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In his article,
Bust and Teachers",
Speaking, May, 1997)
Daniel Stoffman reveals one of the most serious faults in the current
process of educational reform. He throws statistics and observations
at us without making a value judgment. Where is Stoffmans critical
We have to stop
accepting reports of the current trends as being
"just okay." Over the years the educational
gurus gave us reports of the latest things from
California. The results: open concept classrooms,
whole language, and universal semestering. At some
point weve got to ask the question, "is
Louis Tusz is head of the
music department at Huntsville High School.
Congratulations to Daniel Stoffman
for his astute, compelling and overdue warnings about
the future of public education. In our present
erratic and often vacuous era, perhaps nothing is
more important than renewing our education system,
not only to restore public trust and confidence, but
to recapture and reorient an increasing number of
marginalized, disenchanted young people.
In his article,
he cites public dismay with certain theoretical,
philosophical and pedagogical practices forced upon
the system by the "education bureaucracy".
He sees "decreasing confidence in certain
instruction methods" as "intensifying the
erosion of support for public education". He is
experienced teachers have noted this for years.
Unfortunately, no one listened. Left unaddressed
these flaws will increasingly enhance the
attractiveness of private institutions.
and efficient use of resources are laudable goals.
Continued spending cuts, overcrowded classrooms,
education as corporate job training, and attacks on
collective bargaining are not.
education reform, if based on genuine partnership,
commitment, and respect should be a welcome step in
the right direction.
Henry Bokor was a high
school teacher for 19 years and has taught at the
Halton Adult and Continuing Education Centre for the
past six years.
Terrific job on your first copy of
Professionally Speaking. The information is very well
laid out, and very pertinent to teachers in the '90s.
NetWatch suggested sites that I was not
familiar with. And this keeps me current. This is
what the College should do with its mandate for
issues I would like to see more emphasis on education
issues. I would also like to see teachers using the
magazine to share ideas and aspects of teachers
research. This is another aspect of teachers learning
from teachers that needs to be encouraged by the
Jeremy Cox teaches at Our
Lady of Mercy Elementary School in Mississauga. He
has been teaching for five years.
In the article
Affairs, I was struck
by the reference to faculties that admit students who have no knowledge
of computers. It is their job to prepare students to teach and to
prepare them for the technology of the classroom.
mentions student teachers who have not taken math for
a long time. This really concerns me. I am a high
school math teacher and I see student teachers coming
in to my school for practice who dont have a
clue about the material. How can they become math
In many cases,
they expect to teach the lower grades or the general
level. This is a problem as the lower grades are the
time that students should learn a lot of their basic
theories. If teachers are not sure of why things are
done in a certain manner, they cannot guide their
students to a deeper understanding of mathematics.
If you can do
something to change the selection process for
teachers college, you will have done the
educational system a great favour.
Barb Warf teaches in
After reading the first issue of
Professionally Speaking and having browsed through
the web site, I noticed a lack of experience
and recognition in respect to isolated northern
What may be
easily accessible in most of Ontario can be
impossible in the north. The Internet is very
convenient, but many towns in northwestern Ontario do
not have Internet service. In addition, conferences,
workshops, seminars, etc. are rarely held in small
participate in professional development, as do most
of my colleagues, and we are anxiously awaiting the
decisions of the Council. All I am asking is the
recognition of geographical factors that affect
thousands of your colleagues.
Suzanne Eddy teaches
English and drama at Marathon High School.