At-Risk Students and The BC Curriculum

2640 Words11 Pages
In our society, success is defined by financial wealth. Wealth is accumulated by employment in most cases, and remuneration for white collar jobs is higher than for blue collar jobs. Therefore white collar jobs are viewed as more prestigious; these are the positions that our school curriculum is preparing students for. The BC Government defines the following intellectual attributes of a graduate: • competency in reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and science, including the ability to use these skills in problem-solving and decision-making • the ability to use and understand information technologies • the ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences; this includes the ability to access, synthesize and present information; it also includes knowledge of both a first and second language • an understanding and appreciation of artistic and aesthetic expression • the ability to think critically and solve problems, using information to develop opinions and make sound judgments and decisions • an understanding of the importance of a lifelong commitment to continuous learning. These attributes describe well a mainstream student who is preparing for a post-secondary program in an academic field. They describe less well an academically capable student who is interested in a career in a more hands-on occupation. But for students at-risk for drop out, these attributes serve to exclude and marginalize them. This is the opposite effect of the intended policy of inclusion. According to the Ministry of Education website, the purpose of the policy of inclusion is to address a wider variety of diversity needs. Diversity refers to the ways in which we differ from each other. Some of these differences may be visib... ... middle of paper ... ...s, physical disabilities and emotional and behavioral problems are provided with Individual Education Plans. These documents guide the students’ instruction and give guidance to teacher in the ways the learning outcomes can be modified or adapted to meet the individual learning needs. It is imperative to develop a high school leaving document that reflects the varied needs of our varied students and which does not push students pursuing a goal other than academic post-secondary training aside. We could develop equally valid documents such as an “Academic Preparation Certificate” for those going to university; “Vocational Preparation Certificate” for those going into trades; and “General Completion Certificate” for other students. By valuing these equally, we would create a path for students at risk which would value them equally as contributing members of society.
Open Document