Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Knocking the Spoons Out of their Mouths

Having been involved in activism surrounding public education and in having spent 3 years marking the papers of undergraduate students, I very enthusiastically applaud Ms. Caroline Orchard.

Caroline is an Ottawa high-school teacher who is pushing for a removal of Ontario's current "no-fail" policy. "Accrording to the policy, aimed at improving student success, students who fail to hand in assignments or engage in plagiarizing or cheating are no longer awarded a mark of zero and must be offered one or more chances to recover their endangered credit." (Citizen)

Caroline and others are calling the policy out for how it may not be failing students in school but it sets them up to fail at life. There are no second, third, fourth chances in life. There are certainly no second chances in university or the corporate world. So why would we tell young people who are professionals in training that the world will wait around for them until they're "ready" to hand in their work?

Having been a teacher's assistant in an Ontario university where naturally, most students are Ontario grads, TRUST that this policy has serious, serious effects.
I'm constantly fighting against the stereotype of youth being apathetic and entitled because I'm constantly dealing with engaged and interesting youth. But the reality is that most aren't and quite frankly, can you blame them? They've spent the last 12+ years being told that they call the shots.
So a major FeministCatalyst KUDOS to Caroline Orchard. In being involved in this type of activism, I understand that speaking out from within the system itself is not always welcome and easy. So here's hoping other people jump on board and support her on this.
Although internet petitions are not recognized officially recognized by Government, they are still good at sending a message. So if you think that spoon-feeding Ontario youth has nothing but detrimental effects, sign her petition.

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