How do we prepare children for a future we can't even imagine? This timely, important book examines the unique new challenges facing the Canadian education system and provides a vision of what schooling can and should look like in our rapidly changing world.
Among experts--from business leaders to psychologists, academics to tech gurus--there is a burgeoning consensus that western education systems, designed in accordance with an industrial model, no longer fit the needs of a modern economy. We need innovators, creative thinkers, nimble problem solvers, but we are failing to produce them. Across Canada, there is a broad cultural debate swirling around how best to educate our children in the face of huge economic, social, ecological and political change. The question has become an ideological battleground--on the picket lines of the 2014 teachers' strike in BC; in the war of words around work-to-rule campaigns in Ontario; and the hysteria that comes to the fore every time test scores are published and Canada's poor performance lamented. Beyond a polarized debate though, there is a hunger for a greater understanding of what our schools should be doing to prepare children now for the challenges of the future. This book is an answer to that need.
In Pushing the Limits, Kelly Gallagher-Mackay and Nancy Steinhauer isolate prevalent practices and ideas that are hindering progress within the education system, and present concrete and inspiring solutions for enacting change. They share knowledge they have accrued as educational leaders, Nancy as an outstanding principal with experience in elite private academies and extremely diverse inner-city schools, and Kelly as a lawyer and passionate educational researcher and advocate. With real-life anecdotes and practical examples, they outline a blueprint for success, answering the question of how we set up schools--and support them--to prepare our children for an unknown future.
About the Authors:
Kelly Gallagher-MacKay is a lawyer, researcher and education activist. Before completing her PhD in Educational Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Kelly was the first Northern Director of a fully-accredited law school for Inuit students in Iqaluit. She is currently Research Director at the non-profit group People for Education, where her research focuses on broad measures of school success as a means of evaluating what truly matters in schools. Both Kelly and Nancy are parents of children in the public school system..
Nancy Steinhauer is an educational leader with twenty years of experience, ranging from Canada's top private schools to diverse, inner city schools. In 2012, Nancy Steinhauer was the recipient of Canada's Outstanding Principals Award by The Learning Partnership and the Stand Up for Kids Award by the four Children's Aid Societies of Toronto. She is a member of Canada's Outstanding Principals Academy. She currently works for the Ontario Ministry of Education as a Student Achievement Officer.