Francesca Alfano reviews Peter Moss’s Transformative Change and Real Utopias in Early Childhood Education, a book which proposes that the neoliberal narrative currently being used to understand early childhood education is not neutral or inevitable.
Westheimer’s view is that the goals of education have shifted away from preparing students to be active and engaged citizens. Through standardized curriculum and standardized testing, schools have moved to a more narrow focus on career preparation and individual economic gain.
Commenting on his experience in trying to engage his “high-energy and at-risk” grade 6 students, a young male teacher noted:
To refresh the government’s agenda and develop her own brand as Liberal Party leader, Premier Kathleen Wynne is spearheading a number of public consultations.
It’s not often that I’m able to deliver good news in this column. But this is one such occasion. I’m happy to be able to tell you that we have made progress on the issue of EQAO-related initiatives.
“It is not enough to be busy. The question is: What are we busy bout?” When Henry David Thoreau made this remark he was not relating them to the activities of OTF, but his words resonate.
Over the past several years there has been a significant increase in the number of literacy and numeracy initiatives that ETFO members are expected to implement. These initiatives come from the Ministry of Education, individual school boards, families of schools, or individual administrators.
Member concerns about EQAO testing dominated ETFO’s 2010 annual meeting. President Sam Hammond called on the government to temporarily halt province-wide testing and reduce the resulting number of Ministry initiatives.