Canadian Union of Public Employees

Edmonton Public Schools Support Staff

P: (780) 455 1435 | F: (780) 452 1462 | E: cupe3550@telus.net

Teach students critical thinking

“We need to know when children take a job when they’ve graduated from school, you can count on them to show up on time, ready for work, energetic, enthusiastic, truthful, honest. To be able to read, write, think, compute, do mathematics and science, have an appreciation that we live in the world’s greatest democracy, and that all children have an obligation to care for others.”

This statement from the head of the committee reviewing the curriculum demonstrates a concerning emphasis on authoritarian values. The review to date gave some emphasis to encouraging critical thinking rather than on producing uncritical automatons, which is what Mr. Angus Mcbeath and the UCP seem to want.

An educated person should be able to assess whether an employer and our society generally contribute to equality of opportunities and conditions for all and whether they protect our environment. A machine, after all, can be literate and numerate, if not “enthusiastic.” But enthusiasm and vapid nationalism (why assume that Canada is the “world’s greatest democracy” without analysis?) are the products of brainwashing rather than true, critical education. Alvin Finkel, Edmonton