What They’re Saying!

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The Toronto Star features Too Far from Perfect:

It’s important that students be able to provide helpful feedback to teachers, in a safe and constructive manner, in order to increase learning collaboration, suggests a new book on improving public education, co-written by Ontario education professor Charles Pascal and his daughter, Tai Notar.

Read the Full Article Here

 NB:

Letter to the Editor, Toronto Star

Regarding the wonderful article on our new book, Too far from perfect: a father-daughter conversation about public education (September 27/2013) the headline is a bit too far from perfect, implying that we are in favor of grading and rating teachers.  We are NOT.   We are in favor of creating effective and positive ways for students to provide feedback to teachers to increase the collaboration between teachers and students in elementary and secondary education.   “Rating” and “grading” teachers is the opposite of what we are suggesting.   We want students to make their own evaluative ideas known to their teachers in a safe manner that will be helpful not punishing.

Tai Pascal Notar

Charles E. Pascal

Canadian educator Charles Pascal and his very articulate daughter, Tai, provide very unique and important insights for teachers, principals and parents intended to move our less than perfect system to a better place.

– Hon. Margaret McCain Co-Author of the Early Years Reports (with Fraser Mustard) and Former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick

Too Far From Perfect is a book that finally lets the student voice be heard. Charles and Tai’s experiences with teachers – the great and the not so great – are ones students of any age can relate to. The book is powerful because it says the things we wouldn’t think to say. In grade 12 I had this one teacher that greeted us with “Hi friends” every time we had class.  His ability to make us feel comfortable in a learning environment was a perfect example mentioned in the book of having respect for your teachers and building relationships with them.

– Kate Wilson, first year student at Ryerson University

 Education should always be our number one public policy priority.  What Tai and her educator dad, Charles Pascal, have achieved carries an incredibly important message—we need to listen to our children and students’ stories more effectively as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure high-quality education. I hope this book is widely read by educators and parents.

– Hon. William G. Davis, OC, P.C., C.C., Q.C. and former Premier of Ontario

It is rare to see a father-daughter team writing so passionately and thoughtfully about such an important topic as public education.  Tai’s first-hand experiences add a great perspective to this important topic and I believe that it makes the work all the more authentic and urgent!

The Hon.Roy J. Romanow, OC and former Premier of Saskatchewan

While this is a personal journal of just two people, it feels familiar. We see ourselves as students recalling those teachers that have faded from memory—for some, good riddance, for others, the memory of a teacher who may have turned your life around is indelible. While these personal connections stoke memories, the reader gradually gets introduced into bigger policy matters. Enjoy it. Learn from it. Act on it.

– Michael Fullan, OC, Professor Emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto

This honest and provocative father-daughter discussion about the current state of public education is an important read for those who think we need to do better – and a must-read for those who think we don’t.

Dale Eisen, Teacher, Toronto District School Board

Too Far From Perfect is an ingeniously crafted manifesto for student involvement in education. This father-daughter duo have experientially maneuvered through systematic imperfections in a literary pragmatic way. When it comes to rethinking educational issues, this book truly isn’t too far from perfect.

– Kourosh Houshmand, Former Vice-President of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association (Public) 

This father-daughter conversation highlights all that can go great in our education system, and what can be detrimental to a student’s progress.  This is well worth the read, and will most definitely spark more conversations like the one shared by Charles and Tai.

– Noah Parker, CEO, Ontario Student Trustees’ Association

This wise father-daughter conversation should spark broader discussions in homes and schools across Canada and beyond – about teaching, the role of parents and students, and about how to take good education systems and make them great.

– Annie Kidder, Executive Director, People for Education

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