"Education Is Not the Filling Of A Pail
But The Lighting Of A Fire”
Gone are the days of “The Three Rs.” There are a few of us that still cling to that standard as the model for today’s education. Yes, I believe in the value of the three Rs, but our world has evolved so significantly in the past fifty years that extraordinary demands are being placed on our youth, in order that they will be able to thrive in tomorrow’s world.
I believe it is our responsibility as school board members to address the needs of each and every child in a caring and supportive environment, geared to the unique skills, interests and limitations of each student. We have made great strides over the years to ensure our schools are accessible, enriching and interesting for all types of learners and as a result we have substantially increased our graduation rates and enrollment in post secondary institutions.
A standout example is our MET School, located as a school-within-a-school at Garden City Collegiate. It is an alternative high school program that delivers all standard provincial curriculums uniquely tailored to students’ individual interests and passions. Instead of blending each student into the curriculum, the curriculum is shaped to suit the student.
The MET School was the first Canadian school of its kind and is part of the Big Picture Learning Network whose motto is “One Student At A Time”. The program is based on career minded internships that partner with Winnipeg companies and institutions for student placements. Classes are small and students stay with the same teacher advisor through graduation. The program has achieved remarkable success throughout the USA, and has fit particularly well into the Seven Oaks environment.
MET Schools encourage students who find conventional classes inadequate and unsuitable for their needs, and who do not thrive in such a structure, to challenge themselves in a system that fully prepares them for careers beyond high school and supplementary education. Graduates are confident in their abilities and know where they are going, because their process of learning incorporates their unique perspectives and abilities.
Last year the MET School was awarded the Canadian Education Association Ken Spencer Award for Innovation In Teaching and Learning. Kudos to the staff, students and parents for their part in achieving this prestigious award.
MET is only one of the innovative approaches that Seven Oaks School Division has incorporated into the learning/teaching system, but it is one of which I am particularly proud.
Please contact me if you want to hear more about our programs, if you want to provide feedback, or if you have ideas of your own that may be beneficial to our students. Read more about MET Schools at http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/success-slowly-met-school-redefines-learning.