A month or so ago we gave Ontario a whack, for deciding that testing whether their teachers could do arithmetic was racist. That was not the first time we had run into Canadian nitwittery. Last year, Greg Ashman went to battle with some pretty obtuse Canadians, over Alberta’s new mathematics curriculum. And, ACARA somehow landed upon British Columbia’s pretty flaky curriculum for one of their international benchmark thingos. One could be forgiven for concluding that Canada is a Federation of weirdnesses.
But, maybe not totally.
Our friend and colleague Dave Treeby has pointed us to an announcement for the Calgary Classical Academy, a new public primary school in Calgary, Alberta. The puff in their promo indicates what a weirdly reactionary school they intend to be:
The Calgary Classical Academy will offer an academically rigorous liberal arts education focused on developing “the knowledge, virtues, and habits befitting free citizens.” Among the school’s distinct features are a smartphone-free environment; its embrace of traditional pedagogy and teacher-led classrooms; ancient and modern language offerings; a focus on character and the nurturing of virtues; classical fine and performing arts; and an explicit commitment to the pursuit of truth and beauty.
Students attending the school will benefit from a knowledge-rich curriculum that is highly integrated across grade levels and disciplines. The program will adopt the “trivium” progression, wherein pupils achieve mastery of grammar, formal logic, and finally rhetoric. They will study classic and enduring works of literature, philosophy, arts, and sciences from around the world, so that they may benefit from the wisdom of the past, and preserve and build upon it for posterity.
Yep, just one school in one mid-level city, on the other side of the planet. But, it’s a glimmer. And, as they say, any glimmer in a storm.