Shaping a vision for the teaching profession
More than 80 educators from across Ontario met at the College in June for a spirited dialogue about the evolving nature of teaching and the profession.
Participants in the Open Space forum on the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession and the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession want to ensure that, as the profession evolves, the standards will continue to reflect what educators do every day.
"Knowledge of the standards of practice is gained through conversation, debate and research about the profession," said one participant.
The Open Space approach contributed to participants' engagement - laying the ground for meaningful dialogue. Teachers, principals, parents, students and education partners were invited, along with representatives from community groups and the Ministry of Education. Participants were asked to raise topics that mattered to them, arrange meeting times and record their discussions. They broke into groups of various sizes to share ideas and opinions on their chosen subjects, including: diversity in the classroom, teachers as agents of change, ethics, building a learning community, teacher support, professional development and dignity in the teaching profession.
The June event received praise. Participants said the conversations were highly professional. Some said the forum had deepened their understanding of the standards. Others thought the approach promoted the standards as empowering and supported teachers' professionalism.
Twenty-eight participants' reports from the discussions will form an important part of the College's standards review, which is guided by Council's Standards of Practice and Education Committee. The review process includes research, analysis and consultations through a wide range of forums, surveys, focus groups and case discussions.
Out of this consultation and research, revised standards will be drafted and presented to the College's Council for feedback. The draft will then be the subject of further consultations leading to a final draft for presentation to Council.