The Mail

The Mail

September 9 1996
The Mail

The Mail

September 9 1996

The Mail

'A balancing act'

As a graduate student, educator, and one who works in the information technologies field, I read with great interest your Aug. 26 cover story, “Surfing back to school.” The article nicely summarized the disagreements between two sides of the educational technology debate. In our search to improve Canadian educational systems, and in our efforts to prepare today’s students to meet the challenges that lie ahead, we should make use of the technological tools at hand. We should remember above all, however, what it means to learn, and that learning is a way of being in the social world. A learner must be engaged—both in the context of their learning, as well as in the broader social world. Creating the proper environment for a beneficial learning process will require a continuous balancing act, and unprecedented co-operation between educational, industrial and government power brokers. Canadians must ensure that this balance is maintained, and in


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doing so, we may hope to provide today’s students with the guidance they will need to meet the challenges to come.

Keenan Wellar, Ottawa

As an education issues/software writer, I see as much kids’ software as anyone. I am a believer. The newest trend integrates books, maps, puzzles, etc., with multimedia CDs to bridge the gap between the on-the-computer and the offert the-computer experience. The I three Rs? The software companies I have opened their pocketbooks to g developers of phonics, math, readI ing or writing programs that are so rich and well researched that I “■ gasp with amazement. Visit a kindergarten and watch the boys look everywhere but at the teacher. Then watch them on a phonics program with an intensity that defies logic solving. They learn by exploration and experimentation in hands-on situations better than sitting and listening: computers loaded with the cream of software provide teachers with a wonderful tool that supplements traditional methods.

Jean Allen-Ikeson, Lynden, Ont. Ill

The world’s first digital computer was invented 58 years ago in Poland, not 50 years ago in the United States. The Polish intelligence agency broke the German military code Enigma in 1932-1933 and developed an electromechanical digital computer for decoding Nazi messages. The computer became operational in 1938 and copies of it were given to Great Britain and France. This contribution by Poland is credited as the source for much of the intelligence gathering by the Allies and their eventual success in winning the Second World War.

R. T. Ziembicki, Etobicoke, Ont.

No confidence

Gen. Jean Boyle has lost all credibility, and Defence Minister David Collenette should replace him with someone who has the integrity and the leadership skills needed to head the Canadian Forces. It is appalling that Boyle accepts no responsibility for altered documents and places the blame on those beneath him (“ ‘Mea culpa, nobody else,’ ” Canada, Aug. 26). In the military,

there is a code: Lead by example. If this is the example that our young men and women have to look up to, then our system is in serious need of an overhaul.

Bonnie Popov, Essex, Ont.

Let us give Gen. Jean Boyle the benefit of the doubt and assume that he really did not know of the destruction and alteration of documents related to the Somalia affair. But then he should be fired for incompetence because he had no idea of what was going on in the Forces under his command.

Heinz Wolff, Vancouver

'Shock and disgust'

Shame on Maclean’s. There was absolutely nothing newsworthy in your Aug. 26 article “Mystery woman” (Canada). Rather, it was a sensational piece of trash aimed at cashing in on the sick life of Paul Bernardo. Why can’t you just let him rot in his cell?

Derek Ramm, Etobicoke, Ont. El

I got to know Paul Bernardo through the media as a serial rapist and murderer, but it is possible that there is (or was) another side to him. Your article “The seeds of attraction” fails to comprehend that Bernardo’s female friend seems to be a well-adjusted, sensitive human being. She knew him before the pub-

Passing the buck

During the last election, one part of the Liberals’ election rhetoric was that they, as a government, would create jobs. Now they are saying that is the responsibility of the private sector. However, what happens when the private sector realizes that it costs money to do business? Layoffs follow as their costs skyrocket due to union demands. According to Deirdre McMurdy, it is the “social responsibility of corporations” for any training that may be required in the case of layoffs or cutbacks (“The training game,” The Bottom Line, Aug. 26). My employer did not pay for my university education or other education courses: it was for my benefit, therefore it was my responsibility. I agree that “public budgets for training are squeezed,” but it is the responsibility of the individual to better himself or herself in social and educational skills, and not that of the state or the corporate world.

Kenneth B. Hatt, Whitehorse


lie did, and befriended him. He must have had a speck of good in him at one point. Now, if women fall in love with someone who they know is a criminal, then, yes, I would recommend they get emotional help because their self-worth is probably suffering. But people seem to be too quick to judge what they don’t understand. We can’t presume to know what Bernardo’s female friend feels or sees in him. She knows the truth now—she has suffered enough.

Shelagh Grove, Toronto

I am totally shocked and disgusted by such a report. You are opening the wound anew suffered long and hard by the victims’ families, and subjecting your readers to a 2 V2page report on Paul Bernardo. This story is only fit for the tabloids or a study in abnormal behavior in a psychology book. You are insensitive and offending to your readers.

Louise Tang, Richmond, B.C.

Paul Bernardo’s “Mystery woman” admits that her situation raises the disturbing question: “How can a well-adjusted young woman be attracted to a man who has committed such horrific crimes against other women?” Even a cursory reading of her comments in the article lead to the simple and immediately obvious answer: one can’t.

John Hubert, Halifax HI

TV or day care?

Andy Turnbull states that psychologists have been warning us that children raised in day care tend to develop social and control problems (“Day care connection,” The Mail, Aug. 26). How can he say this when there are some parents who just drop their kids in front of the television or video game machines? Wouldn’t this cause social and control problems? Child care workers attend college or university to gain their education and experience to deal with children

with all types of problems. Also, most child care centres are now implementing the second-step violence prevention program, which involves empathy training, impulse control and anger management.

Frank J. Mifsud, London, Ont. HI

I am an early childhood educator and I disagree with Andy Turnbull. In the day care centre where I work, the children are treated with love and respect. They are, in turn,

taught to share, respect others, follow rules, hone motor skills, and develop socially and cognitively. I meet children who have social and control problems. Many parents I am acquainted with are impressed with the improvement in their child’s social skills. Parents who must work must find a day care centre that meets their needs, and they must assume responsibility for the lives they’ve created and stop laying the blame elsewhere.

Melanie Tucker, Oshawa, Ont.