I have learned many new things about the Saskatchewan education system in this week’s reading and lecture.
- Language and religion has been a debate in schools since they began. The instruction of French in schools was a constant debate that was implemented, revoked and modified several times before the creation of the division scolaire francophone which allowed over a thousand French students to enroll.
- The first mention of high school education was not until 1888. Schools offered only elementary education because it was manageable and we were able to have many schools across the province.
- Normal school is the name given to the classes that teenagers take in order to learn to become teachers. Students grades 9-11 took these classes and then were given the task of being the teachers for the younger students. Normal school provided little guidance on how to teach a classroom. They were then changed to teacher’s college in order to provide a more university- based teacher education system.
- During the lecture on Monday we spoke a little about the hidden curriculum. In my experience the hidden curriculum taught at school was largely influenced by the community. Although my school has no longer been a catholic school for several years now, Christian ethics was a mandatory class to take up until I was in grade twelve because that is what the community board had decided needed to be taught.
- Another thing we talked about was how we have begun to move from an essentialist perspective to a more progressive one in that the teacher is becoming less of an expert and more of a facilitator. I believe that this is a step forward because it allows less room for imposing our specific beliefs on our students and makes more room for them to figure out their own beliefs with our guidance.
One question that I still have is concerning the fact that even with all the progress we have made in the education system, why is it that we still don’t seem to have solutions to the issues we had in the past such as gender and racial discrimination. How can we work as educators to finally resolve these issues?