Playing God with education

Hazel McCallion Senior Public School
Mississauga, Ontario

By Lara P. (Grade 8)

In a recent interview, Rob Samson, M.P.P., revealed that with the cuts being made to education, their plan for keeping the quality of education high and still cut spending is to go back to the 3 R's, the "method of teaching we have strayed from," said Sampson. Some may like the new teaching method in store for our children, but what we must ask ourselves is: are the 3R's going to give students sufficient education to be able to go out into the work force when they have completed school? A question that should be asked is: just why did we stray from this method of teaching that is supposedly all you need?

Over time, many things have changed. Technology has been one of the main reasons for change. For example, new jobs are now in the market and almost all jobs now require some understanding of computers. Also, there are many more requirements for jobs than there were when the three R's were still taught. As technology developed and had more and more of an importance in our lives, we had to adapt our teaching methods in order to adapt to the new requirements. This meant changing from the basics. While spelling, reading, writing, and mathematics were still used, science and many other subjects became part of the normal school curriculum.

A survey done in 1993 asking what factors influenced employee success showed that spelling, reading, writing and mathematics were down at the bottom of the list, counting for a mere 0.8%. The skills that were near the top of the list were work habits, attitude, pride in work, time management and accepting advice. This shows that although the three R's are important, they are only the building blocks. You may have spelling, reading, writing, and mathematics under your belt but without the other skills you won't get as far. If we were to discontinue teaching these important new skills we would not be providing our students with the proper foundation in order to meet the expectations and needs of the employers of the 90's.

Many of the jobs of the future will be in entrepreneurship, i.e., being able to create jobs. Schools realize this and teach subjects that encourage creativity and thought. The three R's don't encourage thought or creativity. They are drills and lessons droning-on where only the teacher does the talking. Teachers have advanced immensely from those stages and now encourage interaction and creativity among students, and the sharing of ideas and thoughts during the class. Being allowed to not only be knowledgeable but, more importantly, creative.

If we were to eliminate any of the subjects that we already have, we would be lowering the standards of education. These students hold our future and if their education is not as good as it should be, then we make no advancements in the world. If John Snobelen wants to improve Ontario's education system, why doesn't he put money into the system instead of taking out? Who will play God with the level of learning that may or may not be disrupted?

Front Page News