Decades ago I was on my high school debating team. Back then education was about learning to think for yourself. Not anymore. The NDP and ATA have decided that students should become “agents of change”. Children will be taught what change is needed and given a push to get out there and get busy.
Debating is often about the virtues of proposed change. Stuff like “Be it resolved that we should all drive electric cars”. One side debates in favour of the change. The other side debates against the change. It stimulates thinking and discussion.
Now imagine an educational system where the side in favour of change always wins because children are taught that they always should win. There is not much thinking or discussion involved in that. As for what stuff needs changing, the ATA are bringing in Tzeporah Berman to help them choose topics. I’m guessing more economic development is not on the list.
Speaking of debating, I would love to debate the people drafting the “agents of change” curriculum. Too bad it cannot happen. The names of these people are secret. You cannot debate ghosts. I wonder if Jonathan Teghtmeyer, the Associate Coordinator of Communications for the ATA and a resident of Sherwood Park, wants to make his case on behalf of the nameless and faceless secret agents of change. Probably not.
Find a blackboard and write “Be it resolved that children should be taught to be agents of change.” and I’ll be there.
I have noticed teachers are asking kids to take a stand on fairly complicated things before they have enough information or enough understanding and maturity to form well reasoned opinions. Very few Junior High schools in Edmonton have debate clubs and out of school debate groups are quite rare. In grade 9 Social Studies they ask kids to come up with a bill to put forth in the House of Commons that would make Canada better. If they really want kids involved in political “solutions”, it would make more sense that they start at a municipal level and look at contributing improvements to something like transit and volunteering to make improvements at a local level.