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British Columbia - High School portfolio


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If you are in grade 10, and live in B.C., you have probably heard of the 3 year portfolio assignment. I was wondering if anyone knows the proper steps to take in order for the portfolio to be either cancelled, or changed. I was thinking of making a petition and sending it in during the school board election. One of the candidates would pick up on the fact that the majority don't want the portfolio. He would then say he will try to stop the portfolio in order for him to get the most votes and to win. If anyone knows when the school board election is, it would be apreciated. I've heard there is one is May, but also in november. What is the difference between these two elections? Which election would be best for protesting? I need to know the proper steps in getting the school board to cancel this awful 3-year long assignment. Also, which would work better, a petition, or a strike?

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I would suggest you hedge your bets and get started with the assignment.

The May election is the provincial government.

The Fall election is the municipal elections.

The Fall election will also include the school boards.

The Ministry of Education sets the curriculum and that is the provincial minister.

The Minister is Tom Christensen. Mr. Christensen was elected to represent the riding of Okanagan-Vernon in 2001. He has served as Chair of the Government Caucus Committee on Education and as a member of the Legislative Review Committee, as well as the Select Standing Committees on Education; Aboriginal Affairs; Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders and Private Bills; and Legislative Initiatives.

What exactly don't you like about the portfolio assignment?

Good luck.

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Strikes are only one of many political tactics.

If you want this policy to change, you will need to understand where your support will come from. Will the teachers union support you, how about the political opposition?

You need to appear to be part of a political body that can influence the election. If you are just upset under age people this will not influence policy. You can’t vote and the parties will assume by the time you are old enough tuition will be a bigger issue.

Would your parents support the elimination of this policy?

You need to figure out if you can be a pain in the butt and which is the best way to be a priority pain.

If you strike, what will it accomplish? You may feel better because you made some noise but whom would it influence and if it did influence what would your message be?

If you don't have a clear strategy and lots of support, you better buy a diary for your reflections, remember to stretch after exercise and volunteering can be rewarding.

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hmmmmmmmmm, so you have get off of your butt, move around, put down the game control and get some exercise. You have to do some volunteer work in the community and at the end of the day, you have to write a report on it. This homeowrk assignment is over the span of 3 years I take it. I have to agree with caesar here, get with the program. This assignment sounds better than a lot of the other brain fluff that is being taught in schools nowadays. Exercise and volunteer work never killed anyone that I know of.

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I have to agree with the old people, Jerry. It does sound like an excellent assignment. Was it invented by the provincial education ministry, or was it decided on by local schoolboards? Either way, it's a very interesting idea. It sounds kind of like those "work experience" courses that the dumb-kids take for credit in high-school, except in this instance, citizenship is the job for which you'll be getting work experience.

I will mention that during my brief residence in Victoria, I volunteered once at the soup-kitchen just off Pandora. I think it's called the Upper Room or something like that. It was not fun, and I'm not exactly sure I would call it "rewarding", but I do feel it was important. I learned something that I would not have learned in a classroom.

Exercise is also of great benefit to you, though I'm not exactly sure how it fits within the curriculum of a social studies program. You do learn something about yourself during exercise. I used to run a 10k 3 times a week, and a half-marathon every Sunday... and I had believed that maybe with some training I could perhaps win an athletics scholarship, compete nationally or internationally, travel, see the world, whatever. Initially I found that 42 minutes was a time I could achieve without difficulty in the 10k... and what I learned was that for each minute I wanted to cut off of that, I had to work twice as hard. I finally cracked 36 minutes, and found that doing so was so difficult and physically grueling that I knew that there was no chance I would ever gain the additional 4-6 minutes or so that I would need to have any chance of being a competitive runner. So, I did learn something from it, and while it's of dubious academic interest, I think what I've just written could be the outline of a report that I could put in a portfolio. Discovering and expanding your physical limits will teach you something about yourself.

If you're already involved in hockey or baseball or soccer, or running or weights or cycling, or rollerblading or ping-pong or basketball (etc) then start keeping a training diary. If you're not involved in anything for which you could keep a training diary, then good grief get off the computer and start doing something.

-kimmy

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hmmmmmmmmm, so you have get off of your butt, move around, put down the game control and get some exercise. You have to do some volunteer work in the community and at the end of the day, you have to write a report on it. This homeowrk assignment is over the span of 3 years I take it. I have to agree with caesar here, get with the program. This assignment sounds better than a lot of the other brain fluff that is being taught in schools nowadays. Exercise and volunteer work never killed anyone that I know of.

Although I'm not terribly opposed to this I have to make a point that some of you on the left who seem to find little fault with forced volounteerism for those under eighteen were adamantly opposed to forcing healthy welfare recipients without kids to accept a job during the Harris government's Ontario Works program.

Would you care to discuss why that was "slavery" but forced "volunteer work" among those under eighteen is a learning experience?

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it might be a good assignment to you, but you don't have to do it. This assignment puts tons of stress on kids, parents, and teachers, and none of us like it. Forced volunteer work sucks as well as many of the other aspects. You have to write on technology for example. Many kids don't know anything about this. It's just the idea that they are forcing this work up on us. The portfolio project isn't even completed yet, and they are already piling it up on us. If some one could just see where I'm coming from here, it's for the teachers as well. Where would Canada be if there were no rebellions? Tell me that.

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Would you care to discuss why that was "slavery" but forced "volunteer work" among those under eighteen is a learning experience?
Good point.

Formal education, it seems to me, should be similar to learning how to turn a TV on. But what you watch on TV should be your own choice.

it might be a good assignment to you, but you don't have to do it.
Jerry89 learns, at a tender age, one of life's greater ironies and states it so elegantly. Other people are quick to volunteer you.
Where would Canada be if there were no rebellions? Tell me that.
If I understand properly, this "High School Portfolio" requires that you undertake some activity outside of school? Have you considered, as your portfolio, organizing with other students the abolition of this programme?
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I don't belief its how much you have to do its the clarity that needs improving and how confusing it seems to be for students. The portfolio is actually a good assignment its just being treated like its too hard. If they would clarify it making this assignment easier and more understandable I think students would gladly do it.

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Fusilli_jerry89 is the masses of high school student population rejecting the 3 year distressing project, can you make a prima facie case for stress - I don't think so.

The kids in Toronto also do mandatory volunteer work to graduate high school - I have not noticed they are complaining, in fact they are more than proud of themselves to land in some good company.

Although I'm not terribly opposed to this I have to make a point that some of you on the left who seem to find little fault with forced volounteerism for those under eighteen were adamantly opposed to forcing healthy welfare recipients without kids to accept a job during the Harris government's Ontario Works program.

There is something called dignity and worth of a person. Just because people are on welfare does not mean you should give them an entrance that passes though the garbage room and call it opportunity.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay I was checking out the program and well...

To fulfill the employability skills section of the Graduation Portfolio Assessment, all students must provide evidence that they have completed any of the following: A Ministry-authorized work experience course, a school-arranged 30 hour work placement, 30 hours of volunteer service, or 30 hours of paid student employment.

No offence but quit your bitching m8t, it sucks and I am a lazy person so I can understand why what you are being given is no fun that being said I am looking at my transcripts right now.....

Based on information provided by the school, this student has satisfied British Columbia credit based graduation requirements with Honours standing, as of june 2004. This student has participated in these programs: career Program career explorations.

If you are wondering "particapated in these programs" amounts to 100 hours of volounteer work expirence...trust me 30 hours will not kill you, yes it sucks but it is not the end of the world.

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hmmm, what i dont like about this assignment. Well its alot of extra pressure for students as well as teachers and alot more work. You have to prove that you got exercise, and volunteered, etc. Also, you have to write responses and reflections on everything you did, need I say more

Volunteer work is simply that--you freely offer your time for no pay. If forced to volunteer, then by definition, you cease to be a volunteer and become a slave.

Exercise - can only do you good, portfolio or no portfolio

Writing your responses and reflections on what you do outside classroom hours is an invasion of privacy.

Do get politically involved to have the program disbanded--an exercise that could prove far more valuable than any portfolio work. I think you're on the right road. That's the sort of thing students should be taught--how to defend themselves against the bureaucracy. Go for it.

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I have to agree with the old people

It sounds kind of like those "work experience" courses that the dumb-kids take for credit in high-school, except in this instance, citizenship is the job for which you'll be getting work experience.

Kimmy, I hope you're not in the education field; if so, resign--immediately. "old people"; "dumb-kids"-- indeed! Bad kimmy!

And since when can citizenship be considered analagous to a job? Nah, never mind. And are you suggesting that one has to go through all that rigamarole you describe just to figure out if you're cut out for success at a particular sport or not? I'd opt for passion myself. Bet you dollars to donuts that had you had passion for running you'd have chopped off whatever number of minutes you needed to.

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I have to agree with the old people

It sounds kind of like those "work experience" courses that the dumb-kids take for credit in high-school, except in this instance, citizenship is the job for which you'll be getting work experience.

Kimmy, I hope you're not in the education field; if so, resign--immediately. "old people"; "dumb-kids"-- indeed! Bad kimmy!

The "old people" here know who they are and they can handle a little teasing. They certainly give us young punks a hard enough time... :)

As for the vocational-ed kids... "dumb kids" might be a little rude, but not entirely off the mark. I will refrain from further comment.

And no need to worry, I'm not a professional educator.

And since when can citizenship be considered analagous to a job? Nah, never mind.

Well, citizenship is different from a job in the sense that you don't need to be hired and you can't get fired, so you're certainly correct there.

However, I do believe that being a *good* citizen, like being good at any job, requires some effort. Someone who does not inform themselves to the issues or participate in our society in any meaningful way does not forfeit their citizenship, but I would not consider such a person to be "a good citizen".

"Citizenship" is a legal status. But it can be (and should be) thought of as an activity as well.

And are you suggesting that one has to go through all that rigamarole you describe just to figure out if you're cut out for success at a particular sport or not? I'd opt for passion myself. Bet you dollars to donuts that had you had passion for running you'd have chopped off whatever number of minutes you needed to.

Passion can only take you so far. (that is one of the lessons you might learn if you make the effort.) There comes a point where you need not just passion but training to reach the next level. And there comes a point where you need not just passion and training but also natural ability to reach the level beyond that. Look at the top athletes in swimming or running or weightlifting or a large number of other sports, and you'll find that beyond passion and training, they also have genetics. You simply won't find tall and slim weightlifters, short and stout runners, or so on. No matter how much passion you have, you won't make it as a competitive gymnast if you're 5'9 or a competitive sprinter if you're 4'9.

-kimmy

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As for the vocational-ed kids... "dumb kids" might be a little rude, but not entirely off the mark. I will refrain from further comment.

The "dumb kids" remark is entirely off base. Fortunately, we have and need people whose talents rest not in intellectual studies but in mechanics; landscaping, decorating, hairdressers, etc. These are needed workers and can be very well paid for those who are talented in these directions. I would recommend vocational school or a good apprenticeship program for those whose talents do not lay in intellectual studies. Many of these university grads do not find meaningful employment and are scared of getting their hands dirty.

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  • 3 months later...

If only we were born one year earlier, we wouldn't be the ones to worry about this absolutely ridiculous graduation program. For me and many of my friends, this program has brought nothing but negativity towards school. In a class where we are supposed to learn about life, personal choices, finances, jobs, working and the likes, we spent almost all of our time ( a good 75%+) of it either discussing the graduation portfolio, or trying to piece together what and how we were supposed to do the assignments. Every school is providing, or not providing their students with different materials to use in reference to the program, each with their own separate standards. The ministry is doing nothing to help us, the students out. I don't know about you, but I've got better things to do with my time than write and compile evidence for two-page reflections on everything that I do both in and outside of school. I run my own business, and that's enough paperwork for me, thank-you very much.

I inquired to the BCTF as to the reasoning of the program, who simply responded that the ”BCTF opposed the introduction of the grad portfolios" and kindly gave me the email of the Graduation Program Coordinator, Mary-Anne Neal, who you can reach at [email protected] The coordinator just threw together some sort of "brush-me-off" email which stated "Many Grade 10 students do not recognize the significance of a Portfolio until their graduating year." Which I think is pretty interesting, how can they know that we will see the usefulness of the program in our grade 12 year? Last time I checked, this would be an impossible task. Well, at least the BCTF is on our side, for now.

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Volunteer work is simply that--you freely offer your time for no pay.  If forced to volunteer, then by definition, you cease to be a volunteer and become a slave.   

Exercise - can only do you good, portfolio or no portfolio

Writing your responses and reflections on what you do outside classroom hours is an invasion of privacy. 

I agree that "mandatory volunteer" work seems like an odd idea. When I was in grade 10 my English 10 teacher got in trouble because he didn't make my class do volunteer work (which was supposed to be part of the class). While I have no problem doing volunteer work, the idea of forcing it does seem wrong.

While responses and reflections on things outside of the classrrom may, technically (though I'd argue strongly against that!), an invasion of privacy but it also is an invaluable skill. Asking "what do I think?" and then being able to express what 'you' think is something that EVERYONE will need later in their lives - whether for University or for a job, or just for living in general. Asking a student to reflect and respond on, for example, a political action (which is something outside of the classroom) is hardly an invasion of privacy.

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