What was particularly surprising was the Premiers announcement that every teacher
in the province undergo mandatory re-certification every three to five years. Neither the
College, nor Council, had been consulted on this proposal.
The College had only been told to expect a major announcement about education. We had
hoped this would be an announcement that the government would, as the College had
requested, fund 2,000 more spaces in Ontarios faculties of education to help deal
with the serious shortage of qualified teachers in this province. You can read more about
the College proposal and initiatives that other jurisdictions are taking to recruit and
train teachers in this issues cover story.
In his announcement, the Premier said the government does intend to consult with the
College on the charter. Since the Colleges inception two years ago, teachers
self-regulating body has made consultation with both its members and the public a high
In fact, the Colleges Standards of Practice and Education Committee is currently
consulting with teachers and groups across Ontario on a draft professional learning
framework for the teaching profession. This framework developed through careful
research and thorough consultation will
provide teachers and the public with a clear understanding of the ongoing professional
learning that is expected of teachers.
COLLEGE CONSULTS TEACHERS
Last year, the College took a major step forward with the approval in principle of the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession.
This document, developed together by teachers and members of the public, gives us a very
useful tool to articulate what it means to be a teacher. The professional learning
framework would support the standards of practice and provide positive direction to
College members for their own learning and professional growth.
The Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession were based on national and
international research and almost two years of wide-ranging consultation with members of
the College, the public and a broad range of community and interest groups.
The College contacted hundreds of educational organizations, employers and
universities, and received responses from all over the world, including Scotland, Norway,
South Africa, Switzerland, New Zealand and the United States. We identified the common
themes, developed the standards around these themes and adapted them to Ontarios
The development of the standards of practice is an important milestone for teachers in
Ontario. It is a logical, positive step that builds on our professions achievement
of self-regulating status and underlines our public accountability by explaining the
complexities of our work.
The College is working with stakeholders in education to recognize teachers
professional commitment. This is vital at a time when Ontario faces real shortages of
qualified teachers and teachers who are willing to assume leadership roles in our schools.
The Colleges recent groundbreaking study on teacher
supply and demand drew public attention to the looming shortage of qualified
teachers. The first result of the media attention was renewed interest by young people in
the teaching profession, reflected by a sharp increase in applications to faculties of
education, particularly in the areas the College identified as critical. But this alone
will not meet the need.
The Colleges study also led to the establishment of the Ministers Task
Force on Teacher Recruitment and Renewal. Officials from the Ministry of Education and
Training, the College, the Ontario Teachers Federation, directors of education, the
faculties and principals groups are studying ways to attract new teachers and
encourage current teachers to stay in the profession.