All Posts Tagged With: "Kathleen Wynne"
Addressing teacher oversupply will please many in Ontario
Ontario’s government announced today that it plans to double the time students spend in teacher’s college to four semesters starting in September 2015. It will also increase the minimum number of days spent on placements from 40 to 80. And here’s the big news: it will cut admissions, starting that fall, by 50 per cent.
One reason for the dramatic change is the oversupply of education graduates. About 9,000 new teachers per year have been graduating in Ontario. Add in foreign graduates, many of them Canadians who went to U.S. schools, and there are about 11,000 teachers certified each year competing with each other and with graduates from previous years, while only 6,000 are needed.
The plan to double the length of the education was an election promise made by Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals in 2011 and it’s a politically smart move for Premier Kathleen Wynne to follow through on.
Ontario offers support
The Ontario government says it has found common ground with the federal government and other partners to keep a world-famous experimental research area open in the northwestern part of the province.
The province says it will provide operating support and work toward an agreement so the “important science” conducted in the Environmental Lakes Area near Kenora can continue.
The remote region of 58 pristine lakes has been used since the late 1960s for groundbreaking freshwater studies.
Crawling through slush isn’t harmless fun
The Ryerson Engineering Student Society was caught with its pants down last week, and president Sheldon Levy isn’t happy. In a statement, Levy described a YouTube video shot by a concerned passersby depicting underwear-clad engineering frosh week leader hopefuls crawling across the slushy campus as a “departure from dignity” and contrary to the university’s principles. In the video, the hopefuls are screamed at as they crawl across the man-made pond in the centre of campus known as Lake Devo. At one point, a male student spanks a crawling female.
Levy’s comments were met with predictable backlash accusing Ryerson of being the fun police, but he’s right. Events like this aren’t “harmless” or “fun.” Incidents of public humiliation never are. When I was a student at Ryerson, I wouldn’t cut across Lake Devo wearing a sturdy pair of shoes. Watching students in the video drag their limbs through the grimy slush just made me shiver.
Students crawled through ice and slush in underwear
An apparent hazing ritual at a Toronto university will go unpunished despite sharp condemnation from school officials, students and even the province’s top politician.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke out Monday following the incident at Ryerson University involving a group of engineering students trying to become orientation leaders during next year’s frosh activities.
YouTube footage shows the aspiring student leaders in their underwear crawling through ice and slush on an outdoor university skating rink while organizers in blue coveralls shout at them from the sidelines. Some of the hecklers threw snowballs at the participants, and at one point a male bystander appears to spank a female student as she crawls by.
Wynne said hazing rituals no longer have a place in any student community.
“I think they’re outdated,” she said. “I think that they are dangerous, and I think we have to do everything to make sure that all our students, in whatever institution, are safe.”
The incident, which took place Thursday, was also being decried by the university itself.
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy issued a statement calling the frosh leader initiation event both shocking and demeaning.
No Doubt apologizes, plus Glen Murray & Dawgfather PhD
1. The band No Doubt has pulled its music video for a new song called “Looking Hot” after Native Americans called it racist due to the Wild West theme that includes front-woman Gwen Stefani dressed up in native-inspired attire. In response to the outcry, the band apologized on their website: “Although we consulted with Native American friends and Native American studies experts at the University of California, we realize now that we have offended people. This is of great concern to us and we are removing the video immediately. The music that inspired us when we started the band, and the community of friends, family, and fans that surrounds us was built upon respect, unity and inclusiveness. We sincerely apologize to the Native American community.”
2. Premier Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party voted at their convention on Saturday to support lowering the drinking age from 19 to 18. It’s not a certainty yet, however. “We take resolutions at the convention very seriously, Wall told CBC, adding, “Before we consider any sort of change, we’re going to have to consult.”
3. Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois received $58,000 in donations from more than 1,700 people to fight his contempt of court conviction. The former head of CLASSE, who led the anti-tuition movement with its nightly marches and shutdown of Quebec universities earlier this year, was recently found guilty of encouraging people to ignore a court injunction that allowed a Laval student to return to classes.
Too many “expectations” placed on students
A review of Ontario’s school curriculum seeks to make sure children in Grades 1 to 8 have enough time to learn the skills they need to continue their education. It is not meant to overhaul the entire system, the province’s education minister, Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday.
Wynne said teachers have been complaining about the curriculum for some time, saying it’s overcrowded and doesn’t give kids the time needed for practical learning.
“One of my concerns is that there’s a lot of content that teachers have to cover when they’re teaching in elementary school, and so what I want to make sure of is that there’s the right content and that kids have enough time to practise the fundamental skills so that they’re ready when they leave elementary school,” Wynne said.
The government has set up a special advisory group to conduct the review and expects to receive its recommendations—based on input from teachers and school boards—in February. An initial discussion paper found that too many “expectations” were built into the curriculum designed 10 years ago.
“For many respondents, ‘overcrowding’ was not only about the amount of academic content that needed to be covered but also about the need to address social, physical, emotional, cultural and developmental aspects of learning,” the paper said.
But Wynne said the move wasn’t about creating a new curriculum. “We just want to take that arbitrariness out of it, streamline it, make sure that the skills are still there, but making sure kids have enough time to learn the fundamentals,” she said.
A final decision about what changes are needed will be made by the spring of next year, with the goal of implementing them for September 2011. NDP education critic Rosario Marchese said the review was overdue, and hoped it would focus on the right priorities.
“If they simply correct some of that overwhelming information that we have given to students, some of it that is a bit too much for the level where it is taught . . . that would be great,” he said. “I’m hoping that’s what the government is going to do, and not more than that.”
The Canadian Press