Figure of Teacher Education Advises Council
"Focus on the Licence to Teach"
Clifford came out of retirement to chair the
committee that developed the blueprint for the
Ontario College of Teachers. He had valuable advice
for Governing Council members at their orientation
What other professions
Ontarios most respected educators told the
Governing Council theyll get the Ontario
College of Teachers launched on the right track if
they focus on the licence to teach.
is described by College Registrar Margaret Wilson as
"the father figure of teacher education in
Ontario." He has taught in both the public and
separate systems, and was principal of the
Peterborough Teachers College, director of education
for the Waterloo separate board and an Assistant
Deputy Minister of Education, as well as executive
director of the Teacher Education Council of Ontario.
||He came out of retirement
to chair the College of Teachers
Implementation Committee, which produced the
report - The Privilege of Professionalism -
that the legislation and regulations
establishing the College were based on.
spoke to the members of the Governing Council about
their mandate as the leaders of the new College when
they met in mid-March for an orientation session.
report and your legislative mandate focuses on four
aspects of the licence: one, how do you acquire the
licence; two, how do you maintain the licence; three,
how can you lose the licence, and four, keeping
up-to-date statistical records regarding those who do
hold the licence."
provides the College with the authority to determine
the qualifications required for entry into the
teaching profession in Ontario.
Justice McRuer, who was chair of the Ontario Royal
Commission on Civil Rights in 1968, stated in his
report, 'Responsible and experienced members of a
profession or occupation on whom the power of
self-government is conferred are in the best position
to set standards and to meet the qualifications
required to enter the profession or
educator told the Council "you would almost have
to be my age" to remember how teachers used to
go "hat in hand" to ask government for the
right to set standards of entry into the profession.
He reminded the
members that "one of the powers of you people
sitting around this horseshoe will be to accredit
ongoing education programs for teachers offered by
post-secondary institutions and other bodies.
personally believe that much of the current
professional development that is done by teachers in
this province goes unrecognized and unreported, and I
think its time for that to change. And I think
you have - in the mandate that I have just spoken to
you about - the opportunity to do that."
the silent majority
that tracking life-long learning, career-long
learning, will expose the silent majority that is out
there now and show how many professionals are already
engaged in regular in-service training. And with the
substantial public representation on a body like
this, I think you are mandated to go one step further
and - having found that out - to let the world know
mandatory career-long learning will also force some
professionals to stay up-to-date. It also will let
the profession ensure - and it will be your job to do
it - that the profession has time to prepare the
professional requirements before some other
government comes down with another layer of mandates
that are to be done next week."
He asked the
Governing Council to make sure that the College takes
a fresh look at additional qualifications (AQ)
courses. "Ive never understood why there
had to be a broker in the middle between the teacher
who comes for improvement in qualifications and the
teacher colleague who stands up and gives the course.
we have to go through a post-secondary institution?
Why did we need middle people? And I think Im
right that the majority of - or many of the AQ
courses, at least - are being given by your
colleagues around this province.
heavens sake, use the opportunity that this
legislation gives you to create a whole new look at
the delivery agents in groups and organizations and
people who come forward."
Professions Tell Teachers "Learn From Our
loses confidence or pride in a profession, you can
huff and puff as much as you want, the public will
still not give you the esteem and respect which is
warning came from Hope Sealy, a public appointee to
the Law Society of Upper Canada - the legal
professions self-regulating body - as Council
members met in an orientation session to prepare to
start governing the College of Teachers.
of doctors, nurses, social workers and the legal
profession - all veterans of the self-regulatory
process - urged teachers to learn from their
experience, both good and bad.
McCorquodale, Registrar of the Ontario College of
Certified Social Workers, said her members have been
working for 15 years to win the legislated status
teachers now enjoy.
like to share a conviction that would be echoed by
every member of our council of the College of Social
Work. And that is that regulation has far more to do
with enabling the increase of standards of
professional practice through consultation and
support to the professionals involved and the
reinforcement of learning objectives throughout the
life of the professional than it has to do with the
disciplinary process, which is so often perceived as
the dominant element."
two core principles of professional self-government.
"First, theres the maintenance of the
supremacy of the public interest and, secondly, that
the public is assured that all members of the
profession meet common standards.
develop our standards over time and it doesnt
stop," said McCorquodale. "As the
regulatory body gathers experience and the profession
itself identifies areas which need expansion or
further clarity, we revise standards, we
President of the Ontario College of Nurses, told
Council members that promoting ongoing competence in
the quality of the profession is a vital function for
one thing to have come into the profession 25 years
ago as a nurse at a competent beginners level,
its another thing after 25 years to be able to
say to you I can assure you that my competence has
continued to grow with the needs of my
publics interest in professional development -
maintaining high competency levels - is key to
ongoing credibility and accountability with the
outside world. And its something her colleagues
have "no problem" with, she said.
accountability, according to Dr. Ted Boadway from the
Ontario Medical Association, can take on another
dimension as well. "As a profession, we bungled
the management of sex abuse quite badly and paid a
very significant price," he said.
"Theres no reason why you should pay the
same price that we paid."
reminded Council members that he was speaking as an
association representative and member of a
self-regulating profession - not as a representative
of his college. But he cautioned them that,
"Complaints management and discipline procedure
is very bruising. Its a tough business to be
He urged the
College to be proactive in confronting major
discipline issues like substance abuse and sex abuse.
"You will have a systemized way of handling this
- you will do it either proactively or you will do it
any way, and the 'any way is a tough way to get
Registrar Margaret Wilson told Council members that
the Ontario College of Teachers can already point to
some practical benefits from looking at the
experience of other professions.
wont have to go through the discipline process
because of nuisance complaints, she said. "As
our legislation was being drafted, we did seek advice
from the social workers, the nurses and the doctors,
and we do not have to deal with frivolous or
vexatious complaints. Thank you for that