Thinking about Diploma Exams – the dilemma of a teacher

What I teach in the class is usually not mirrored perfectly by the diploma exams. The types of questions I ask on my tests are different from those posed on the provincial exam. The topics emphasized by me (due to my preference or what I think is more important content) are not always the ones emphasized in the examinations at the end of the year. Therefore, when teaching such a course, during the final part of the year, I spend time on preparing my students for the provincial tests.

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Students of “Now” versus “Before”

Are students really all that different “Now” than they were “Before”? It is a very common proclamation that young people now have no respect, no motivation, and no problem solving ability. But really, I heard this for a while now, including when I was in school. And I still hear it now. Is each generation getting worse and worse, or do we just have that perception, that our generation was better somehow, and the generation before us, even more?

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Alberta vs. Quebec Standardized Provincial Exams

Another difference between the two schooling systems I found interesting was the provincial testing.   Here is a quick overview of both provincial testing methods along with my two cents.  

Alberta and Quebec both administer provincially regulated exams for specific courses.  In Alberta these exams are held in grade 6 and in grade 9 for Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies, and in grade 12 for most courses.  In Quebec the exams are administered only in High School, in particular, in grades 10 and 11 Science, Math, English, History and French. 

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Alberta vs. Quebec School Setup – Having Junior High vs. No Junior High schools.

The general school system in Alberta is setup slightly differently than in Quebec.

In Alberta, children first go to Elementary School (Kindergarten to grade 6), then Junior High School (grade 7 to 9) and then High School (grade 10 to 12), after which the student chooses to go to college, university, or work.

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