Hey Ontario Bunchlanders! Remember to get out to vote tomorrow! And when you’re at your local polling station, our friends at the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario are asking you to think about which party best serves your kids and our education system.
If your kid had a longer school day, they’d have more time to put precious knowledge into their brains and you (or your spouse) wouldn’t have to rush over at that mid-afternoon hour to bring them home, or, you wouldn’t have to pay for the extra two or whatever hours of daycare. But should that extra time be more straight-up lessons like grammar and arithmetic? Some people think so, while others think extra time added into the school day should be spent napping, socializing and running around.
The above animation comes from a talk given by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert at the RSA. The RSA is “an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges.”
So what do you think? How can education systems take advantage of the fact that young kids are crazy-capable of lateral thinking? What’s the first step you take when you suspect that this traditional model of schooling is not working for your kid? In what education models would the creative kids prosper? If there’s anyone in Bunchland whose kids go to an alternative of an alternative school and think they’ve found some solutions, please let us know!
One Bunchlander things making things more open would make for better schools
For the past couple weeks, we’ve been asking you what you’d like to see in your kids’ schools. Bunch reader Dave Fingrut, who happens to have studied education a little, wrote to tell us he’d like things to be more open:
“Assuming that schools are going to continue using internet and computer technologies as educational tools, it would be great to see more open content materials, complemented by free and open source software, operating systems and hardware.
For kids at the elementary level who use computers at school – whether in the classroom, the library, or computer labs, and in desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device format – the experience would be more creative and interactive, faster and easier for teachers to plan, cheaper for schools and school boards, and students could use older computer systems without losing speed and performance.” Read more...
The Elementary Teacher Federation of Ontario’s new TV spots:
OK, the ETFO definitely has something up their sleeves and with this latest campaign ads, but what? These seemingly negative “vote against kids” ads are definitely setting something up. We’re thinking it has something to do with saying (light-heartedly) that kids are monsters so you want them to spend lots of time at school and with teachers so you don’t have to deal with them?
Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School’s ESY is a full acre (or 4 square km) of fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers. All of the school’s 1000 students spend time in the ESY kitchen and learn about healthy, seasonal food. Teachers and garden staff link garden experiences to the students’ science lessons so the kids not only read about something in a book, but see it played out in real life. Read more...
Full Disclosure: Bunchland is working with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking about building better elementary schools for our kids and asking you guys what you think makes a school awesome, whether it’s a principal with a strong vision, parent involvement or beanbag chairs instead of desks. If you’ve got something to say – say it. We’d love to hear what you think. To get the ball rolling, we’ve rounded up some examples of schools that take a creative approach to being awesome. Would you like to see your kid’s school adopt any of these ideas?
Playing seems like the most natural thing in the world for a child. Turns out playing is also how children learn best. Now that they’ve figured this out, educators are worried children aren’t playing enough and that their play might not be sufficiently playful. So this Sunday, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario hosted the Ultimate Block Party, an event where parents and children made art, played games and went home with a kind of textbook for playing called “The Playbook.”
While it’s unlikely anyone would disagree with the notion that playing is good for children, do we need to be worried about how our kids play? The staff at Bunchland.com, a lifestyle website for parents, put this question to a group of experts, parents and one kid.Read more...