Education Policy and Practice
“Along with 30,000 others across Canada, in the coming weeks thousands of BC students are being recruited to participate in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This three-hour series of tests, sponsored by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) claims to assess the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students in mathematics, reading, and science. While the subject of much debate by scholars, very little is understood about the ways that students and their parents/guardians are informed about and invited to participate in PISA. We raise some questions about PISA and why ministries of education across the country have decided to add this unnecessary burden on already overwhelmed students and school-communities.” J-C Couture
J-C Couture is an adjunct colleague and instructor at the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He previously coordinated the research program for the Alberta Teachers’ Association and served as a Research Fellow for Manchester Metropolitan University. He is currently involved in a number of projects including developing graduate courses related to school leadership, curriculum renewal, and assessment. J-C co-authored this article with David Rutkowski, associate professor in Educational Policy and Educational Inquiry at Indiana University.
“How can teachers understand and serve the needs of each and every child without healthy class sizes and student composition standards in schools? From our experience, retired educators recognize it as the balancing point for all our hopes for effective teaching and learning.”
The BC Retired Teachers’ Association strongly supports active teachers in their need to maintain workable class sizes with proper support for the needs of students.” Gerry Tiede
Gerry Tiede is the Past-President of the BC Retired Teachers’ Association and the President of Association Canadienne des enseignantes et des enseignants retraités – Canadian Association of Retired Teachers (ACER-CART). Prior to his retirement, Gerry was a school principal in the Surrey School District and was active in leadership in the BC Principals and Vice-Principals’ Association. He holds a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Education Administration.
Read more about the work of the BCRTA here.
“We strongly believe that research should inform practice (and indeed, practice and research should flow together in a symbiotic relationship to protect and professionalize teaching). The research on class size is powerful and shows that for improving teaching and learning conditions in the classroom, smaller is better. But can research determine if “class size” is a working condition?” Dr. Daniel Laitsch, Dr. Christine Ho Younghusband
Dr. Daniel Laitsch is the Chairperson of the Institute for Public Education’s Board of Directors. He is a founding director for the Centre for Study of Educational Leadership, Associate Professor at SFU and Director of the SFU Surrey Campus Liaison, Faculty of Education. His research interests include examining the use of research by teachers, application of research to inform policy and practice and policy analysis.
Dr. Christine Ho Younghusband is Assistant Professor at UNBC School of Education and an Affiliate Scholar at Centre for the Study of Educational Leadership and Policy at SFU. She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from SFU and a M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction. She has extensive experience in the field of education having been a secondary math teacher, a trustee on the Board of Education for SD46, and a member of the BC School Trustees’ Association Board of Directors.
Crawford Killian reviews a new book by Pasi Sahlberg and Timothy Walker, In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish Way to World-Class Schools, W.W.Norton(2021).
“I’ve been watching Finnish education for years, and had the privilege of getting to know Tim Walker and to sit in on one of his classes: https://thetyee.ca/News/2014/10/13/Succesful-Schools-Finland/. This is not his first book on the subject; he’s also written Teach Like Finland https://thetyee.ca/Culture/2017/08/29/Teach-Like-Finland/. He and his colleague Pasi Sahlberg make a persuasive case that we shouldn’t try to imitate the Finnish system, but we can apply many of its principles and techniques right now in our own classrooms—and get great results.” Crawford Killian
Crawford Killian is a writer-editor for The Tyee. Previously, he was a professor at VCC and Capilano University and the public education columnist for the Vancouver Province. He has published extensively on a wide range of topics, including education, science, the environment, and politics.