State of Learning in Canada: Toward a Learning Future

Unattributed, Canadian Council on Learning, Jul 31, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes

An interesting report that states a lot of what might be expected and contains an unsurprising call for action. Among other things, the report states:
- all too often, the importance of child care as a vital precursor to formal learning is undervalued or unrecognized.
- informal learning makes an important contribution to later success.
- student debt load has more than doubled since 1990, representing an additional economic barrier to PSE participation.
- recognition of adults' prior learning and experience needs to be broadened.
- we can no longer afford to view the purpose of education and learning primarily as the preparation of young people for the labour market.
There's a lot to like in this report, and one would like to see some of the recommendations translated into policy, research and funding.

Here's the full report in PDF and here's the Executive Summary. But look also at the document titled What we've learned since 2007 - as I read it I recall thinking how clearly this shows that people like Ken DeRosa (see below) are full of hooey. We see clearly the effect of socio-economic status on learning, and we see clearly that non-educational interventions - such as improvements in health care, child care, and nutrition - have a significant impact on learning.
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