The Canaries Are Choking

The results of the Canadian Education Association’s What Did You Do In School Today survey  should serve as a clarion call for action from educators, parents and governments. The CEA surveyed over 60,000 Canadian students to obtain their views on the level of their intellectual engagement in school. Less than half of all high school students surveyed reported that they felt intellectually engaged in school.
These results underline the need to rethink public education in and for the 21st Century. The lack of intellectual engagement by students coupled with the calls from many economic and social leaders for public education to focus on imparting new 21st Century competencies in our youth using modern teaching methodologies, including the integration of information and communication technology with learning, should be heeded.
The historic technique of miners using canaries to tell whether the mine was lethal for humans comes to mind. If the canaries died, miners immediately reconsidered moving forward in the same direction. The CEA survey results tell us that the creativity and engagement of youth in our public education systems are being stifled. The canaries aren’t dead yet, but they are choking! Canadians need to start a serious dialogue on how to shift public education to a 21st Century model of learning, or risk having our education systems becoming even more irrelevant to students.


About 21stcenturylearningassociates

President 21st Century Learning Associates Education consulting firm specializing in 21st Century Learning - the why, the what and the how.
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