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Blog

Filtering by Category: Education

Roots of Empathy

Sara General

It has been quite some time since I made an education post and I have two coming up that I want to share. The first is something that I am very excited for – my daughter Ione and I are participating in the Roots of Empathy program! Today is our first day. The school that is hosting us is called J.C. Hill school. It is the school where both of my older siblings went and it is the school where my brother-in-law teaches.

For those of you who don’t know how Roots of Empathy works, there is a great website here that provides more information.

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August.

Sara General

The last month went by in a blur. A giant university sized blur. This is because we took our baby on her first road trip to Western University where I attended the summer session of my master’s program.

I have to admit that the week before we went, I really didn’t want to go and was seriously lamenting the fact that the course wasn’t available online (as some sessions had been in the fall and winter terms). I was loving the life the baby and I had up until that point: cuddling all day, reading books, writing in journals, cooing at one another. But I’m very glad we went.

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Land and Lab

Sara General

My mind is still very much on math and science this week.  I started off the day worked up a bit about water issues, which always happens when I’m reading Maude Barlow’s books about the global water crisis that looms over all people, Indigenous and non-indigenous. I want us all to have a healthy future despite these challenges but I realize that we are not often empowered by our schools or education systems to tackle these issues in fun and dynamic ways.

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Let's do the math!

Sara General

This past weekend I started a Math Club.  So far there are only two people in it and we’re doing high school Algebra and Trigonometry because we want to take this Open Course Ware Calculus course forfree online at MIT.  This is because I’m really interested in the math, physics and computer sciences but also because I’m trying to find ways to improve my skills in these areas so I can take a more informed look at challenges our schools are facing around math assessment and in particular, standardized assessment.  I’m speaking here of course, of the EQAO assessments.

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Creating Space, Closing Gaps

Sara General

As stated in last week’s blog, this week I want to explore the idea of ‘gaps’.  In particular the ‘education gap’, the ‘achievement gap’ and the knowledge gap.  What are they, and how are they defined?  It’s a good time to be thinking about these different kinds of gaps and what they mean.

That’s because last Friday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and National Chief Shawn Atleo announced a ‘retooled’ plan for First Nations education that included the notion of jointly developed legislation, financial resources for operation and maintenance and a renaming of the education legislation to the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act.  When asked about how much control First Nations would have, Prime Minister Harper is said to have replied, “Well, there has to be standards.”  Which begs the question – whose standards?

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