By Jo-Ann Connolly
Plea to parents and educators,
As a grade 6 teacher who has just finished correcting provincial math exams, I am convinced that our government has taken the wrong path in evaluating knowledge that our children in Quebec society have grasped through our educational system. The exam is divided into 8 parts, with one large situational problem and 6 shorter applications.There is also a traditional multiple choice and quick answer booklet.
There is no sound pedagogy in what the government is requesting from 11 and 12 year olds. The applications took anywhere from 1 to 1 and a half hours, rather than the 20 to 30 minute time limit the government wanted. The situational took 2 days rather than the 1 to 2 and a half hours.The children could not do this on their own, despite discussion beforehand to clarify exactly what was being requested of them. The government is asking them to work in isolation on a budget proposal scenario which frankly is irrelevant for most children, and the steps involved are too complex. Most twelve year olds do not hold the purse strings in their families. They are lucky if they have an allowance. Parents buy the necessities and children in poor neighbourhoods have never handled money. They may be able to find percents and calculate tax on an item when we scaffold the activities, but they have no idea what budgets and proposals are about.The applications are too long and the language is such that the child does not even know what is being asked.