RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Complexity Interpretation...

From: Kristina Maus <maus_at_bmts.com>
Date: Sun Dec 1 12:04:01 2002

MessageJoe Jackson wrote: Can you speak more about the new tight controls
on schools in Canada? I find that interesting as Canada seems to be the
country wherein the Sudbury model is by far having the most per capita
success.

Hi Joe.

I am a long time lurker on this discussion group, an artist, a farm-wife,
mother and grandmother, and a part-time public school elementary art teacher
in Ontario, Canada. I am very supportive of the Sudbury philosophy, but to
this point in my life and in the rural area where I live, there isn't a
school in operation that I can become involved in and the one that was
attempted here did not succeed, much to my disappointment.

Anyway, I might be able to shed a little light on the curriculum controls in
our Ontario schools. All "public" schools are compelled to follow a very
strict and prescriptive curriculum, especially with respect to literacy and
mathematics, and people here are currently teaching to the standardized
tests administered in grades three, six, nine and ten. Many music and art
programs are struggling, since getting those test scores up seem to be the
main focus of our administrators. It's unfortunate for the children,
certainly, and not much fun for the educators either. In terms of reading
success, yes, probably more children are being successful achieving literacy
earlier, but there is a high cost in terms of freedom and learning, and it's
a poor trade, imho.

Private schools, on the other hand, are not strictly regulated with respect
to curriculum, and are basically free to do as they wish. This may change
in the future, but I don't think that it will. Many private schools do
follow the Ontario curriculum, but the choice, to this point in time, is up
to the school. The thinking at present is that if the public is paying, the
curriculum will be strictly adhered to. If you are paying privately, you
can do much as you please. Of course, the trick is to attract enough
interested committed people to make it fly. Not an easy task.

I have a question. You wrote that Canada seems to be having more per capita
success that other countries. Where are these schools located? Are they
all in or near large urban areas?

I have enjoyed following the discussion this last year. Thanks for the
opportunity to look out of the box on a regular basis, and know that a
better way does exist. I send angels on a regular basis to all of you
working in Sudbury models and giving kids such an amazing opportunity! You
are blessings.

Have a great day!
Kristina Maus
Received on Sun Dec 01 2002 - 12:03:26 EST

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