An Excellent Education...

January 23, 2019

An excellent education is one of the fundamentals on which our province and society are built. Without a quality education, our young people will have much less in the way of opportunity.

I am hosting a Forum on Sunday, March 10 from 2 to 4 pm at the River Heights site of the Corydon Community Centre (1370 Grosvenor Ave). The main question will be "Are leadership, mentorship, high expectations, community connections, diversity and inclusion important to our education system?" It will focus less on academic skills, but rather ask questions which relate to some of the important concepts and skills which are important in today's world.

Too often, when people think of leadership, it is in terms of a quality that is possessed and expected only from a few. Increasingly, education systems are changing to recognize that leadership is a skill which every student should learn. Should not our schools help every student develop the skill and ability to be leaders?

In the past, teachers taught by speaking or "lecturing" from the front of the class. In today's educational world, the importance of mentorship for students is coming to the forefront. Is this something that every child should experience in school, and a skill that every student should learn?

Both teachers and students remark of the importance of giving students high expectations. If we expect little from our youth, we may get what we expect. If we have higher expectations, we can help young people achieve more than they initially thought was possible. How important is it to instil high expectations? Can we do so without stressed and anxious students?

Community connections are increasingly important for schools and learning the cultures, histories and work opportunities of our own local community. How are local connections a vital part of learning and how much do we need to achieve with those connections in our provincial curriculum?

It is emerging that diversity is strength for learning, for the workplace and for life. How should schools help students understand diversity? Can it be actively taught or should it be learned by osmosis?

For the last two decades, our schools have moved to be much more inclusive of children with varied physical disabilities. Do we need to now look at doing a better job of facilitating inclusion when it comes to students with conditions ranging from autism to conduct disorder to depression?

This Forum will challenge all of us to talk about difficult yet important subjects as they relate to our education system and the learning that we all need throughout our lives. I hope that you will appreciate its importance to you, to your children, your community and our province. Come and join our knowledgeable panel of presenters and then engage in a discussion that I hope will help lead us all to an improved education system.


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