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Don’t let the world pass us by on science: Editorial

The Star – Staff Writer

“‘Holding their own’ may be too rosy. Countries like China, Switzerland and Singapore significantly improved their showings in this year’s top-200 list, a reflection of strategic policies and aggressive investments in scientific infrastructure and researchers. Meanwhile, Canada has been moving in the opposite direction. Only six Canadian universities made the current top 200, down from eight last year. This will come as no surprise to Canadian researchers, who have long lamented the federal government’s short-sighted approach to science policy.”(more)

Students too young, uninformed to choose high school courses, study says

The Star – Andrea Gordon

Some Grade 8 students continue to be streamed into high school courses that close the door to university with little guidance or understanding about how their choices may affect their futures. That’s one of the troubling findings of a new report that captures the voices of youth and reveals how they end up choosing Grade 9 courses that have significant consequences down the road.”(more)

Education starts with teachers modelling equitable and inclusive values

The Star – Rania Mirza

In reflecting on the past year, many of us ask ourselves: Did we do enough to support our students? Did we create spaces where they felt they could bring their true selves into our schools, make friends, lead discussions, try new ideas, solve problems, voice their concerns and offer suggestions? As educators, we know students given a supportive environment will explore and learn.”(more)

Learn to recognize autism symptoms in girls

The Toronto Star – Dr. Meng-Chuan Lai

“We often associate autism with males. And while it’s true that more boys than girls are on the spectrum, parents, teachers and doctors have a harder time recognizing this condition in girls. That’s because autism symptoms can be different for girls — and because of stereotypes about autism, and about gender. It starts on the playground. A boy with autism may play by himself and favour games with structured rules. Girls on the autism spectrum are more likely to be near other children and talking — but you’d have to be looking carefully to notice their social struggle.”(more)

Full-day kindergarten works, and should be extended across the country: Editorial

The Toronto Star – Editorial

“Now the results of a new study by researchers at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) provide strong evidence that the experiment is paying off in spades. The research, which tracked almost 600 children, should point the way for other provinces and territories to follow Ontario’s lead, for academic, social and economic reasons.”(more)

Children gain learning boost from two-year, full-day kindergarten

Medical X-Press – Janette Pelletier

“Ontario made a bold public policy move in September 2010 when full-day learning was made available to all four- and five-year-old children in the province—via a unique two-year, full-day kindergarten program. This investment by one province in an innovative play-based kindergarten program seems to be paying off. Preliminary findings from our research at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education reveals that this unique full-day kindergarten (FDK) program has lasting benefits for children’s behaviour as well as their learning. Children in this program scored higher on reading, writing and number knowledge than those in a half-day program and remained ahead until the end of Grade 2.”(more)