and appointment of new members of the College Council will be taking place
this spring and the new Council will assume its responsibilities on May
As I look
back at the past two and a half years, I am struck by the changes that
have occurred in such a short time. At the outset, the new Council and
Registrar focused on the implementation of a communications strategy to
improve the links between the College and its membership. Government initiatives
on teacher testing and ongoing professional development soon shifted that
focus and agenda.
unfortunate, because I believe there still exists among our membership
a fundamental misunderstanding about the College's legislated role. Members
continue to ask why the College is not representing them and their interests.
The College needs to do much more to distinguish its regulatory nature
from that of the federations, which are responsible for representing the
interests of individual teachers.
There remain a number of challenges for the next Council. One of them
is to promote and advance what is in the best interests of the profession,
as well as the public interest.
Charles Pascal, former deputy minister of education, in the first issue
of the Ontario Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development's
new journal, Changing Perspectives, summed up my view. "The constant
public ridicule under which our teachers have been toiling during the
past few years is simply not helpful," he wrote.
"The College of Teachers is a welcome addition to the mix and needs
to continue developing its usefulness." He also says that the College
must continue to offer advice to the government, whether it heeds that
advice or not.
The College has made considerable progress over the past three years in
a number of areas. One of the most significant is the passage of the accreditation
regulation and the successful completion of the three-year accreditation
pilot project. Every faculty of education participated in this process,
which I believe has led to some important subsequent developments.
A forum was created wherein faculties, boards of education, federations,
students and individual teachers came together to identify best practices
within the limits of the College's Professional Learning Framework for
the Teaching Profession. Teacher Education Advisory Committees are operating
at all faculties today, a link between the faculties and the field that
will be crucial to the success of pre-service education programs.
The second greatest number of recommendations to come out of the pilot
project dealt with issues related to the associate teacher, an issue that
has been under scrutiny for years. It was my personal interest in the
role of the associate teacher that sparked my original involvement on
the College Council and I'm very pleased that we've been able to move
this issue forward.
The Accreditation Committee of this second Council has confirmed that
it is time to act on recommendations made in reports such as the 1968
Provincial Committee on Aims and Objectives of Education in Schools in
Ontario and the 1995 report of the Royal Commission on Learning. In the
near future, the College will invite education stakeholders to participate
in a process that will address the role of the associate teacher and will
establish the significance of the practicum component of pre-service teacher
The College has had and will continue to face challenges. To those volunteers
who have participated in College-sponsored activities such as focus groups,
information sessions or forums, I express thanks on behalf of the Council.
To those who have written or e-mailed advice and comments, both positive
and negative, I want to assure you that they have been shared with Council.
I encourage you to continue the dialogue since to do otherwise would deprive
the College of important input. I also encourage you to participate in
the election of the next Council.
I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve this Council
and this profession of which I am extremely proud.