Teachers play a vital role in providing our children and grandchildren with the knowledge and skills they need to become productive members of society.
However, that role is greatly diminished for many teachers these days.
They are given little choice but to follow the directives of school administrators, who micromanage anything and everything from how to write comments in report cards to the teaching methods that can and should be used in the classroom.
Constructivist teaching is often imposed on teachers, particularly in Alberta.
It’s a method that encourages students to discover facts and concepts on their own and avoid direct instruction from teachers.
The value of such risky, new methods is rarely evident, but teachers are reluctant to complain because in their professional evaluations, administrators will consider whether teachers applied these “student-centered” methodologies in the classroom.
We should all be wary of teaching methods that are fads which lack any strong evidence of success.
Administrators should give teachers the freedom and allow them to adapt their methods to needs of their students to yield positive and measurable results.
Teachers should teach in the way they think best, as long as they can prove their students are learning.
I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.
For more on education policy, visit our website www.fcpp.org