Many decades ago, typing was an essential school subject that would improve students’ chance of obtaining future employment. Some twenty years ago, computer class was an elective course, auxiliary to the “more important” subjects of math, science, history, and English. Today, Canadian children are learning to read and write HTML code. Our culture and technological landscape have always dictated the school curriculum, which begs the question: Does the current Ontario curriculum reflect the needs of our students, whose educational needs are vastly different from twenty years ago?
Missing Essential “Soft” Skills
According to a 2016 article written in the Toronto Star, a survey of recent Ontario graduates revealed that students were seriously lacking in basic skills: communicating, problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. These four essential abilities are arguably far more marketable for students entering a highly competitive job force than the ability to solve logarithms and long division. And yet, the curriculum seems to be failing many students in that regard. Many subjects, such as English and math, teach students communication and problem-solving through the lens of these narrow subjects; however, students may experience difficulties applying these skills to different subjects, or even daily life.
Minister of Ontario Acknowledges Curriculum Problems
This September, Premier (and former Minister of Education) Kathleen Wynne admitted at a Toronto news conference that the Ontario math curriculum has led to disappointing results. In fact, Ontario students’ math test scores are some of the lowest in the country. Part of the problem, Wynne explains, is the way math is taught to our children. The government needs to refresh the curriculum in order to ensure students learn basic skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. Our economic landscape demands it.
University Prep is Important
When it comes to jumping from high school to university, there is always going to be a learning curve. Students are suddenly entrenched in a “grown-up” environment where their writing, critical thinking, and organizational skills will be put to the test under stressful conditions. Despite a student’s willingness to succeed, university may overwhelm them, no matter how advanced they are.
Alternatives to Traditional Ontario Learning
Are you interested in learning from a diverse curriculum in an alternative school environment? BrightMinds Online School provides Ontario and international students with the tools and motivation to succeed through e-learning. As a fully credited Ontario high school, we’ve improved students’ school experiences by providing them with a virtual learning environment that is friendly, helpful, flexible, and stimulating.