College launches review of teaching qualifications
What qualifications should a teacher have to teach in Ontario in the 21st century?
With much of the provincial regulation that defines teacher qualifications now 30 years old, the College of Teachers has initiated a review of teacher qualifications with a focus on the future.
The College will consult widely with members and education stakeholders to propose changes to Regulation 184/97 Teachers Qualifications made under the Ontario College of Teachers Act to ensure that teachers can acquire the qualifications they will need to be excellent through the coming decades.
The review will look at the full scope of qualifications that members need to carry out a wide range of responsibilities including such diverse roles as primary classroom teacher, special educator, subject specialist, principal and supervisory officer.
The College's mandate makes it responsible for developing and regulating teacher qualifications. When the College opened its doors in May 1997, it inherited this responsibility from the Ministry of Education.
Many of the requirements for teacher qualifications are now more than a quarter-century old and - after numerous changes to curriculum and the school system over the years - are no longer aligned to the actual demands of the job. College members, school boards and faculties of education have identified a number of issues with Ontario's prescribed teacher qualifications.
Over the years, the College has seen a growing demand for a more fundamental review of teacher qualifications.
"We look forward to involving as many College members as possible in this review," says Deputy Registrar Brian McGowan, who is co-ordinating the review process. "As always, we will work closely with the teacher federations, faculties and other groups to bring their expertise to the table. But we are also going to look for ways to involve the public in our consultation. It will be a real opportunity for people to share their views about the future of teaching and to build support for our profession."
The review will look at how teaching qualifications can both reflect teachers' current practice and priorities and meet future needs. Besides curriculum changes, this review will look at the impact of initiatives like the Ontario Teacher Qualifying Test, the creation of standards of practice and ethical standards, and the establishment of a professional learning framework.
This extensive review will consider many questions including, What is required to be a qualified, certified teacher in Ontario? and What should teacher education programs teach? It will also look at issues surrounding Additional Qualifications for established teachers and the nature and length of initial teacher education programs.