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The Problem With Alberta's Curriculum Redesign Isn't the Oilpatch...

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...It's the "experts." So say the experts.

Bad news for DeSmogblog's David Tracey. who recently ranted that the only people with any business involved in a redesign of Alberta's educational curriculum are, well, experts.

Enter Stuart Wachowicz (formerly Edmonton Public School system's director of curriculum) and Ken Porteous (University of Alberta associate dean of Engineering). They're experts. And they're also raising the alarm over the pending redesign of Alberta's K-12 curriculum. But it's not over the involvement of industry.

It's over the educational pet projects of so-called "experts," presumably the "experts" Tracey himself would prefer: the so-called "discovery/inquiry method."

“It is now urgent for community leaders, business leaders, parents, grandparents and politicians of all parties, along with academics, to speak up and put an end to the self-destructive direction being taken by Alberta Education," Wachowicz asserts.

“The ongoing propensity of Alberta Education to continually tinker with the K to 12 curriculum based on ‘New Age’ education theory or fads such as ‘discovery-based learning’ is a waste of time and taxpayer dollars,” Porteous adds. “Much of this nonsense derives from work done by academics in the United States whose education system is not nearly as comprehensive and relatively poor compared to any of the provincial systems in Canada and in particular Alberta. Alberta Education uses a number of these misguided gurus as consultants.”

“There is no benefit and in fact a huge downside to students being asked to discover other methods of performing these operations and picking the one which they like," he continues. "This just leads to confusion which ultimately translates into frustration, a strong dislike for mathematics and a desire to drop out of any form of mathematics course at the earliest opportunity.”

That is precisely what's happening in United States, where the so-called "common core" math curriculum are reducing students, and sometimes even their parents, to tears.

Plenty of so-called "experts" have participated in what is at times a largely political and even demagogical -- some English lessons push the deliberately-divisive new-age racist "white privilege" theory -- redesign of the American educational system. And they're now pretending that the disaster unfolding simply isn't happening.

Combine this with other policies favoured by such so-called "experts" -- such as the no-zero policies that claimed the job of Lynden Dorval, and the no-fail policies creeping into the education systems of other provinces.

This isn't to say that experts shouldn't be involved in the redesign. Only that "experts" -- the so-called educational elites whose records are non-existent at best, or records of outright failure at worst -- should be promptly shown the door so that actual experts -- such as Ken Porteous and Stuart Wachowicz -- can chart a course to success.



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