Or scary.

Education should serve a few purposes.

Schools should teach students the basic skills needed in the work world. Math, writing, reading, comprehension, and the like.

At advanced levels, skills should become more technical and focused on one’s career path.

I think education should also broaden a student’s mental horizons. The learning of languages and music and developing an appreciation for literature and the arts.

Finally, education should help prepare students for the non-technical aspects of work life. For example, meeting deadlines for assignments, understanding how to conduct research on issues, and then distilling that information into unique and thoughtful reports.

Without these skills, students will have a difficult time becoming successful in the work world.

On this latter issue though, the Saskatoon public school board seems to take a different view.

According to a recent National Post article:

“Under the new method, introduced this year in city high schools, academic marks and behavioural aspects of performance (such as attitude, whether assignments are handed in late or if they are plagiarized) are reported separately. That means students caught plagiarizing won’t necessarily be given a failing grade, or even a reprimand.”

If you are in a school system that operates this way, it may seem like a great way to get through school. Unfortunately, when you enter post-secondary school or many careers, a poor attitude, failure to meet assigned deadlines and plagiarism will not lead to a successful life. Unless, perhaps, you plan to work in the Saskatoon school system.

I suggest you learn how to research and write non-plagiarized reports now. And that you develop the ability to meet deadlines.

If you do, it will be to your long-term benefit.

If not, I expect your employers will be less ambivalent than the Saskatoon school system.

1 Response » to “Some School Systems Are Just Plain Sad”

  1. Jess says:

    Greater focus on technical skills at advanced levels alone won’t do the job. It needs to be supplemented by continued moral or ethics education. Technically qualified persons (with MBAs and PhDs) that ubiquitously occuply high paying posts in Wall St but lacking strong ethical compasses became part of the contributory causes to the Global Financial Crisis.

    Plagiarizm is another ethical issue. Separating ethics from educational outcomes, as proposed by the Saskatoon public school board, only further entrenches the seeds of the next public sector, corporate or financial crisis.

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