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Advancing Education: The Issues Ahead

Part of the educational philosophy of the Waldorf school system posted on the sign for the Kelowna school (Courtesy CBC)


  On Thursday March 7 th Daybreak held a Town Hall Forum on the issues of where education and schooling is going.

Panel members were Lynn Bossetti, Dean of Education from UBC Okanagan.
Long time retired educator Rolli Cacchioni, who worked as a teacher, principal and chair of the Central Okanagan School board.
Also on the panel was Sunddip Panesar, an educational consultant who trains and evaluates new teachers.
Grade 12 student Stephanie Cates from Okanagan Mission Secondary gave her perspective on how schools are meeting a student's needs.

The Town Hall was held at the Streaming Cafe in Kelowna at 596 Leon Avenue.

You can also go to the webpage set up for this series to find the stories we assembled.
Here is a recording of the Town Hall meeting.


Paying for it all, the cost of running Schools

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All week, we've been exploring the future of education in our series Advancing Education.

But how do we pay for it all? School districts across the province are working on their budgets for the next school year and many districts have to do more with less.

In the Central Okanagan, school district officials are trying to find ways to cover what they expect will be a shortfall of close to $ 4 million.

The man who runs the purse strings in the district is Larry Paul, the Secretary-Treasurer for School District 23.

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The origins of school and the thing called homework

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(courtesy CBC)

Here is a good question, what does Sputnik have to do with homework?

Well you might be surprised to learn there is a deep rooted connection between the two.

Chris Walker decided as part of our series, Advancing Education, to look back and ask some of the fundamental questions we don't often ask on the daily trek to the classroom.

Here are a few to consider; Where does school come from? How do we know what and how to teach our children? And who invented that crazy thing called homework?


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The value of the Arts in Education

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Students at a drama class at George Pringle Elementary. A student art curator shows off some of the school's art work. (courtesy Gillianne Richards)


Public schools are forced to expand and contract programming based on a yearly thaw of budget dollars, however this cycle offers little security to arts in the curriculum.

You certainly don't hear of schools cutting math because of lack of funding.

Studies show educators value the arts, but a key question is how to make education in the arts sustainable.

The answer may be in something called integration.
   
As part of our series Advancing Education, our arts columnist Gillianne Richards has been taking a look at just that.

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A two-in-one math program for kids and adults


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Alison Scuffi and her 9-year-old daughter Dakota with Lorraine Baron, a research associated with UBC Okanagan. All participants of the "Count on Yourself" math education program (courtesy CBC)


Count on Yourself is a math education program spearheaded by UBC Okanagan research associate, Lorraine Baron who has been working with four families including Alison Scuffi and her daughter Dakota.

The adults have been learning financial literacy while the children have learned to love doing math.

They joined Chris Walker in studio to talk about what the program concentrates on and how it has worked for them.

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The next page for Cursive Writing

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(courtesy CBC)

Cursive writing, in this age of computers, can look like a foreign language to some kids.

So what about the future of Cursive Writing; Is it still relevant?

Our series "Advancing Education" hears why one elementary school teacher thinks the fancy loops need to stay.

Leona Gaber has been teaching primary school for thirty years.
 
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UBC Okanagan researchers all over the globe


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(courtesy UBCO ors.s54.ok.ubc.ca)

Researchers affiliated with UBC Okanagan are literally all over the map.

The university now has an interactive tool called Mapping Okanagan Research Engagement, or MORE to keep track of where and what researchers are doing.

Kristen Korberg is a manager in the university's office of research services.

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The future of First Nations education


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(courtesy CBC)

Educators have long been trying to solve the puzzle of how to improve education outcomes for aboriginal children, especially when only 41 per cent of native children graduate from high school across Canada.

B.C. is inching ahead with just over 53 per cent of aboriginal students graduating in 2011.

Some school districts boast graduation rates higher than the provincial average.

As part of our education series, Daybreak's Christina Low looks at First Nations education.

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The future of textbooks is likely online


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(courtesy istock)

Lugging heavy textbooks back and forth to school was one of the chores of education, but that may change in the near future.

In fact, now with internet access and almost everything being available online, that is where the future text book may be found
 
As part of our series, Advancing Education, we wondered if hard copy textbooks will be part of the future classroom. So we headed to UBC-Okanagan's Education faculty to learn about the textbook of the future.
   
Robert Campbell is an associate professor at UBC-Okanagan who specializes in Educational Technology.

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The Plant Intelligence Project: Advancing education
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UBCO researchers and students discussion the concept of plants having intelligence (courtesy UBCO)

The project is an exercise in sowing the seeds of creativity.

This week is research week at UBC Okanagan and all week on the show we'll be highlighting work that goes on at the university, as part of our series Advancing Education.

This link to a video about The Plant Intelligence Project describes how creative writing lecturer Sonnet L'Abbé and her students learn about and examine plant research, and then use that to create art.

Sonnet dropped by our studio with one of her students, Taylor Nesdoly.

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Plugging in or pulling the plug on computers in class 

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12 year old Mackenzie McInnis in her Grade 7 English class at Springvalley Middle School using her computer. (courtesy CBC)

There are very different approaches to the use of technology and computers in the classroom depending on where your children are educated.

We begin this discussion as part of our series on advancing education.

In the first part of our series we consider, should schools be plugging in or pulling the plug on computers and technology?

It's a big question for educators, especially when many of their students have been using computers since they were toddlers.

Daybreak's Adrian Nieoczym recently visited two schools in Kelowna with very different
philosophies on the use of technology.

He also spoke to Brandt Sianchuck and Amanda Nyirfa who are grade 9 students at Springvalley Middle school about the role of technology in their education and their lives.
   
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