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So far Michael Zwaagstra has created 16 blog entries.

Improve teacher working conditions by dumping bad ideas

By | February 15th, 2017|Commentary|

By MICHAEL ZWAAGSTRA (AIMS Fellow) • The Telegram, 15 February 2017 Newfoundland and Labrador teachers are stressed. In a recent presentation to the Premier’s Task Force on Improving Education Outcomes, the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association presented compelling data, both scientific and anecdotal, showing that the working conditions for classroom teachers are not good. Teachers [...]

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There’s no critical thinking without a base of knowledge

By | November 18th, 2016|Commentary|

By MICHAEL ZWAAGSTRA (AIMS Fellow) • Troy Media, 18 November 2016 The recent presidential election campaign was one of the worst in U.S. history. As the two candidates slugged it out, neither showed much interest in intelligent engagement. In many ways, it was a campaign of ignorance. Fortunately, there is a remedy for ignorance – [...]

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Memorization, practice and critical thinking go hand-in-hand

By | August 30th, 2016|Commentary|

By Michael Zwaagstra, AIMS Education Fellow Michael Zwaagstra discusses recent literature from the department of education in New Brunswick, which professes to make critical thinking and 21st century skills "embedded in expectations for students." To succeed, Zwaagsta argues, they strengthen traditional learning methods such a memorization, giving students a strong basis of knowledge. Read this [...]

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Why smaller class sizes? Better teachers is a smarter solution

By | June 3rd, 2016|Commentary|

In Saint John's Telegraph-Journal, AIMS Fellow in Education Michael Zwaagstra argues against the temptation to lower class sizes as a solution to underperforming schools. Rather, governments in charge of public schools need to focus on ameliorating the quality of the instruction, which is shown to be a more effective measure. Read the full article on [...]

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Good teachers matter most

By | May 20th, 2016|Commentary|

In the Charlottetown Guardian, AIMS Education Fellow Michael Zwaagstra responds to MLA Sidney MacEwen's push for smaller class sizes. The evidence-based education research, he argues, does not support expensive efforts to reduce class sizes. A far better strategy for improving outcomes is to focus on improving instruction skill from teachers. Read the full article on [...]

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Education fads do our kids no favours

By | March 24th, 2016|Commentary|

AIMS Fellow Michael Zwaagstra argues that popular fads are no solution to the problems of education.

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Technology alone should not drive education reform

By | October 27th, 2015|Commentary|

AIMS Research Fellow Michael Zwaagstra tackles the question whether technology in the classroom advances learning outcomes.

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Distractions are Sometimes Good for Learning

By | September 22nd, 2015|Commentary|

AIMS Education Fellow Michael Zwaagstra tackles the issue of classroom distractions in the learning process.

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Report Cards: Teachers Should Be Free To Say What They Really Think

By | April 8th, 2015|Commentary|

AIMS Fellow Michael Zwaagstra discusses how teachers should be able to say what they think when writing report cards, and suggests that Minister Casey needs to reject her departments ideology and empower teachers to use their own judgement.

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No-zero Policies Just As Misguided As Ever

By | January 15th, 2015|Commentary|

AIMS Fellow in Education Policy Michael Zwaagstra discusses the ineffectiveness of no-zero policies in Newfoundland and Labrador's education system in this opinion piece published by the Telegram.

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