One of Canada’s top outstanding Principals has perpetuated the failed notion of ‘teddy bear teaching’ and has left administrators searching for new solutions at a Canadian high school.
Despite all the facts and evidence proving that structure is key to maintaining success at grade schools, Chris Meaden has pushed for a change in the education system that strays away from conventional methods. They call it ‘connected learning’. I call it a failed system.
The education board’s recognition and praise for Meaden has been an insult to injury to the failing education system. This issue has been a heated topic before the new system was even implemented in a Canadian high school. It continues to be a debated topic within students who are frustrated of the system.
The new system was meant to give second chances and new opportunities but it has opened doors to new methods of abusing the system. Even if it wasn’t meant to harm those who would benefit the most, it robs them of success and the skills necessary to take on post-secondary career paths.
The abolishment of letter grades and the implementation of an ‘exemplary-basic’ scale has both benefits and disadvantages. More importantly, what the system lacks is reinforcement of values and work ethics. Leaving work ethics to the last year of schooling is a terrible idea. Fortunately, other schools have ingrained students with the idea of hard work at a very early age and before high school has even started.
Maybe Chris Meaden has felt that she has accomplished something but she is enclosed in a small bubble and therefore, hasn’t even felt the magnitude of this problem.
The education board has an issue of identifying problems. They’re no different to the rich and wealthy; they close their doors and the parents that attend annual meetings and seminars are ingrained with the notion that freedom guarantees success.
You know what freedom within the education system has lead to? Wandering students not knowing what to do with their lives. More specifically, marginalized students wondering if the system will ever work.
Don’t pat yourself on the back after you’ve implemented a faulty system and failed to recognize the symptoms of failure. What Meaden did should not be celebrated or promoted at other schools. While I’m against traditional/strict learning systems, I’m also against the system promoted by Meaden. Instead, we should be searching for a solution that balances these two systems and I encourage Meaden to get out of her bubble and talk to students who recognizes the problems.