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Category Archives: Mainstream education

3rd Dec, 2014

Book Review: Our Canadian Love Story by Linnie von Rekowsky

Our Canadian Love Story. An Immigration Tale. Well, Sort Of. I first heard about Linnie von Rekowsky (now calling herself Linnie von Sky) and her picture books in a store. It wasn’t a book store, so I was intrigued. The store representative heard that I owned an educational business and thought that Rekowsky’s books would […]

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14th Nov, 2014

Lazy Teaching: An Example

Should Lazy Teaching be Tolerated?! As part of Pear Tree’s ESL classes, we offer homework help to our students to help them understand questions and ideas, and to prepare for an important test. Here’s an example of some homework that one of our students was set by his grade 6 teacher. For me, this is a […]

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13th Nov, 2014

Children and Careers

Children and Careers Think ‘Passion / Talent’ not ‘Traditional Profession’   Are children too young to think about careers? No! However much you may feel that your child is too young to think about their future career, there is nothing worse than having no aspirations, no idea what you want to study at university (or even […]

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5th Nov, 2014

Getting Good Marks: How to Memorise Vocabulary

How to Memorise Vocabulary Unfortunately, the majority of tests – from elementary school all the way to university – are about memorisation. Fortunately, using the following study strategy, it’s easy to memorise, and therefore relatively easy to get good marks! As an example, let’s use French as a subject in which we have to memorise some vocabulary […]

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15th Oct, 2014

How NOT to get a Salary Increase!

There are effective and ineffective ways of getting a salary increase. Unfortunately, for a Wells Fargo worker employee, Tyrel Oates, he has likely chosen the wrong way. Oates emailed both Wells Fargo company head, John Stumpf, and 200,000 of his colleagues, to propose spending $3bn per year of Wells Fargo’s money on giving every employee a $10,000 […]

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7th Oct, 2014

Fed Up (2014) – Wrong About Childhood Obesity

(Childhood) Obesity = Problem with Education. Period. Watching people say and do things that are bad for them throughout a 1.5-hour video is really, really tough. That’s the experience of watching the 2014 documentary, ‘Fed Up’ about childhood obesity. The movie sets about to defend the victims of (childhood) obesity by saying it isn’t their […]

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1st Oct, 2014

Qualities of a Great Teacher Mentor

In Kimberly Long’s article about ‘Eight Qualities of a Great Teacher Mentor’ (Education Week Teacher), she provides some sensible ideas for being a great teacher mentor. We’ve taken her ideas one step further, though. As someone that’s been fortunate to have had two great mentors, I believe it’s important for mentor teachers to be inspirational. In […]

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Advice For Student Teachers & Their Supervisors

Here’s our response to Education Week Teacher magazine’s question about the topic of advice for student teachers and their supervisors. “For both, I would say to set higher expectations. The basic standard of teaching programs and the level of training provided simply isn’t good enough (I know of several supervisors that are very despondent about […]

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23rd Apr, 2013

When a good teaching book falls short

I’m currently reading a book called Five Perspectives on Teaching in Adult and Higher Education (by Daniel D. Pratt). The book was written to enlighten educators to the bias that exists in our way of thinking and, consequently, our teaching approach/philosophy. Pratt’s arguments ring true in so many ways, as really he’s describing sociological norms […]

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15th Dec, 2012

Video: What is 21st century education?

Pear Tree Education presents its view on what 21st century education should consist of: integrated subjects (through theme-based learning), technology, hands-on learning, collaboration, student-centered learning, creativity / innovation, and entrepreneurship. This is the first in a series of videos discussing these different elements of 21st century education, as well as the problems of implementation such […]

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8th Dec, 2012

How to make exams more 21st century in 5 minutes!

If you’re reading this article, you’re likely to be either a teacher/parent that already knows that current exam methods are ridiculously outdated and worthless, or you’re someone that is wondering what could possibly be wrong with them. Note: If you are more interested in finding out how to modernise exams, please feel free to scroll […]

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4th Dec, 2012

Delusions about education and how life works

Coming to terms with the unpleasant truth that life has changed is the first step to admitting that your child needs a different kind of education Every parent wants their child to receive a great education and go on to a happy and prosperous life. However, when it comes down to making decisions that will improve […]

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31st Oct, 2012

Response to Maclean’s article: “Why are schools brainwashing our children?”

I’m standing at the check out in London Drugs (one of my least favourite places to be), and I glance across at the front cover of Maclean’s and immediate see the title “Why are schools brainwashing our children?” Provocative titles like this evoke nothing but negative feelings. There are negative opinions everywhere, but one such […]

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6th Jun, 2012

Pear Tree in the Vancouver Sun

Pear Tree is the subject of Janet Steffenhagen’s article on Supplementary Education in Vancouver (June 6th, 2012) Pear Tree’s method of education appeals to parents “who want to give their offspring an edge in a highly competitive world” writes Steffenhagen. The Vancouver Sun article takes a pragmatic view about the need for supplementary education in […]

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5th Jun, 2012

Changing Beliefs in Education… Animated!

Sir Ken Robinson discusses changes needed in people’s understanding of education. This amazing speech is accompanied by an equally amazing animation visualizing his ideas.  

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4th May, 2012

Critical Literacy: Using Picture Books to Read The World

On April 28th, Alexis and Lindsay presented their Masters of Education graduate paper, about Critical Literacy: Using Picture Books to Read The World, at UBC. Alexis and Lindsay (both Vancouver elementary school teachers) discuss the nature of true picture books (or ‘picturebooks’), and how these books can be used for critical literacy practice in elementary […]

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26th Apr, 2012

Montessori vs Pear Tree’s ‘Education 3.0’

  People in Vancouver have made comparisons between Montessori and Pear Tree’s ‘Education 3.0’. However, Pear Tree’s education method is very different. Pear Tree places a fundamental emphasis on connecting education to real life, which is something that few other educational methods consider. Also, Pear Tree’s ‘Education 3.0’ can be used with any age of […]

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2nd Jan, 2012

Time’s ticking on B.C. curriculum changes

“BC’s Education Plan: Experiments with kids’ learning” That’s the headline of the December issue of Teacher Newsmagazine, a publication sent to all B.C. teachers. Teacher’s article presents a cynical view on the plans laid out by George Abbott, the Education Minister, and the Ministry of Education. It questions the likelihood of such radical changes occurring […]

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20th Oct, 2011

What Changes Our IQ?

Why do children’s IQs change? by Paul Romani   The “mental ability of teenagers can improve or decline on a far greater scale than previously thought.” This is the finding of an academic research article published in the j0urnal ‘Nature‘. The BBC have summarised the technical findings in more layman’s terms. While the research paper does not […]

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15th Oct, 2011

Teachers with master’s degrees

Finnish vs. American Views. Which do you trust? by Paul Romani Finland is recognised globally as having one of the best education systems in the world. It has been at the top of the PISA tables since 2000. The USA, on the other hand, has never once been in the top 10 in that time. […]

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