Lack of Vision in Saskatchewan Education

By Mario deSantis, March 16, 1999

  I have been writing for sometime on the failures of our government in providing a democratic
  leadership for the provision of public services and the supporting conditions for economic
  development. My emphasis has concentrated in health care, but we have problems all over the
  horizon: business, agriculture, crown corporations, and what is worse education. Education is the
  foundation for sustaining the long run economic viability of the province, and it appears to be in a
  more precarious situation than health care. Our Premier Romanow promised that Saskatchewan
  would be the shining light to the world and that "...the time for mortgaging our children's future is
  over. The time for building their future is here...."(1). Our politicians have nothing to show but their
  rhetorical assets, while in fact we get the mastering art of "...lowering expectations..."(2), and
  "...poor leadership, no decision-making and dishonest, uncaring, uncompassionate
  government..."(3) Our tin pot dictators have taken position all over the province, and now are
  undermining the new generation by continuing the degradation of our educational system. Again,
  one of the most important reasons for such degradation in our universities is "...the current
  military-style, top-down structure that is proving so inefficient, so destructive to good morale and so
  wasteful of taxpayer money..."(4)
  After acknowledging that Saskatchewan students scored low in a 1998 literacy test, Darryl Hunter,
  Education Department Official, commented "...We know here in Saskatchewan our students are not
  getting to some of the higher levels of creative and critical thinking..."(5) Instead to address the
  literacy problem by thinking critically and constructively(6), the education department is going to fix
  this problem with a new province wide language arts curriculum. This is what Saskatchewan
  requires, an additional top-down fragmentation of our curriculums for enhancing the creative and
  critical thinking of our students; I wonder how our students can express their creative thinking under
  the current assembly line management of our classrooms, and how they can enhance their critical
  thinking when our own leaders have no clue of what critical thinking is(7). I am acquiring the
  understanding that our educational leaders are a good match for their health care counterparts: they
  are both emperors with no clothes. Our school system doesn't require a new curriculum, we require
  a change of mind, to go back to the understanding of the epistemological foundations of knowledge
  and the nature of learning (8) (9) (10), and come up with an educational vision supporting the later
  success and societal contribution of our children.


Saskatchewan New Democrats Home Page, as at March 14, 1999


It's about that vision thing Mr. Premier, by Randy Burton, The StarPhoenix, February 4, 1999, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Letter to The StarPhoenix: Agriculture minister acting like lawyers do, by Evan Asseltine of Glaslyn, SK. The StarPhoenix, January 12, 1999, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


U of S hassles force early exits, by Robert A. Carlson, The StarPhoenix, March 11, 1999, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Sask. Students score low grade in literacy, By Kevin O'Connor, The StarPhoenix, March 11, 1999, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Refer to Mario deSantis' articles on System Dynamics published in the North Central Internet News


Refer to the board trustee infighting saga over the proposed $10 million-$16 million new Education Centre in Saskatoon. February and March articles in The StarPhoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Need of Transformational Changes in Saskatchewan: The biological origin of cognition and implications for Education,by Mario deSantis, September 27,1998


John Dewey (The Father of Modern Education)   The Center for Dewey Studies


THE CHILDREN'S MACHINE: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer, by Seymour Papert, 1993 Basic Books, New York (This page was produced by Elizabeth Murphy)