The Ministry of Education and
Trainings work to develop the new elementary curriculum in language and
mathematics was nearly complete when the College
officially took over responsibility for teacher
certification and standards of teaching practice in
Ministers announcement raised a number of
issues about the Colleges role in ensuring that
our members have access to appropriate professional
learning to implement either new curriculum or new
You will find a
copy of Donna Marie Kennedys letter to the
Minister about the curriculum announcement in the Blue
and her comments on our meeting with Mr. Snobelen in
curriculum is not a cookbook full of specific
directions. All the methodology has been left to
teachers. In many areas, it will still be up to
teachers and boards to decide what our students
should learn, and when.
Above all, it
will be up to individual teachers as they implement
this new policy to learn what in these documents
works for their students and what might need to be
revised. Helping to reflect this experience in
classrooms back to the ministry will be an important
part of the Colleges future consultations on
the implementation of this and future curriculum
The new Grades
1 to 8 curriculum raises a whole range of questions
for the Ontario College of Teachers.
When we look at
the growing complexities of the material teachers are
being asked to teach, we have to ask if its
reasonable to expect a single teacher to have the
depth of knowledge it takes to help children learn in
every subject area.
If a Grade 8
teacher is to do an excellent job of teaching the
application of a key concept of geometry like the
Pythagorean theorem formerly a secondary
requirement what level of mathematics study
should that teacher have completed? And what level of
science, English or history will he or she need for
other curriculum requirements?
teams an answer?
How does an
individual teacher meet the curriculum expectations
in all subject areas? Should we take another look at
the concept of team or subject cluster teaching? What
are the implications of this approach for appropriate
that team or subject cluster teaching tends to make
teachers rethink many of the basic questions about
curriculum and method and helps focus curriculum
delivery on learner needs.
has also shown that good teamwork is notoriously
difficult to achieve or sustain, so this will not be
an easy question for the profession to answer.
changes to come
question we need to develop a systematic way of
responding to changes in the curriculum, because
curriculum is always under review. We will shortly be
seeing new requirements in social studies and science
for elementary students. Then the new Grades 9 to 12
which will have to mesh smoothly with 1 to 8
will mean dozens of curriculum documents will
have to be reassessed.
as teachers is based on a mastery of the language and
techniques of explanation, as well as on the
knowledge of subjects. No matter how much the
curriculum requirements change, teachers in this
province provided we have access to
high-quality professional learning and reasonable
teaching materials and equipment will continue
to do an excellent job for our students.