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History Table of Contents
1992 Summer Conference
 
Summer Conference 1992
Competitiveness and Social Justice: How Can Canada Have Both?

Discussion Groups
Education: Spending the Most and Getting the Least

KATHLEEN METCALFE
President, McWhinney, Metcalfe & Associates

The discussion groups were informal and unrecorded.

In the education group there was evidence of deep anxiety about the state of schooling in Ontario. Parents and interested parties gave different grounds for their fears and discontents. Students in the group argued in effect that they did not need the skills of old-fashioned literacy, since they were now adept in computer arts.

Official or semi-official educators responded with the usual bland arguments that we had the best education system in the world, that we knew a great deal more about how children learned than had earlier generations. This response, predictably, caused anger and dismay among parents, who thought it smug and arrogant.