Michael Zwaagstra is a public high school teacher, education researcher and author. He has extensive teaching experience at a variety of grade levels and currently teaches high school social studies in Manitoba.
Michael received his Bachelor of Education, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Education and Master of Education degrees from the University of Manitoba where he won numerous academic awards including the A. W. Hogg Undergraduate Scholarship, the Klieforth Prize in American History and the Schoolmasters’ Wives Association Scholarship. He also holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Liberty University and graduated with high distinction.
As an educator, Michael is a strong proponent of raising academic standards, holding schools accountable for their results and expanding the educational options available to parents. He conducts policy research on education issues for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies. His research has addressed topics such as standardized testing, teaching methodologies, assessment, school choice and teachers’ unions.
His columns promoting common sense education reforms have been published in major daily newspapers including the National Post, The Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Province, the Calgary Herald, the Winnipeg Free Press, and the Chronicle Herald. In the 2013 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards, Michael received second place in the Outstanding Columnist category. In the following year, he was awarded first place in the best columnist category by the Manitoba Community Newspapers Association.
Michael is also a frequent guest on radio and television stations across the country. His first book, What’s Wrong with Our Schools and How We Can Fix Them (co-authored with Rodney Clifton and John Long), was released in 2010. What’s Wrong with Our Schools ignited debate on education reform across the country in school staff rooms, newspapers, and university campuses.
Michael also has experience as an elected official. In 2006, he was elected to Steinbach City Council and was re-elected in 2010 and 2014. His community involvements include serving on several boards, writing a weekly column in his local paper, and teaching adult classes in his local church.