This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s another Friday and certainly a special one in Ontario.  To celebrate, please take some time to read some great blog posts from around the province.  Ontario Edubloggers are always addressing big ideas.

I Genuinely Want to Know What’s Next for You, Teachers!

With a title like that, you certainly can’t help but wonder and dig into this post from Heidi Allum.  Matthew Oldridge has beat you to it and highlighted some of the points that resonated with him in this Medium post.

Who could deny this?

One of the many reasons why I love teaching is that it’s a different day every single day.

It’s the sort of thing that keeps you up at night and, at the same time, makes you eager to get into school the next day.

Heidi takes on a number of concepts from teaching Mathematics.  The three major items – Play, Visualization, and Technology are an interesting mix and make for an interesting reflection.  As I noted in the voicEd show, I like the work of Alice Aspinall and Kyle Pearce when it comes to nicely visualizing many mathematics concepts.

What’s up with Ontario’s Health Curriculum? … 10% is what’s up!

Thanks to Deborah Weston for tagging me in the announcement that she’s released this blog post.  In here, she takes a reflective look at the Health and Physical Education Curriculum, 2015.  It’s always humbling when you look back at when a previous version of the Curriculum was released – 1998.  Wow!

So, if a province is going to roll back the curriculum, are we prepared to take on something that’s now 20 years old like there has been nothing we’ve learned about teaching, human growth and development, and the challenges that students have faced since then?

Deborah has put a great deal of research into this post; she claims in a comment to putting 5 hours towards it.  She makes real references to Ontario resources throughout and they’re all listed at the end.

But, let’s face it – the real issue is about sex education and claims made during the past provincial election.  That’s where the 10% comes from.

As a real service, there’s a link in there to a document where she’s pulled out the reference to sexual health, by grade.


If the claim is that this isn’t an appropriate progression of learning, the big question would be – how would you reorder it?

How can Canadians Get Involved in Supporting our Brothers and Sisters in the Global South?

With every post from Paul McGuire, I feel more aware of big issues.  Paul has a passion for social justice and equity and it really comes through in this post.

Given the issues of the past week, his comments certainly are even more relevant.

Paul’s not just pushing ideas from his keyboard; he has walked the walk having organized student trips and experiences to the Dominican Republic.

He suggests


and offers four pillars to guide this.

  • Stewardship
  • Participation
  • Respect for excellence
  • Human Dignity

and fleshes out each.  Put on your social justice mindset and read Paul’s post.

Two Years of Farming and International Students

This was an interesting comparison from Irene Stewart and was inspired by a reflection about cheating.

There is a price to be paid for immigration to Canada and Irene shares a personal story about her father and the two years spent farming with a sponsor before being able to apply for citizenship.

Fast forward to today – she wonders if the two years that International students spend at school is the equivalent experience in 2018.  Of course, studying and living in a new country also brings up the question of balance between customs from the old country and the new.

Is the pressure to succeed the driver behind any cheating that is happening?  You can’t help but wonder if the solution doesn’t lie in the type of assessment being used.  K-12 education has had its renaissance; are there lessons there for colleges and universities?

Setting Higher Standards: High School Graduation Just Isn’t Enough

We’re proud that, in Ontario, there are three pathways for students – University, College, and the World of Work.

Is it working though?

In this post, from Jason To, he notes the graduation rate of the Toronto District School Board at 86%.  That’s an impressive rate – what’s the rate in your district?

But then what?  Are graduates really ready to make life decisions at the end of each of the pathways?  Does social responsibility end there or is there something else?  I know that my life plans changed from the end of secondary school to mid-University program.  And, I was a graduate of a 5 year program of secondary school studies.

Jason provides and reflects on some summary data about success success.  I would be interested in knowing about the success of cooperative education or Specialist High Skills Major.

This will have you thinking.

educators in schools need to understand that this shift is a response to the inequities that we see in access to post-secondary education and who is disproportionately affected by streaming structures.

ACSE Gmail Chat

As Anne Shillolo notes:

The ACSE gmail group recently erupted with dozens of wonderful discussion posts on a variety of computer science curriculum, staffing and policy ideas. It has taken me a little while to read through all the many informative and thoughtful emails. But, of course I wanted to chime in with my own views!

I’ve been following the discussions as well but kudos need to go to Anne to blog about it.

There are serious issues:

  • the influx of computer studies activities in elementary schools with no formal guidance
  • the sophistication our secondary school computer studies students want for their studies
  • qualifications that are needed to teach a formal computer studies class
  • the availability of Additional Qualification courses for teachers

Anne cuts right to the heart of the matter…

Surely it would be a good thing if the province would look at the continuum of age-appropriate computer science learning and adjust both the elementary and secondary expectations to match what is truly the reality in many schools in 2018.

It will need a serious study and effort and professional learning opportunities.  Anne self-identifies as “self-taught” and I don’t think that makes her unique.  Anyone who teaches in this area needs a reboot every now and again with how volatile the discipline is.

There are rumblings that a serious overhaul is in the works.  There are good people in the province that would be up to the challenge.  I hope that this comes through and that a long term vision and plan is created.  Along with the curriculum and professional learning to support it, of course.

A Moment To Inspire: Setting Goals

Have you got four minutes to be inspired by a great story?

Then check out this video from Joel McLean.


I hope that you’ve enjoyed your Friday morning inspiration.  Please take a few moments to click through and enjoy these posts in the entirety.

And, follow these folks on Twitter…

On Wednesday mornings, Stephen Hurley and I talk about some of these blog posts on the voicEd Radio This Week in Ontario Edublogs.  The show is rebroadcast at various times throughout the week and all of the shows are archived here.

On Saturday blogposts, I’ve been going through and digging out the past voicEd shows and blog posts to take a wander back in time.


OTR Links 06/22/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.