Domestic Violence Partners
Our Teacher Trainer Big On Project Based Learning
At the January 24th District Parent Advisory Council Meeting (DPAC), we had two important guests: John Sutherland, the vice-chairman of our School Board and Julie Rousseau, the Director of Instruction at School District No. 34. Julie gave a great presentation about 21st Century Learning, saying teachers are preparing our children to move on to the next grade and the next century. She pointed out great changes in cars – none fly yet – but many have sensors that allow them to drive themselves when parking or cruising. Both cars and education are trying to take people somewhere, so why so little change in learning?
Julie pointed out we would never give a lighter to a kid, but we give them something as powerful as a computer, sometimes without supervision. Supervision is more difficult to arrange with two parents working, and we discussed computer use among children by two age groups: 0-8, and 8-18 years old. There will probably be much less emphasis on memorization, which has been the cornerstone of traditional teaching, so the student could get the answer. Parents and teachers need to ask themselves what is the purpose of homework, is it meaningful? If the purpose is memorization, we may see less homework too. Most teachers use CheckMyMarks.com and we may also see newer digital report cards. Like video games, there will be ongoing learning levels at school, with continuous formative assessment or diagnostic testing of students in order to modify teaching. In a video game, kids call it leveling up, at school teachers call it scaffolding the learning. We may see kids arriving in college in five years, instead of twelve, and already in Abbotsford, we see students entering many college and university-type programs by grade ten.
Teaching is a hard job and there will be some reality shock for new teachers. Julie says she tries to give those starting out the support they need.
Project-based learning, or PBL, is the use of in-depth and rigorous classroom projects to explore real-world problems and challenges and to facilitate learning and assess student competence. There are different arguments for why projects have the potential to help people learn, but working on authentic problems often engages students.
Mr. Sutherland commented that along with all these changes in K-12 education, we need universities to change their admission requirements. Some parents noted we have seen the beginning of universities considering more than just marks, and looking for well-rounded students who will grow to be leaders.
Public Health Forums About Harm Reduction
Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, January 22 and 29 at 7pm
It’s been a busy week in Abbotsford. On Tuesday, January 22, 2013 I went to the Harm Reduction Town Hall Meeting at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. Most of our city’s councillors and Addiction Counselling agencies and their clients were present. Our city has a controversial and toothless bylaw that prevents needle exchange programs because some people feel this is behaviour that enables drug use. The Fraser Valley Women’s Resource Society was well received because they were one important group saying needle exchange programs draw clients in for counselling and eventually for detox. On January 29, Fraser Health Authority will be joining the conversation to explain the health science around their needle exchange program. It turns out Abbotsford not only has the highest rate of domestic violence in the province, it also has the highest rate of HIV and Hep C in the province as well. Our Health Authority is eager to partner with our city to start a joint awareness and needle exchange program.
After the Tuesday evening meeting, I chatted with Mr. Kool, Abbotsford’s City Planner, who led the meeting along with Dr. Adrienne Chan, the (Acting) Associate Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies, and a Professor in the School of Social Work and Human Services at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV).
I also got to shake hands with Dorothy Henneveld, the Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Society, a respected non-profit society providing vital community housing including the Christine Lamb residence, shelter support with two transition houses, and outreach and counselling services to women and children who have experienced violence in Abbotsford and Mission. These are the kinds of connections I need to make if I am going to fight against parental alienation in Abbotsford, keeping in mind that Women’s Resources funds the Abby Dads Program.
Also on Thursday, I received an email from Tanya Crowell, a board member of the Ann Davis Transition Society in Chilliwack. Tanya says they have just launched their new social media focus. It’s a very exciting step for them to connect with their supporters in a different way, and create new awareness at the same time.
Ann Davis Transition House provides shelter and support for abused women and their children.
If you are seeking shelter from abuse, please call 604-792-3116 . The transition house is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What began as the provision of a safe place for abused women and their children has grown to include individual and group counselling for women, children, youth, men, couples and families, information, advocacy and community education. We continue to revise programs and develop new ones to help people address the issue of abuse. Our counselling services assist over 2300 people a year, 600 of whom are children.
Canadians understand the importance of a fair and balanced justice system
ONLY READ THIS IF YOU THINK EVERY CHILD SHOULD HAVE BOTH PARENTS IN THEIR LIVES.
Canadians understand the importance of a fair and balanced justice system. But I invite you to look at these court cases for gender bias.
The Nova Scotia hitman case reinforces gender bias at all three levels of Canadian courts. Barbara Kaye, National Post, Jan 24, 2013
Unmarried Quebec couples have no right to alimony, court rules. CBC News, Jan 25, 2013. Lola was seeking $56,000/month in alimony.
The function of a common law marriage is similar to a paper marriage and women in both types of relationships should have the fundamental protection of ongoing income support, not just child support but support for mom too. Some of these women have no way of becoming employed. There is no way to deal with people who are disadvantaged. The reality of these families is that many women will need alimony to survive. People need to put pressure on the Quebec politicians to fix this law. These are the types of comments lawyers were making after Lola lost her bid to increase her support payments from $34K to $56K per month in the Supreme Court of Canada.