March 1998


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Québec Ponders the Creation of a College of Teachers

The debate over the creation of a college of teachers in Québec brought educators from all over the province together for a lively roundtable discussion.

Organizers at Laval University, site of the December gathering, invited Lise Presseault of the College’s Professional Affairs Department to share the experience of Ontario teachers and explain what motivated the creation of a college in Ontario.

"For the Ontario government, the College is essential to improving the quality of public education in Ontario," Presseault told the audience. "By giving teachers the power to regulate their own profession, the government is putting the responsibility for the quality of education in the hands of those who are best qualified to know what a teacher should be today and in the future."

Participants at the roundtable included representatives of the Centrale de l’enseignement du Québec (CEQ), the academic community, the education field, the Conseil pédagogique interdisciplinaire du Québec (CPIQ), and the College. Teachers, students, members of the public as well as university, government, unions and media representatives attended the roundtable and participated in the question period.

The CPIQ is leading the debate in Québec. It supports the creation of a college based on a survey showing more than 75 per cent teacher support. The CPIQ presented a request for the creation of a college to the Office des professions du Québec in June last year. The office advises the government on professional matters and is expected to make recommendations on the creation of a college of teachers in the coming months.

Professional standards and recognition, accountability to the public and transparency are central themes of the public debate in Québec as they were and continue to be in Ontario.

"The College’s standards of practice define the specific qualities of teachers," said Presseault. "For the general public, they reflect Ontario teachers’ commitment to provide the best education possible and to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the needs of today and tomorrow."

Québec’s equivalent to the Royal Commission on Learning – called Les États généraux du Québec and published in 1996 – did not touch on the issue of the creation of a college for the teaching profession. In Ontario, the Royal Commission strongly supported the creation of a college.

"The issues and questions raised in Québec reaffirmed our leadership and the validity of our priorities in Ontario – establishing standards of practice and a code of ethics for the profession, accrediting in-service and pre-service programs and dealing with complaints about professional misconduct and fitness to practise issues," said Presseault.

Laval University Press intends to publish a report of the roundtable later this year.

A&E Honours Teacher Innovation

A&E Canada – the Arts and Entertainment specialty channel – is looking for submissions for the 1998 A&E Canadian Teacher Grant, which recognizes Canadian teachers who apply innovation in the classroom. A&E started the educational award program in 1993 to recognize teachers’ inventive use of A&E productions in the classroom.

To participate, teachers must create a unique classroom project using A&E programming. The grand prize winner will receive $2,000 in personal savings bonds. The first, second and third place winners will receive $1,500, $1,000 and $500 respectively. Each prize winner’s school will also receive a colour TV, VCR and A&E Video Library.

Registration forms are available by calling 1-800-722-6146 or writing to A&E Canadian Teacher Grant, P.O. Box 337, Station F, Toronto ON M4Y 2L7. The deadline for submissions is April 1.

College Member Receives Award
for Science Promotion

Ontario College of Teachers member Diane Lawrence is one of this year’s seven laureates of the Michael Smith Award for science promotion. Lawrence received the award at a special ceremony held this fall at Science World in Vancouver.

An adjunct instructor of science elementary education at Queen’s University, Lawrence has dedicated her career to bringing environmental education into the classroom and instilling in youth and teachers a deep sense of commitment to science and the environment.

Recently, Lawrence developed and co-authored The Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan Environmental Education Manual, which translates scientific research into hands-on activities for teachers in middle schools.

The Michael Smith Awards honour Dr. Michael Smith who donated funds from his Nobel Prize to science promotion activities. A panel of non-government experts in science promotion and education selects award recipients.

A Magazine for a Small Planet

The Green Teacher, a quarterly magazine dedicated to promoting environmental issues to teachers, says it’s "not slick, just resource-full." Editors Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn produce the periodical "for educators to enhance environmental and global education across the curriculum at all grade levels."

Feature articles in past issues have dealt with classroom pets, the celebration of Earth Week, and the molding of clay pots – not from pre-packaged clay – but from natural resources.

In its seventh year now, Green Teacher is a non-profit venture that boasts practical articles and ready-to-use, cross-curricular activities from Kindergarten to Grade 12. For subscription information, phone (416) 960-1244, fax (416) 925-3474, or visit .

Discover Germany and its Neighbours this Summer

The Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations in Germany is offering a series of two-week seminars this summer that take participants to regions of Germany and neighbouring countries.

The seminars, open to teachers from the U.S. and Canada, include presentations concentrating on the German political, economic and education systems and the role Germany plays in a unified Europe.

There are six distinct seminars being offered throughout July, including Germany and the Alps; Germany and Belgium; Germany, Austria and Hungary; Germany and the Czech Republic; Cultural Richness of Germany; Germany and the Baltic Sea.

Participants also have the opportunity to earn three graduate credits through the University of Maryland University College in Germany. For more information, e-mail or write Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Seminar Department, Postfach 10 24 63, D-70020 Stuttgart, Germany.

New Teaching Award for York Grads Marks Faculty’s 25th Anniversary

York University’s faculty of education alumni association has introduced its first-ever Excellence in Teaching Award. The winner, to be announced in May, will receive $1,000.

All graduates of York University’s faculty of education, now in its 25th year, are eligible for the award. Nominees should:

• be teachers who have enhanced students’ lives through the act of teaching

• have created collaborative, innovative teaching environments

• advocate for teachers and the teaching profession

• continuously model teaching as a respected profession.

The deadline for nominations is March 11. For more information and nomination forms, contact the York University Faculty of Education Alumni Association at (416) 736-5002.

PS Calendar

If you would like to list your conference or event in Professionally Speaking or on the conference listing on the Library page of the College web site, please contact us with the information: fax (416) 961-8822; phone (416) 961-8800 ext. 679 or e-mail

The calendar of conferences resides at the College Library page.