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Friday, 17 May 2013

Slowing Down to the Speed of Life and Learning

Sandra Herbst and I are in New Zealand. We spent a Mother’s Day Sunday in Wellington, which is the capital and has about 500,000 people. The pace of life here and in other communities in New Zealand is remarkable. We spent time at the waterfront market and walked to the parliament buildings. We took the cable car up to the botanical gardens where we enjoyed lunch at their cafĂ©. There were families everywhere with lots of children. The pace seemed to slow down to us. It was the speed of life and learning. 

Schools are a reflection of society and its values. And there are differences between New Zealand and Canada in terms of the number of children living in poverty, the violence in schools, literacy rates, and overall student success. It makes me wonder.

I wonder about the decisions in Canada that promote educational choice for all when it is really only choice for some.

I wonder about banning testing on animals but increasing testing for children.

I wonder about schools having to teach more and more as we try to stem the tide against obesity, violence, and crime yet we don’t have enough time to teach literacy and numeracy any longer.

I wonder whether Canadians have lost more than we’ve gained in our race for more mobile devices, faster connection speeds, and pursuing our ‘online lives.’ 

Was it just a coincidence that we didn’t hear a cross word spoken to a child or to an adult all day? Or, are people gentler and kinder when time is accepted as the gift it is?

All my best,


PS Sandra and I have been planning our August events. We are SO EXCITED! There are lots of interesting people coming to both the Canmore, Alberta events and the Fredericton, New Brunswick events. And, with the recent assessment news in Alberta, across Canada, and in the United States, the promise of classroom assessment is outstanding! We are happy to be working in these interesting times.