It’s not what you have. It’s what you do with what you’ve got. I was asked recently by an editor for Toronto Life about what kind of technology resources Rosseau Lake College offers students. In the popular imagination STEM is about stuff, which is why every media presentation of it shows 3D printers, snap circuits,Continue reading “What makes a great STEM school?”
Category Archives: Education
Review of Glenlyon Norfolk School
Glenlyon Norfolk School (GNS) is an independent, coed day and boarding school offering Grades JK through Grade 12. The Beach Drive campus—the only Junior School with an oceanfront campus in the country, as far as we know—houses JK through Grade 5. The Pemberton Woods campus houses the Grade 6 through 12 program. The first thingContinue reading “Review of Glenlyon Norfolk School”
Teaching girls to change the world
After a year in the role of principal of The Linden School—and what a year it’s been—we spoke with Tara Silver about what girls need, how girls learn, and how the Linden School has pioneered in all of that. In 2014 Tara joined The Linden School in a senior student advising and teaching role beforeContinue reading “Teaching girls to change the world”
Microsoft needs you
An interview with Marc Seaman, VP, Education Segment, Microsoft Canada Since Marc Seaman started as the lead of the Microsoft education team 8 years ago, a lot has changed, particularly in the past year in response to the demands of the pandemic. But even before that, he wanted to shift the focus away from things—devices,Continue reading “Microsoft needs you”
How literate are Canadian students?
They can read, but when it comes to functional literacy—expressing ideas, crafting arguments—some feel that students could, and should, be doing better. “I saw the need,” says Hafsa Esmail, founder of Power of Words Academy, “and I wanted to fill it.” At the time she was working as a team manager of Investigations Services at theContinue reading “How literate are Canadian students?”
Video review of Elmwood School
Video review of Branksome Hall
A survey of the programs, traditions and culture at Branksome Hall.
Video review of The York School
A survey of the programs, traditions and culture at The York School.
A place for children
“What I love most about the space,” says Valerie Turner, “is that I can open my window and I hear the children playing.” Turner is principal of the Junior School at Toronto’s York School and her office is a crisp, welcoming environment in keeping with the overall aesthetic of the school. The windows in herContinue reading “A place for children”
Learning in the spaces in between
When Glarea first opened its doors, the intention was to be different. It is. “I really need to share this, because I think it’s a fantastic story.” That’s Rita Rai, the founding head of Glarea Elevated Learning in Surry, BC. The school is new, and the first full academic year was also the one in which COVIDContinue reading “Learning in the spaces in between”
What will camp look like in 2021?
It’s a good question. The answer? Different. And in some ways, more important than ever before. Camp is known for the personal challenges it can offer, the activities that build grit, resilience, and character. That said, I’ve been speaking with camp directors about what they expect for the year ahead, and one commented that thisContinue reading “What will camp look like in 2021?”
Why do parents go private?
The answer can be expressed in a single word: choice. “While education in public schools is still the dominant form of education in Canada,” says Deani Van Pelt, “the data indicates parents are increasingly looking to independent schools for more choice in how their children are educated.” Van Pelt is director of the Fraser Institute’sContinue reading “Why do parents go private?”
How to grow a school
For architect Elie Newman, it begins with a community, a sense of possibility, and a master plan “As they’ve grown they’ve filled out the spaces and changed their uses,” says Elie Newman about Northmount School. “And now they’re busting at the seams.” That’s true in more ways than one. Northmount is an independent Catholic schoolContinue reading “How to grow a school”
The power of mentorship
Who we learn from can, sometimes, make all the difference We spend a lot of time talking about curricula, though when we ask people, later in life, about their education, we typically don’t ask “what curriculum did you learn through.” Rather we ask, who was the teacher that had the biggest impact on who you were,Continue reading “The power of mentorship”
155 years of Trinity College School
“I had an accident with gunpowder,” wrote Peter Perry in his diary. He was a student in the very first cohort at TCS, and was maybe a bit of a handful. In time his diary entries became more detailed, if equally enigmatic. “Thursday, [April] 12th. Rainy all day. Dinner: veal and roly-poly. Did not take any pudding.Continue reading “155 years of Trinity College School”
Building a better school
If you were to build a school for the needs of today, what would it look like? What would it include? What would you borrow from the past? What would you innovate? Those are the questions that animate much of Elie Newman’s work as principal architect of BNKC in Toronto. The answer he would give isContinue reading “Building a better school”
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? 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 earn a Lowell Milken CentreContinue 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”
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”
For the Grenadines Initiative “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, clearly wasn’t most people.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 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”
(For OurKids.net) Before the Golden Goal, or the Stanley Cup win, or the NHL draft, Sidney Crosby was a student at boarding school, something that many Canadians may find surprising. But he was. As a tween, Crosby and his parents recognized that he needed something more than he was getting at home in Cole Harbour,Continue reading “Boarding school”
When it comes to alternative education, is it possible to go too far? All advances in education are emblematic of their time, arising out of a specific political context and cultural experience. The education that Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner knew as children, for example, was severe. Classrooms were institutional, teaching was rote, punishments couldContinue reading “It’s personal”