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I was not the least bit surprised by the
details concerning the looming crisis in technology teacher numbers documented in the "Shortage Looms" article in Decembers
issue of Professionally Speaking. The fact that there are but 80 candidates in
training in the province at the present time is a clear indication that we have been
unable to tear down the walls between what is academic and what is practical.
Technology teachers have always had their qualifications assessed in a dimmer light
than those emerging from the halls of academia. Candidates having specialized training
often with one or more compulsory apprenticeships coupled to years of mandatory job
training have always been considered "less qualified" than veterans of 24
months of university study.
Technology candidates who have honed their talents in community colleges, industrial
and commercial environments prior to acquiring teaching certificates receive starting
salaries usually two categories and thousands of dollars below those with zero practical
experience and a university degree.
We foolishly expect to attract bright, qualified, up-to-date, technologically-literate
candidates fresh from the cut and thrust of the working world who are willing to take a 50
to 70 per cent cut in income to start all over in an environment that considers them, at
least salary-wise, second-rate. To compound the paradox, the new technology curriculum
demands teachers with an even broader set of qualifications.
The applied curriculum demanded by secondary school renewal will have to rely on a
technologically-literate teaching force that is offered a starting salary and grid
placement tied to expertise, real world experience and practical ability. This issue must
be dealt with by our College of Teachers.
Lawrence Cotton is Technological Studies department head at St. Elizabeth Catholic High
School in Thornhill.
After reading several issues
of Professionally Speaking,
I feel that I must offer my praise for the high calibre of professional
articles contained within this publication.
Most educators in Ontario agree that the College of Teachers was a long overdue
professional body that can only improve the standards of teachers and thereby provide
Ontario students with an excellent education both now and in the future. Professionally
Speaking, by providing a forum for discussion of issues relevant to the future of
education in Ontario, is one important facet in this effort to improve education in our
Simply put, Professionally Speaking is good for the future of education in
V. Clyde Carruthers
Clyde Carruthers is principal of Cardinal Newman School in Niagara Falls.
Orpwoods and Blochs article on
the Science and Technology curriculum
Grades 1 8 in the September 1998 issue of Professionally Speaking was the
first article that I have seen on this March 1998 deliverable.
We at Ontario Society for Environmental Education have examined the expectation within
this document very carefully and we find that apart from the Grade 7 expectations, this
document is very low in enhancing environmental literacy of students. I certainly disagree
with Orpwood and Blochs article that the "focus on the environment is still
very much a part of the new curriculum
We are very disappointed with the very low percentage of expectations that are devoted
to enhancing environmental literacy with the students of Ontario.
I hope that all educators in Ontario are aware of this shortcoming and that new and
even revised expectations that enhance environmental literacy can be infused into all the
new deliverables from the ministry.
Ian Johnston is membership secretary of Ontario Society for Environmental
Education and teaches science and biology at Central Commerce Collegiate Institute in