The pandemic revealed to parents what many critics of our public education systems discovered more than two decades ago – that our education system, especially in the elementary schools, is out-of-sync with dramatic changes that have already occurred in our social, cultural and economic environments. The system has failed to maintain former standards of proficiency in the generic skills (e.g. math, literacy, science, analytic thinking), let alone to sufficiently address current and future needs for higher levels of individual learning achievement in the academic, vocational and occupational sectors. This book is also for parents whose children will soon begin school and who want to know what lies ahead for them in the primary division. If, as a parent of a child in school, you want or need to know the ‘essential learning’ relevant to your child’s school year, this book is for you. Parents are more motivated than ever to become actively involved with their child’s schooling, to advocate on their behalf, to partner with the teachers, and ensure that their questions are answered and their concerns are heard and addressed by schools. This book explains what you should expect of the education system, schools and teachers, in kindergarten to grade three (K-3), when children build a foundation for all later learning. Above all, the book aspires to empower parents to be actively involved in their children’s schooling, to observe, raise questions, recognize their own power, and participate in the transformation of Canada’s education system so that it connects with 21st century realities.
About the author- Dale’s career in education for over 30 years started as a teacher in high school, then elementary level followed by college teaching, with intervals as an academic planner, curriculum design and evaluation, dean, senior policy analyst, and culminated as director of Ryerson University’s School of Early Childhood Education. She is the author of five editions of Empowering Children: Play-based curriculum for lifelong learning (Nelson Education), a textbook for postsecondary ECE programs. Dale holds a master’s degree in curriculum and a doctorate in Early and Middle Childhood.
Written by Dale Shipley, cover design by Alex Goubar