Why do we go to school?

The best reasons aren’t always the ones you think of first by Glen Herbert “It’s very Harry Potter,” says Michael Simmonds, chuckling a bit as he does. I was speaking to him about what Havergal College does best, a school in Toronto where he is vice principal. Havergal is one of the foremost girls’ schoolsContinue reading “Why do we go to school?”

What makes a great teacher great?

What should parents be looking for in educators? by Glen Herbert Beth Alexander, a primary and elementary instructor at The Linden School, is a teacher that a lot of people think is great, including the prime minister. In 2017, she received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and this year she was the first Canadian educator to earnContinue reading “What makes a great teacher great?”

Do island students need STEM?

STEM is about engaging collaboratively, thinking creatively, across disciplines. And, in education and business, its fast becoming the way of the world. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. And, at its simplest, that’s what STEM programs provide: an intensive focus on the hard sciences. In practice, however, it’s much more thanContinue reading “Do island students need STEM?”

What does it mean to be a global learner?

Schools like Pickering College are redefining international education by Glen Herbert for Our Kids   There was a time when the concept of international education and global learning was principally about experience: getting students out into the world, travelling, first to Europe and then further afield. The world was posited as a rich museum ofContinue reading “What does it mean to be a global learner?”

Reimagining girls’ education

The Linden School’s ongoing impact on how we think about how girls learn. By Glen Herbert All private schools defy the stereotypes that the general population might have about private education, though the Linden School is a particularly stark example of that. Founded by Diane Goudie and Eleanor Moore in 1993, the school was intendedContinue reading “Reimagining girls’ education”

Off to school

by Glen Herbert Lauriel Stowe wants to be a volcanologist. “We had a geography class,” she says, recalling some years ago, “and [the teacher] was talking about plate tectonics, and I really found the topic interesting.” She did some of her own research and, among other things, learned that there is only one working volcanologistContinue reading “Off to school”

Night owls by nature

Some schools, such as Toronto Prep School, are adapting their schedules to their students’ sleep cycles. The question is, why aren’t they all?  by Glen Herbert   “The optimal time for teenagers to learn is late in the morning through to late afternoon,” says Fouli Tsimikalis, vice principal of Toronto Prep School (TPS), a school sheContinue reading “Night owls by nature”

Do all students need tutors?

Cutting edge academic programs, such as Focus Learning, suggest that, yes, they do. by Glen Herbert for Our Kids   When we think of after-school academic programs, thoughts first turn to remediation: extra classes to help struggling students raise course marks. For some, that’s certainly the impetus, though ‘tutorial,’ more properly understood, refers to a styleContinue reading “Do all students need tutors?”

A Brief History of Boarding Schools

The British Tradition British boarding schools have historically provided the model for boarding schools in Canada. Prime among the antecedents is the King’s School in Canterbury, England. It was founded in the year 597 and, until the dissolution of the monasteries act nearly a century later, it remained a cloistered religious institution. At King’s, studentsContinue reading “A Brief History of Boarding Schools”

Gabby’s story

For the Grenadines Initiative Gabby Ollivierre’s first real experience of snow came with a freak storm that hit Calgary on October 2. It was notable by anyone’s standards–the storm made national news in Canada–though especially for someone from the islands who had yet to get a proper pair of boots. When I met her atContinue reading “Gabby’s story”

Kadeen’s story

For the David and Christine Anderson Family Foundation “On Bequia, if you tell someone that you are going to be a pilot, they don’t believe,” says Kadeen Hazell. “They think it’s just talk.” He feels that’s true for most people on the island: they don’t have a sense of real possibility. Kadeen, from early days,Continue reading “Kadeen’s story”

The cognitive benefits of Mandarin/English dual-language instruction

(For Ourkids.net) “When you learn a second language,” says Donna Booth, “it lets you know that there’s more than one way to do things.” As principal at Toronto’s Dalton School, an English/Mandarin dual-immersion school in Toronto, Booth sees the benefits of that in her work every day. Less obvious—though becoming more so—is how learning languages can affectContinue reading “The cognitive benefits of Mandarin/English dual-language instruction”

Why do parents consider private school?

The answer is best expressed in a single word: Choice   “The common school ideal is the source of one of the oldest educational debates …  The movement in favour of greater educational choice is the source of one of the most recent” —Rob Reich[1] Education in public schools remains the dominant form of education inContinue reading “Why do parents consider private school?”

Students praise Lakefield College School for Outdoor Ed program

“I thought, ‘this is the place where I could be the best version of myself.’” for Ourkids.net One of Betsy Macdonnell’s first glimpses of life at Lakefield College School was a grade 9 outdoor education class, one of the stops on her first tour of the campus. “I remember seeing how supportive they were withContinue reading “Students praise Lakefield College School for Outdoor Ed program”

Navigating the gap year

Neuchâtel Junior College (for OurKids.net) At its simplest, a gap year is a non-academic year between high school graduation and enrollment at university. It’s becoming more common, and more structured, though the vast majority of Canadian parents didn’t take a gap year. Because of that lack of first-person experience, misconceptions abound. The fear is thatContinue reading “Navigating the gap year”

Students praise LCS outdoor education program

By Glen Herbert for OurKids.net One of Betsy Macdonnell’s first glimpses of life at Lakefield College School was a grade 9 outdoor education class, one of the stops on her first tour of the campus. “I remember seeing how supportive they were with each other,” she says of the students, particularly in the case ofContinue reading “Students praise LCS outdoor education program”