Government approves College's changes to Teachers' Qualifications Regulation
The provincial government has approved a number of College-recommended changes to the Teachers' Qualifications Regulation that will have a direct effect on teachers taking Additional Qualification courses throughout their career.
Council recommended the changes following the Teachers' Qualifications Review that the College undertook in 2005 and 2006 with broad participation from the education sector in Ontario. The review examined learning in initial teacher education, continuing education for teachers and professional preparation for teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing, aboriginal teachers and teachers of technological studies.
The review's 66 recommendations, the majority of them requiring government action, appeared in Preparing Teachers for Tomorrow: The Final Report 2006, available at www.oct.ca Publications.
The approved changes include revised schedules of Additional Qualification courses attached to the regulation that add 59 new courses, delete out-of-date courses or make minor amendments such as changing course names. New courses include:
A number of the new courses are intended for teachers of Grades 7 and 8.
Among the recommendations accepted by Cabinet were a more precise identification of technological studies qualifications to coincide with grade levels, and a redefinition of the qualification to teach students who are deaf and hard of hearing so that its unique features are recognized in regulation.
Teachers taking the Additional Qualification course for teaching students who are deaf and hard of hearing will have to demonstrate a minimum level of proficiency in American Sign Language / Langue des signes québécoise (ASL/LSQ) and undertake a practicum as part of the course.
Candidates taking the specialist qualification will complete a core program and one of two specializations focusing on ASL/LSQ and aural/oral communications.
The College will develop course guidelines for the new Additional Qualification courses and revise existing guidelines to conform to regulatory changes. Members of the College and education stakeholders will have an opportunity to provide input during the course development process.
Changes will take effect on August 31, 2008 and providers will offer the first of the new courses in September 2008.
A complete list of the new courses is available under Additional Qualifications.
New teachers and experienced teachers agree - the most valuable component of their teacher education program was the practice teaching.
The practicum, supervised by an experienced associate teacher, has been identified as the most important part of teacher preparation by new teachers every year in the College's Transition to Teaching survey, in the 2005 State of the Teaching Profession survey, in focus groups and in the recently completed Teachers' Qualifications Review.
Council's recommendations in Preparing Teachers for Tomorrow - the report of the Teachers' Qualifications Review - reflected College members' advice that improvements in teacher education should include more emphasis on practice teaching.
This September will see the first steps in realizing one of those recommendations, as representatives from Ontario faculties of education and the College meet to plan a major international colloquium on the role of associate teachers and faculty advisors in delivering the practicum portion of initial teacher education programs.
The College will publish a report on the colloquium proceedings following the event, which will be held in 2008.