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School day/year/years duration

W. K. Lis

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There is more to learn these days compared to when I or we went to school. With the passage of time, there is more history. There is more technology to learn. There are more rules, laws, and instruction to learn.

How do we compare with other schools around the world, to start.

From link.

What’s School like around the World?

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Australia.png

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Brazil.png

China.png

France.png

Japan.png

South-Korea.png
 

Northern Light

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Need some Ontario numbers here:

Total School Days: 194

That would place us around #7 on the list above, below Australia and above the UK. Numbers in the US vary by state but would generally be around the 180 mark or below Ontario and towards the bottom of the OECD list.

****

School day: Ontario requires six hours, I believe. But in my experience we're typically around 6.5 in public boards here.

That would put us in the same range as most of Anglo world, but below East Asia and France.

****

Academics

Ontario had 524 for science on the PISA (OECD) tests which would put us 2nd on the above list.

Ontario had 527 for reading on the PISA (OECD) tests which would put us 1st on the above list.

Ontario had 510 for math on the PISA (OECD) tests which would put us 4th on the above list.

The above list is not comprehensive and Ontario's rankings aren't quite that high, but are broadly 'top 10' across the board with an overall ranking around #7 if Ontario were a national jurisdiction.
 

Northern Light

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To my way of thinking, I think the number of school days is close to right, though I 'd like to see about one more week (or around 200 days per year).

I think the bigger key on this is redistribution. I do think the summer break is a bit long, while there is a lack of respite for students and teachers from Labour Day to the Christmas break.

I'd like to shave two weeks off the summer break in August (apologies to the CNE) and then see a fall break of one week centred on Thanksgiving.

I think that would be beneficial for both harried teachers and struggling students.

*******

I think the duration of the day from an academic perspective is reasonable.

But I would like to see a later time-shift for High School students. Its long been established that teens really do fall asleep later and wake up later.

Why not a school day of 9:30am-4pm instead of 9-3:30pm?

********

When it comes to academics Ontario stacks up fairly well, but there's always room for improvement.

My thoughts here are that there are four things we can and should address:

1) The need to reform summer school. I know teachers who I respect who run this. They call it glorified daycare.

The problem is that the classes are generalized. They don't specialize even in the subject the students are having trouble with, let alone the unit.

That's a waste of everyone's time.

More resources required with a clear focus on helping students with the subject and unit with which they are struggling. This, rather than some 4-week super regurgitation of the entire school year would be much more helpful.

2) The need to supply in year remedial help for students, before they get too far behind. There are many options from teaching assistants working as tutors for struggling students, to before/after school remedial programs etc.


****

One area not covered..........we are well behind on technology in the classroom.

Its long since time every child had a tablet; and every school at least 4G internet.

However we get there, we need not to let students fall years behind.

3) We need to raise our expectations. Too many students in Ontario are written off a at young age.

4) We need to better address the high-needs students. Some students can be successfully integrated into regular classrooms, but some can't. We need to be open to the right answer, for the right student.
 

Johnny Au

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Samsung tablets are very inexpensive and can be given out to students to borrow.

Oh, and no more textbooks so old that the teachers themselves used them, especially for courses that have constantly updated subject matter (such as science, geography, career studies, and languages).
 

BurlOak

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Samsung tablets are very inexpensive and can be given out to students to borrow.

Oh, and no more textbooks so old that the teachers themselves used them, especially for courses that have constantly updated subject matter (such as science, geography, career studies, and languages).
Science doesn't change, or at least climate science doesn't change. The science is settled so how can it change.?
 

W. K. Lis

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From link.

From 1921 to 1988, Ontario had a grade 13, or Ontario Academic Credit or OAC, a fifth year of secondary school education. While grade 13 has been eliminated, the result was students having to "learn" more with the current four years of secondary school.

What some students do is they do a "victory lap", a fifth year to gain additional academic credits or to participate in sports. Some students also improve their credits by using "summer school".
 

Johnny Au

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From link.

From 1921 to 1988, Ontario had a grade 13, or Ontario Academic Credit or OAC, a fifth year of secondary school education. While grade 13 has been eliminated, the result was students having to "learn" more with the current four years of secondary school.

What some students do is they do a "victory lap", a fifth year to gain additional academic credits or to participate in sports. Some students also improve their credits by using "summer school".
I was short of one credit needed to graduate. This is what I did:

I just used a certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music to count as a high school credit, allowing me to graduate without taking an extra year for that one credit.
 

Admiral Beez

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I have kids in high school and the aptitude in literary and numeracy is abysmal. They’re not taught sentence structure, no one can spell, handwriting is terrible, no one knows mental math or simple times tables. I see tons of time wasted on social and political engineering and new age fads, but I don’t think I ever saw math or spelling drills. God help these kids if they don’t have a device to correct their grammar, spelling and to do their simple equations.

It’s amazing how we’ve dumbed down ourselves as a people. My great-grandfather was a lead hand on a sailing merchant ship in the late 1800s. You had to use mental maths and simple tools to conduct celestial navigation and safely load and operate the ship. My grandfather was a manager at the Bank of Scotland and maintained handwritten ledgers of accounts. My own parents, taught in British schools were capable at mental math. Myself, I’m close to my parents’ abilities, but I’m part of the generational decline in literacy and numeracy that IMO began in the “no one left behind” 1970s.

The human mind is capable of so much more than schools today are teaching.
 

BurlOak

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Myself, I’m close to my parents’ abilities, but I’m part of the generational decline in literacy and numeracy that IMO began in the “no one left behind” 1970s.
And just like with all socialism, it is impossible to make all equally good, so the goal switches to make all equally bad. As long as the difference between the best and worst narrows, it is viewed as a success.
I thought I read something a while ago that the whole "discovery math" thing was intended to assist girls with math. It appears all it did was hurt the boys.
 

W. K. Lis

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I have kids in high school and the aptitude in literary and numeracy is abysmal. They’re not taught sentence structure, no one can spell, handwriting is terrible, no one knows mental math or simple times tables. I see tons of time wasted on social and political engineering and new age fads, but I don’t think I ever saw math or spelling drills. God help these kids if they don’t have a device to correct their grammar, spelling and to do their simple equations.

It’s amazing how we’ve dumbed down ourselves as a people. My great-grandfather was a lead hand on a sailing merchant ship in the late 1800s. You had to use mental maths and simple tools to conduct celestial navigation and safely load and operate the ship. My grandfather was a manager at the Bank of Scotland and maintained handwritten ledgers of accounts. My own parents, taught in British schools were capable at mental math. Myself, I’m close to my parents’ abilities, but I’m part of the generational decline in literacy and numeracy that IMO began in the “no one left behind” 1970s.

The human mind is capable of so much more than schools today are teaching.

Compared with the 1950's and 1960's, students have more material and subjects to cover. As each year passes, there is more history to learn.

Even mathematics changed, and more than simple addition and subtraction. For income tax for example. Compare the income tax forms from the 1960's with the forms for 2018.

Instead of increasing the years needed for high school education, Mike Harris dropped grade 13. Which meant there is less time for the new subjects and material we need these days.

The sciences in the 1950's didn't include the astronomy we now know, and continuing to learn today.

Everyone should be learning "keyboarding" or "computer skills", with our handheld computers (smartphones or tablets), which we didn't need to learn in the 1950's or 1960's. I remember when typing was not taught for academic or technical students, only for business students.
 

thettctransitfanatic

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Compared with the 1950's and 1960's, students have more material and subjects to cover. As each year passes, there is more history to learn.

Even mathematics changed, and more than simple addition and subtraction. For income tax for example. Compare the income tax forms from the 1960's with the forms for 2018.

Instead of increasing the years needed for high school education, Mike Harris dropped grade 13. Which meant there is less time for the new subjects and material we need these days.

The sciences in the 1950's didn't include the astronomy we now know, and continuing to learn today.

Everyone should be learning "keyboarding" or "computer skills", with our handheld computers (smartphones or tablets), which we didn't need to learn in the 1950's or 1960's. I remember when typing was not taught for academic or technical students, only for business students.

I mean, keyboarding I am currently learning in school now. Occasionally though, not all the time.
 

thettctransitfanatic

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To my way of thinking, I think the number of school days is close to right, though I 'd like to see about one more week (or around 200 days per year).

I think the bigger key on this is redistribution. I do think the summer break is a bit long, while there is a lack of respite for students and teachers from Labour Day to the Christmas break.

I'd like to shave two weeks off the summer break in August (apologies to the CNE) and then see a fall break of one week centred on Thanksgiving.

I think that would be beneficial for both harried teachers and struggling students.

*******

I think the duration of the day from an academic perspective is reasonable.

But I would like to see a later time-shift for High School students. Its long been established that teens really do fall asleep later and wake up later.

Why not a school day of 9:30am-4pm instead of 9-3:30pm?

********

When it comes to academics Ontario stacks up fairly well, but there's always room for improvement.

My thoughts here are that there are four things we can and should address:

1) The need to reform summer school. I know teachers who I respect who run this. They call it glorified daycare.

The problem is that the classes are generalized. They don't specialize even in the subject the students are having trouble with, let alone the unit.

That's a waste of everyone's time.

More resources required with a clear focus on helping students with the subject and unit with which they are struggling. This, rather than some 4-week super regurgitation of the entire school year would be much more helpful.

2) The need to supply in year remedial help for students, before they get too far behind. There are many options from teaching assistants working as tutors for struggling students, to before/after school remedial programs etc.


****

One area not covered..........we are well behind on technology in the classroom.

Its long since time every child had a tablet; and every school at least 4G internet.

However we get there, we need not to let students fall years behind.

3) We need to raise our expectations. Too many students in Ontario are written off a at young age.

4) We need to better address the high-needs students. Some students can be successfully integrated into regular classrooms, but some can't. We need to be open to the right answer, for the right student.

Here's what I think : Keep Summer Break, and Christmas Break the same, but, March Break gets shaved by one day ( probably a Friday ) allowing for a "May Break Weekend"
 

Northern Light

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Here's what I think : Keep Summer Break, and Christmas Break the same, but, March Break gets shaved by one day ( probably a Friday ) allowing for a "May Break Weekend"

Why?

The point of the changes I suggested are based on increasing academic performance.

Is there some reason you feel this 'May break' would do that?
 

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