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The bullying gender gap: Girls more likely to be targets - The Globe and Mail - 0 views

  • New research suggests that females such as Ms. Lee may be particularly vulnerable to bullying from other females, even as rates of male bullying decline. It’s a troubling finding that highlights where parents, educators and policy makers may need to focus their efforts to counter the effects of school-related bullying.
  • A comprehensive report released last month by researchers from the Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that while overall rates of bullying have remained relatively stable in recent years, some significant gender disparities have emerged.
  • The study found that nearly one-third, or 29 per cent, of students reported being bullied since the start of the school year.
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  • The report, called the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, has been conducted every two years since 1977, making it the longest continuing survey of young people in Canada and one of the longest in the world. Nearly 9,300 students in Grades 7 to 12 from 181 different Ontario schools participated in the most recent survey, which was conducted from October, 2010, to June, 2011.
  • Online or cyber-bullying was also much more common among females, with 28 per cent of girls reporting being targeted by cyber-bullying compared to just 15 per cent of boys.
  • The overall rates haven’t really changed since 2003, the first year CAMH monitored bullying at school. But the survey found that females are more likely to be bullied. Thirty-one per cent of adolescent girls reported being victimized in the most recent survey, compared to 26 per cent for boys.
  • This raises several questions: Do boys get along better than girls? Have programs aimed at curbing bullying failed to reach girls?
  • “The problem is girls do it all underneath the surface,” said Haley Higdon, a facilitator with the SNAP for Schools program.

    The SNAP (Stop Now and Plan) model is designed to help reach children with behavioural problems or other issues. As a facilitator, Ms. Higdon works in classrooms in the Toronto District School Board. Often, the behavioural problems she encounters stem from bullying.

  • With boys, bullying is typically much easier to detect because male bullies often resort to physical measures, such as fighting. With girls, the behaviour can be much more subtle, making it more difficult for teachers to detect.
  • Bullying can take on many forms. It’s not just one child pushing another in the schoolyard – it is any aggressive or unwanted behaviour that involves a real or perceived imbalance in power, according to, a U.S. government website.
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Respectful and Responsible Relationships: There's No App for That - 0 views

    The Report of the Nova Scotia Task Force on Bullying and Cyberbullying    
Teachers Without Borders

Canada News: Ontario to increase teacher training to two years - - 0 views

    Teacher training in Ontario will be bumped up to two years starting in 2014, says the provincial government.

    The Liberals, who promised the move during the 2011 election campaign, began consultations with education groups on Wednesday about the change.

    Three to four additional sessions are planned for April and May.

    Teachers typically earn a four-year undergraduate degree and then spend another year at university completing their bachelor of education. (Ten of the 13 universities with education programs also offer the degrees concurrently so students can complete the two at the same time.)

    The Liberals have said more training is needed given the challenges and increasing demands teachers face. The expanded program, the details of which have yet to be finalized, will include more practical, in-class training for new teachers.
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Five Things US Schools Can Learn From the Rest of the World | Asia Society - 1 views

    Five Things US Schools Can Learn From the Rest of the World
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Ontario shows us we should support our teachers, not shame them | Education | The Guardian - 0 views

  • When the provincial government in which Levin served was elected, the Ontario school system was in trouble. In Canada each province has sole responsibility for education, and previous administrations had made structural changes, slashed funding, over promoted testing and gone to war with the unions. Perhaps most important, Levin writes: "The government was vigorously critical of schools and teachers in public." The result was industrial unrest, plummeting teacher morale, low parental confidence and stagnating pupil achievement. Maybe not surprisingly, in 2003 a new government was elected on a platform of renewing and improving public education. Today Ontario is widely acclaimed, not least by both the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) and the OECD for its rare combination of excellence and equity for all.
  • The Ontario government chose a few targeted and ambitious, but not unusual, objectives: raising standards for all, narrowing gaps, increasing participation rates, and growing public confidence in state schools. But rather than experimenting with US-style marketisation policies and tinkering with structures, it developed a rigorous programme based on evidence, and began a relentless focus on implementation and building capacity at every level.
  • "Skill" and "will" became the watchwords, not just for teachers but for everybody involved in the education system, which progressed rapidly thanks to massive investment in leadership and professional development at school, district and ministerial level.
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  • Public statements from government and ministers were switched to be deliberately supportive rather than dismissive of state schools. Finally, and most crucially, the government set out to build a respectful, collaborative relationship with teachers, unions, pupils and parents. "You cannot threaten, shame or punish people into top performance," writes Levin.
    Ontario shows us we should support our teachers, not shame them
    The Canadian province improved its education system by being supportive rather than dismissive of state schools
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Connecting Teachers With Neuroscience Research - Inside School Research - Education Week - 1 views

    Researchers in the University of Toronto's neuroscience department are planning to launch a website that will make information about neuroscience and its implications for instruction available to educators this fall.

    The website is part of a project called "The Adolescent Brain: Implications for Instruction," which will also include a quarterly newsletter and professional development courses. Hazel McBride and Michael Ferrari, both researchers with the University's well-known Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, say they're responding to teachers' interest in using research in neuroscience to inform classroom practices.
Teachers Without Borders

Canadian teachers positive about technology in the classroom - 0 views

  • While Canadian educators believe that digital technologies can enrich students' learning, there are still significant challenges to overcome in making this happen – with one of the main barriers being students' lack of digital literacy skills. And school filters and policies that ban or restrict networked devices in the classroom take away the very opportunities young people need to develop digital literacy skills such as good judgment and responsible use.

    These are among the findings in Young Canadians in a Wired World, Phase III: Teachers' Perspectives –a new report from Media Awareness Network(MNet)

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Bill would require Quebec schools to adopt anti-bullying plan - 0 views

  • QUEBEC — All public and private schools in Quebec will have to adopt an anti-bullying, anti-violence plan under Bill 56, presented Wednesday in the provincial legislature by Education Minister Line Beauchamp.

    The minister also announced a major media campaign against bullying, in partnership with publicly owned Tele-Quebec, and Quebecor Inc., urging people to be "ordinary heroes" by standing up to bullies.

    "Bullying doesn't start at 8 a.m. and doesn't finish at 4 p.m.," the minister said, adding that everyone has to get involved and the new policy will extend to cyber bullying as well.

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Canadian education awaits a hard lesson, watchdog warns - The Globe and Mail - 0 views

  • “Canada is the only country in the developed world that has no stated national goals for education,” he said.
  • Canada is a top-performer, and a fair one. For more than a decade, Canadian students have outperformed their international peers on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s assessments of reading, math and science. They placed in the top 10 in every subject in the most recent results.

    What has made other countries take notice is that household income and immigrant status matter less to a student’s results here than they do elsewhere.

  • The report also raises concerns about the desirability of the teaching profession, and whether limited employment opportunities and constant reforms are scaring away the best candidates for teachers college.

    This raises alarm bells because research has shown that teachers are the single biggest in-school influence on learning.

    “Teachers are a fundamental question for Canadian education – how we train, assess and pay them,” said Peter Cowley, an education policy researcher at the Fraser Institute.

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  • Canada also has the weakest record on teaching national history that the council could find it its review of school curricula in other countries. Most Canadian provinces require only one high school course in Canadian history, and they tend to put a very regional lens on the material.

    Canadian schools are doing an especially poor job of history education when compared to American ones, said Jeremy Diamond, a director for the Historica-Dominion Institute.

    “We don’t start young enough, we don’t make it a priority, and we have a generation of young people who don’t know the essential things we as Canadians should know about our history,” he said.

  • The Canadian Council on Learning says there needs to be more school-industry partnerships, like those in part of Central Europe where there are a number of apprenticeship options available to high school students. In Canada, however, a bottleneck occurs as students struggle to find placements in their area of training.
  • It also recommends that Canada set up a national French-language teacher training college, “in order to preserve and enhance bilingual education.” Canada is facing a shortage of French-language teachers, both in the French school boards outside Quebec and for French immersion programs.
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Ontario forges stimulus plan to boost financial literacy in teens - The Globe and Mail - 0 views

  • Lest history repeat itself, Ontario has laid the educational groundwork for a new generation of students who appreciate the perils of interest rates and debt, and know the real cost of borrowing money.

    The province’s Ministry of Education has released comprehensive teacher guidelines that identify places in the Grade 4 through 12 curriculum where financial literacy can be inserted into classes as varied as mathematics, computer science and native studies.

    Lest history repeat itself, Ontario has laid the educational groundwork for a new generation of students who appreciate the perils of interest rates and debt, and know the real cost of borrowing money.

    The province's Ministry of Education has released comprehensive teacher guidelines that identify places in the Grade 4 through 12 curriculum where financial literacy can be inserted into classes as varied as mathematics, computer science and native studies.
Teachers Without Borders

The fourth R - helping stressed-out students relax - - 0 views

    Concerned at the growing number of students diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorders - and more who seem headed that way, especially in Grade 9 - North Toronto Collegiate has launched an unusual program to teach teens how to handle the stress thrust on them by parents, the school system, and themselves.

    Through lunch workshops in meditation and kick-boxing, laughter therapy and yoga and even listening to new-age music played on crystals, the school is trying to teach kids what guidance head Michelle de Braux calls "the fourth R - relaxation."
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Study raises questions about full-day kindergarten - 0 views

  • Full-day kindergarten may be having a negative effect on the learning and personal development of some children, according to new research.

    Early results from a pilot study focusing on two classrooms in southwestern Ontario revealed that teachers in a regular school setting were often caught in the tension that exists between meeting curriculum expectations and teaching to student interests.

  • "There is an emphasis on standardization like never before . . . that is being pushed down on young children," said lead researcher Rachel Heydon. "This is something that is being created that doesn't exist elsewhere."

    Heydon said the findings can't be generalized to every full-day kindergarten classroom, but the results do raise questions about whether the practice will help children in the long-term.

    She said that standardized tests in Grade 3 created a "washback effect" that pushed aside student interests and development in favour of academic goals.

  • The Ontario government believes that the program has merit, saying in a release this week that students who have early success in schools are "more likely to go on to post-secondary education and training and gain the skills they need to succeed in the global economy."
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Jerry Large | Baby, what a lesson! Kids learn a little empathy | Seattle Times Newspaper - 1 views

  • What makes Asa Berg such an effective third-grade teacher is that he is not quite 11 months old.

    It's an ideal age for the subject he's been teaching for more than half his life. The course is called Roots of Empathy. Asa is teaching the students about emotions, and his are right on the surface, easy to observe.

    In 47 classrooms around Puget Sound, in seven public-school districts and seven private schools, babies are part of the learning experience.

    The idea, which began in Canada and is spreading in the United States, is that children need to learn more than letters and numbers, they need emotional and social literacy in order to learn well now, and to grow into good parents and constructive citizens.

  • "I was a kindergarten teacher and I realized early on, as in the first week, that there was a great injustice, that some children came to school so ready to learn and a lot came with a lot of problems that prevented them from taking advantage of what schools had to offer," she said.
  • The program finds mothers or fathers from the neighborhood around each school. They don't look for super parents, just caring ones who are doing a good job with their own children.

    The students learn to read other people's emotions by watching the baby and parent interact, and they learn to think about the underlying causes of various behaviors.

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  • Studies have shown reduced levels of aggression in schools that use the program. Kids are more attuned to each other's feelings and they police each other. But bullying prevention is just a side benefit. The core purpose is breaking that cycle.
Teachers Without Borders

CBC News - Money - Teach financial literacy in schools: report - 0 views

    A federal task force is calling for financial literacy to be taught as part of the regular school curriculum throughout Canada.

    The task force said Wednesday having such an important subject ignored in many schools is no longer acceptable.
Teachers Without Borders

School board eyes digital textbooks | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun - 1 views

    "We have textbooks that exist within our system and other systems ... science books, for example, (that) are outdated. We still have science books that call Pluto a planet," says Coteau. "So, with digital technology and digitization of materials, we could really put together a course curriculum that is flexible and has the ability to be changed instantly."

    The school board spends $8 million per year on textbooks. Over a 10-year period, if half the books are digitized, it could save up to $50 million.
Teachers Without Borders Haiti's Earthquake Victims in Great Peril - 0 views

  • According to a February study by the Inter-American Development Bank, the cost of physical damage from Haiti’s earthquake ranges from $8 billion to $13 billion. It says, “there are few events of such ferocity as the Haiti 2010 earthquake.”
  • The study looks at natural disasters over the past 40 years and concludes that the death toll, per capita, of Haiti’s earthquake is four times, or more, higher than any other disaster in this time period.
  • The Partners In Health agency estimates some 1.3 million people were left without shelter by the earthquake. The majority of those people still do not have adequate emergency shelter nor access to potable water, food and medical attention.
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  • According to US AID, there are approximately 600,000 displaced people living in 416 makeshift camps in Port-au-Prince. Sanitation conditions in the camps remain a grave concern. With heavy seasonal rains fast approaching, the population is extremely vulnerable to exposure and water-born disease.
  • Two leading directors of Doctors Without Borders have called the relief effort to date "broadly insufficient." In a March 5 interview, they say that, “The lack of shelter and the hygiene conditions represent a danger not only in terms of public health, but they are also an intolerable breach of the human dignity of all these people.”
  • Conditions are also critical outside the earthquake zone. Cap Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city located 120 km north of Port au Prince, has received an estimated influx of 50,000 refugees. Its mayor, Michel St. Croix, recently told the Miami Herald, “We need housing, sanitation, security -- we need everything.'' He said the city has received next to no assistance from the United Nations nor the International Red Cross.
  • In an interview with Associated Press on March 5, Haiti’s Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive repeated his government’s growing concern with the international aid effort. "Too many people are raising money without any controls, and don't explain what they're doing with it."
  • Farmer warned against the “trauma vultures” descending on Haiti. He asked why so many years of aid and charitable funds going to Haiti has left the country poorer than ever.
  • Canada was one of the few large countries in the world that did not send civilian emergency rescue teams to Haiti. Its official aid mission arrived one week after the earthquake in the form of two warships and 2,000 military personnel. They pitched into the relief effort and earned praise for their work. But most of the assistance brought by the military, including its field hospital in Léogâne and its emergency health center in Jacmel, have now been withdrawn.
  • “The Canadian military is not a relief agency. It helped out with short-term needs. Aid and reconstruction is a long-term process. Who is going to pick up where the military’s work left off?”
  • Prior to the earthquake, Cuba had some 350 health professionals volunteering in Haiti. That number, including graduates and students from the Latin American Medical School (ELAM) in Cuba, has expanded considerably.

    Since 2005, 550 Haitian doctors have graduated from ELAM. The school received its first Haitian students in 1999. Currently, there are 570 students from Haiti attending the school.

  • Timely and informative articles and videos are also posted to the website of the Canada Haiti Action Network ( and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (
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