Our Director General, Mr. Chris Adamopoulos, was pleased to be invited to represent the Socrates-Demosthenes School at the Forum for ideas for Quebec on the 25, 26 and 27 of September 2015 at Champlain College on the South Shore.
The event theme was «Ideas for the 21st Century» and had the following objectives:
Draw the portrait of what should be the ideal education system for the 21st century in Quebec.
Identify some points on which the Quebec education policies should focus in order to achieve this portrait.
Propose to the people of Quebec to meet this challenge of excellence.
Several political personalities were present, including the Prime Minister of Quebec, Philippe Couillard, Minister of Education, François Blais, several other ministers, business people and education experts from here and abroad. However, the highlight of the event was undoubtedly the presence of one of the pioneers of modern education in Quebec, Mr. Paul Gérin-Lajoie.
A summary of three conferences:
Mr. Couillard said he was studying the possibility of giving more resources and autonomy to schools. He added that our society is changing very rapidly and that only the schools that will evolve at the same speed will succeed.
The mere presence of Mr. Gérin-Lajoie inspired the assembly. He stressed the importance of education in preparing individuals for the workforce, society and the very construction of their personal being. He added that our education system must take into account that the human power of concentration is steadily declining. It was 12 seconds 2 years ago and fell to 9 seconds this year. Education must be rethought according to this: we must constantly find ways to engage and motivate learners. Another point on which Mr. Gérin-Lajoie insisted, is that our education system must be ready for the arrival of more and more immigrants. We will inevitably be caught unaware if we do not immediately install the programs to welcome them in our schools.
Michael Fullan, Canadian education researcher, Professor Emeritus and former rector of the University of Toronto explained that education works independently when connected. A fragmented autonomy is doomed for failure. The ambitious targets do not work, you have to keep it simple and small. Technology helps students stay focused, but has no positive impact on learning. The new wave in education provides learning three languages, maybe even four.
The event, obviously, was exciting. Our Director General was proud of the fact that our school already meets many of the objectives recommended by the speakers. So are we.