Saturday, January 05, 2008

Business Education in Saskatchewan

A number of years ago the Department of Education (or whatever its name was at the time) decided to create an area of study called the Practical and Applied Arts. From what I remember the elements of this area were based on the economic development needs of the province in the near future. All courses which had even a sniff of vocationalism around them were relegated to this area, including any course that had previously been designated Business Education.

Now, I do admit, for a while there was a flurry of curriculum development activity. But the emphasis on 'core' curriculum, academics and university preparation buried Practical and Applied Arts in the hinterlands of secondary school electives.

In Business Education's case this was compounded by the rise of interest in computers, technology, the internet, multi-media, etc.

So today we face the situation where there doesn't seem to be a place or an identity for Business Education.

It is a shame!

If you go to the Evergreen Curriculum site for Sask Learning you will find Law under Social Sciences (not so much of a problem for me other than the fact that Social Studies teachers rarely have a background in law studies), you won't find Economics (I find it incredible that in a province where all we seem to talk about these days is economic development we don't offer our high school students the opportunity to find out what economics means!).

However you will find Accounting (in the Practical and Applied Arts Area) under Care and Hospitality (does that mean businesses in other sectors don't use or need accounting?).

You'll also find Career Education and Entrepreneurship under "other"

You won't find Personal Financial Management or Marketing or Consumer Education or Introduction to Business nor any of the multitude of potential business courses.


It is a shame that Business Education is relegated to the merely vocational.

It is a shame that the subjects that are offered are viewed as inferior to the required areas of study by making the whole area an elective area.

It is a shame that courses such as Personal Financial Management are not offered to students who will, all, one day (today) need to navigate through a world that demands that they take care of themselves physically, intellectually, emotionally, culturally and financially.

We offer courses that assist with the other elements of our lives - why don't we offer courses that assist with the financial aspects of our lives.

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