Skip to main content

Craig and Marc Kielburger founded Free The Children, Me to We and We Day. Find out more at we.org. Their biweekly Brain Storm column taps experts and readers for solutions to social issues.

Ever think about what you'd study if you went back to school?

You can earn a university credit taking the Beyonce course offered at universities in Victoria, B.C. and Waterloo, Ont.; nude fishnet stocking not required. We're envying a Minecraft elective on one U.S. school's list of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) options.

Story continues below advertisement

Educators are constantly eyeing new curriculum options that will best prepare youth for life and the ever-evolving work world. Soon, learning a foreign language could be mandatory given a new Swedish study showing it can increase the size of our brains – and who doesn't want more white matter?

Students in Singapore are getting back to basics. The country, renowned for its immaculate public spaces and ban on chewing gum, has announced every pupil in city-state schools will be required to clean by the end of this year. This introduction to janitorial services is meant to "inculcate in students good habits such as a sense of responsibility and care," says Singapore's Ministry of Education.

Meanwhile, kindergarteners across British Columbia will soon be communicating in Python. That's not some serpentine speaking method out of Hogwarts, but rather an epically popular computer coding language. The B.C. government is adding coding to the curriculum in an effort to address a chronic skills shortage in technology.

What course would you add to the public school curriculum to help improve society?

THE EXPERTS

Bill Hogarth, former director of the York Region Board of Education in Ontario, and former chair of the Education Research and Development Initiative

"Learning based on global competencies, or the 6 Cs: character education; citizenship; communication; critical thinking and problem solving; collaboration; creativity and imagination. When educators create a partnership with students, and integrate the 6 Cs in the teaching process, they create a framework for deep learning."

Story continues below advertisement

Myra Freeman, former elementary teacher in Halifax and former lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia

"Ensure the availability of fun, hands-on electives that are relevant to community service and civic engagement. Curriculum options could include student interaction with community partners or agencies identified by schools, whose mission aligns with an academic course, such as sustainability in the food sector."

Bruce Lawson, president and CEO, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, Toronto

"The employment landscape has changed dramatically. The majority of the jobs that will be available in five to 10 years don't yet exist. I would add an emphasis on developing a competencies tool kit, so as manage their future."

Brian Beal, director of education and secretary-treasurer, Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board

"Ontario's new Social Justice curriculum has been developed to allow our students and staff to engage our communities at all levels: locally, regionally, and globally. We want our students to experience their ability to influence change and make a difference. It would be great to see this course offered in many schools as students turn passion and commitment into action."

Story continues below advertisement

Have your say in the comment section.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter