Public education is all politics. Sadly, it’s common knowledge.
But I still don’t know why the BC Ministry of Education thinks that their advisory curriculum is a good idea. The class I sat through a couple of hours ago was one of the better ones (sad), and this was what the entire hour and ten minutes consisted of: define ‘transferable skills’ and list the transferable skills you possess (transferable skills being the skills acquired in school that can be applied elsewhere). As if it wasn’t painful enough to have to list ‘teamwork, organization, problem-solving, etc.’ for an hour, the assignment required the subsequent completion of a Ministry-approved reflection.
Upon looking over this reflection worksheet, I was intimidated by the very first question: “What is the purpose of identifying transferable skills?”
A very good question, I thought. Why was I asked to take time out of my day — to cut time from classes where I could have learned something or got ahead in my work — to write ‘leadership, teamwork, organization…’ on a piece of paper? Honestly, I’m not even sure how that makes the Ministry look good politically. Is this exercise an attempt to remind me of the valuable skills I learn in school, in the hope that I will pursue post-secondary work and get a decent-paying, white collar job? Will listing the transferable skills I learned in school make me a successful person?
To the adult readers out there: this is how public education is contributing to your child’s success. We list the qualities we have in one column, the qualities we don’t in another, and write about how the qualities we have will make us nice, successful white collar workers someday, coupled with a post-secondary education and a Graduation Portfolio with bureacratically-documented evidence (signed in triplicate) of us kissing the toes of their shiny black shoes.
Of course, like every student who hopes of one day becoming a successful, white collar worker, the answer I intend to put down is a lot less sarcastic and a lot more Ministry-friendly. There is satisfaction in lashing out at public education on a blog, and there is self-preservation in doing exactly what they tell you on the work you hand in. I have a hunch the Ministry won’t like it, but I still wonder, as I hope others will: “Why?”