Saturday, October 16, 2010

don't depend on the NB conservatives

A few days ago, my children came home from school with a note from the ministry of education. It was one page of gobbledegook, twisted information, confusing writing and bad writing. I am not at all sure I understand it. I have read heavily all my life, have a doctorate in  history, and have taught most of my life. I can't understand the letter sent by the ministry to all parents in the province. Consider this:

1. New Brunswick has the highest proportion of illiterate adults of any province in Canada. Almost half the parents that note was written for are illiterate. It a safe bet that most of the rest cannot understand it any better than I can. What does this tell us about the ministry under the Conservatives? They seem at least as inept as the Liberals were.

2. I think it says it is going to introduce a new approach to teaching.  (In fact, if so, it is one that was common stuff at teachers' colleges and in schools at least seventy years ago.)

3. Whatever it might be it is hopelessly incompatible with the standardized testing and ranking of public schools.It calls for the teacher to respond to individual differences and needs - the very approach impossible with standardized testing.

4. I think it might really be an awkward and misleading way of telling us they are cutting out a programme, and disguising this as a new approach. Or maybe the ministry itself has no idea what it's saying.

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