Preparing teachers for tomorrow
Educators from across Ontario have been involved in an in-depth review of teacher qualifications since March. Classroom teachers as well as principals, deans, federation representatives, officials from the Ministry of Education, parents and the public are participating in this broad consultation.
The Ontario College of Teachers is conducting this review in order that members of our profession will have the skills and knowledge they need to help students learn in the classroom of tomorrow.
Requirements for certifying teachers under Regulation 184 are more than 25 years old. Although updated in 1996, the regulation's content has not changed significantly since the late 70s.
Much has changed since the 70s: Elementary school teachers did not need a university degree, information and communication technology were not taught in schools, Native studies and Native languages were not available in teacher education programs and business studies were oriented toward secretarial rather than information management skills.
Both curriculum and context continue to change. Information technology is now an integral part of learning. We have a greater awareness of diverse learning styles and the teaching methods they call for. Ontario students are more culturally diverse, and students with special needs are now integrated into almost every classroom.
Phase one of the current review is examining what new teachers need to learn in their teacher education programs - including the prerequisites for acceptance to BEd programs, the nature, structure and length of such programs, and the length and structure of teaching practicums.
"This review is very important to the profession,'' says Doug Acton, president of the Ontario Principals' Council. "There is a need for more consistency in academic programs and this review can bring that. I have seen real differences in the kinds and depth of training that students get, depending on the faculty they attend. Some teacher-mentors on my staff say: We'll take students from this faculty but not from that one.''
Some educators point out that times have changed. Students are different, and the needs of society in terms of education have evolved. "It's about time we reviewed everything we do in preparing those who want to be teachers,'' says Joseph Bisnaire, chair of the Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques. "I think we should develop aspects such as special education and management of behavioural problems in teacher education programs. We need to ensure that we have the best qualified teachers in our schools to offer our youth the best education possible.''
Others would like to see teacher education programs that address specific needs, such as methods of teaching reading and math, the integration of computer technology, Franco-Ontarian identity and native education.
The second phase of the review, which has just started, will examine continuing teacher education, including additional qualifications and qualifications for principals and supervisory officers. The third phase of the review, which is to begin in the fall, will examine specific programs in technological studies, Native teacher education and teachers of the deaf.
Consultations will be completed this fall and recommendations will be presented to the College Council in December so that Council may consider possible recommendations to the Ministry of Education.
Teachers' QualificationS Review
The review continues this summer and fall.
We look forward to hearing from you.
The Ontario College of Teachers is Canada's largest self-regulating body, with responsibility for licensing, governing and regulating Ontario's teaching profession.
We are currently looking for qualified candidates for two management roles.
An accomplished educator with proven management abilities, successful program evaluation expertise and solid knowledge of teacher education in Ontario and beyond, you will lead a team of educators in supporting the College's accreditation processes for teacher pre-service and in-service education. Membership in the College is required. Posting 05-08.
Manager, Client Services
With proven management ability and commitment to service excellence, you will lead contact centre supervisors and staff in providing high volume information services to College members and applicants. Bilingualism is an asset for this position. Posting 05-09. An appointment to this role will take effect on October 1, 2005.
More information is available on the College web site, www.oct.ca.
The Ontario College of Teachers offers competitive salaries, comprehensive benefits and a modern, progressive work environment.
Salary range for these positions is $74,367 to $114,159.
Please forward your confidential application to arrive no later than June 11, 2005. E-mail applications are preferred: email@example.com. Indicate posting number in subject heading. Alternatively, applications may be mailed to: