacantly at the ceiling.  Being forced to tutor your child yourself puts stress on a parent/child relationship. All this work requires a professional coach not an average bleary eyed mother.

The strange thing is, though it’s pointless to reflect since we live in a different era, at age 10 I’d just about come to terms with Paddington Bear and have no memory whatsoever of homework until Secondary School.

Also the language that’s creeping into education is dismaying: projects are discussed along the lines of “criteria”, children are anxiously propelled towards meeting “criteria” rather than a wider or deeper engagement. They’re basically being instilled in systems “to get through” and these kinds of systems are to fill up charts that insist people are “meeting expectations” with no considerations of whether those “expectations” will instill any kind of a love of learning and curiousity.

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