Letter to the Editor: Nancy Carswell — Jan. 24, 2013

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The Saskatchewan government has done the math and determined that 950 hours of instructional time is better than 197 days.  Their math appears based on the linear equation y = mx where “y” equals hours of schooling, “m” instructional time, and “x” number of students. 

In the shift to 950 hours, Saskatchewan Rivers School Division (SRSD) estimates it must add 40 instructional hours to the school year.  As SRSD has x = 9000 students, schooling will increase from y = 910x = 8,190,000 hours to y = 950x = 8,550,000.

As the government does not address the issue of where teachers are to find the additional instructional time, I suggest these hours come from time wasted sleeping or rejuvenating family time or that ridiculously long summer holiday.  I recommend teachers avoid using productive hours currently spent preparing student-centered learning experiences after the school day has ended or the countless hours involved in extracurricular activities with students building trust and relationships. 

The government must be confident every student has a positive learning experience so no student would ever consider the equation shifted from -910x to -950x.  Why, if x = 379 students in SRSD found school negative, it would wipe out the total increase.  
Please remind your MLA (http://www.legassembly.sk.ca/mlas/) there is a distinction between schooling and learning—schooling can be measured by counting the bodies in attendance while learning requires minds at attention.  Better yet, suggest they study the book Finnish Lessons and learn how less schooling can mean more learning. 

 

Nancy Carswell

Shellbrook

Organizations: Saskatchewan Rivers School Division

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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