Posts tagged ‘Ontario’

People for Education release Arts report

From their website:

“Elementary teacher candidates in Ontario are only required to take one course in the arts, but Ontario’s Arts curriculum is extremely detailed, and requires in-depth knowledge, making it a challenge for teachers without specialized arts training.

In 2016/17:

  • Only 41% of elementary schools have specialist music teachers, and the vast majority of those are part-time.
  • 15% of schools with grades 7 and 8 have a visual arts teacher, a number which has been fairly consistent over the past decade.
  • 8% of schools with grades 7 and 8 have a specialist drama teacher.
  • 30% of elementary schools have itinerant music teachers/instructors.
  • 40% of schools have no music teacher at all (itinerant instructor or music specialist). This is a substantial increase in schools with no music teacher (from 31% in 2007-08).

Many principals cited difficulties finding qualified music teachers in rural areas. Others reported challenges in hiring specialist teachers due to new regulations that may make it more difficult to hire teachers based on their specialty. In addition, an underlying perception that other curriculum areas, such as math, take priority over the arts, can create scheduling challenges in schools.”

Note that the GTA has the highest percentage (62%)  of elementary schools with a full or part time music teacher.

Read the 2017 report and recommendations here [pdf].

May 15, 2017 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

Ministry celebrates improved public school graduation rates

From a Mistry news release: “In 2016, the five-year graduation rate increased to 86.5 per cent – up more than 18 percentage points compared to the 2004 rate of 68 per cent. The number of students graduating in four years continues to grow and is now 79.6 per cent – an increase of more than 23 percentage points since 2004.”

See chart : 2016 Graduation Rates Across the Province

May 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Ontario Autism Coalition releases report

Yesterday, the Ontario Autism Coalition (OAC)  released a new report  titled A New Horizon [pdf]

From their web page:

The OAC’s top five recommendations call upon the Ministry of Education to:

  1. Increase and improve training in special education for teacher candidates;
  2. Revise PPM 140 and enforce its application;
  3. Reform education funding with a focus on a needs-based approach to special education funding and more accountability for money transferred to school boards;
  4. Allocate funding to hire more EA’s and to deliver more extensive training in Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) for all those who work with autistic students; and
  5. Establish a Demonstration School and/or a Provincial School for students with autism.

For additional media about this see: Toronto Star  Advocacy group calls for better autism supports in schools

Also Ministry news release: Ontario Preserving Autism Supports and Child Care Spaces in Etobicoke and North York

Check it out! Rowan

April 5, 2017 at 9:18 am Leave a comment

OPHEA: First Nations Inspired Daily Physical Activities

From OPHEA‘ s December 201 6 newsletter:

Ophea’s First Nations Inspired Daily Physical Activities (DPA) resource makes it easy and fun to incorporate DPA into school or community programs for primary, junior and intermediate students (ages 5-14). This free resource was developed in consultation with First Nations educators and includes 30 activity cards and related support materials that incorporate First Nations culture and traditions, as well as Ophea’s 50 Fitness Activities and Stretching Guide.

Access First Nations Inspired DPA resource!

The OPHEA website includes many additional resources supporting fitness and health.

Check it out! Rowan

January 3, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

People for Education: What matters in indigenous education

People for Education has released a paper titled What Matters in Indigenous Education: Implementing a vision committed to holism, diversity and engagement, by Pamela Rose Toulouse.

From pages 1-2:

This paper, What Matters In Indigenous Education: Implementing A Vision Committed To Holism, Diversity And Engagement, explores an Indigenous approach to quality learning environments and relevant competencies/skills. It focuses on select work from People for Education and draws out the research, concepts and themes that align with Indigenous determinants of educational success. This paper also expands on this work by offering perspectives and FIGURE 1.0 Holistic Model of Balance in Living a Good Life Note: This model is an example of the Indigenous concepts that matter and extend beyond current student success measures in education. SPIRITUAL PHYSICAL INTELLECTUAL EMOTIONAL WHAT MATTERS IN INDIGENOUS EDUCATION PEOPLE FOR EDUCATION – MEASURING WHAT MATTERS 2 insights that are Indigenous and authentic in nature. The three sections that frame and further develop this textual/symbolic journey are:

  • Section One: Indigenous Issues, Indigenous Pedagogy And Educational Interconnections
  • Section Two: Reflections On The Four Domains And Their Proposed Competencies And Skills
  • Section Three: Embracing Indigenous Worldview And Quality Learning Environments

For more information see the People for Education Indigenous Education page.


Toulouse, P. (2016). What Matters in Indigenous Education: Implementing a Vision Committed to Holism, Diversity and Engagement. In Measuring What Matters, People for Education. Toronto: March, 2016.

April 20, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

More on Ontario and importance of numeracy skills

In furtherance of the April 12 blog about an organization  and the Ontario philosophy behind current teaching mathematics practices, today’s Toronto Star includes an op ed by Graham Orpwood and Emily Brown titled “The importanct of closing our numeracy gap” (page A13 of the print edition).

Selected from today’s Star (online):

“Evidence has been mounting for a number of years that many Ontarians, both children and adults, are lacking basic levels of numeracy. This difference — between necessary numeracy and actual numeracy — is the numeracy gap, a gap that needs understanding, explaining and most important of all, closing.”

“Numeracy is related to mathematics but is not exactly the same thing. Where mathematics is abstract, numeracy is concrete. Where mathematics is about conceptual knowledge and procedural skill, numeracy is about using these to solve practical problems. Where mathematics education is about obtaining correct answers to simplified problems, acquiring numeracy is about fluency and confidence in grappling with real-world and often open-ended problems. Numeracy is, in summary, the ability and the confidence to use mathematical knowledge and skills in concrete real-world situations.”

“Ontario should adopt and then act on these two principles:

  • Everyone can be numerate as well as literate.
  • Everyone needs to be numerate as well as literate to function fully in the 21st century.

A campaign to change public attitudes to align with these principles is a foundation for closing the numeracy gap. Along with this public awareness campaign, a Provincial Roundtable on Numeracy is required to develop a comprehensive strategy for closing the numeracy gap and to advise on its implementation.”

Go to the site for more information about the proposed roundtable.

Check it out!


April 18, 2016 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

Ontario math education is in the news

Today, the Economics Club of Canada is hosting a lunch & panel discussion titled Closing the Numeracy Gap: Maintaining Ontario’s Prosperity Demands Reversing Our Decline in Numeracy, the panelists including: Ann Sado, Don Drummond, and Gerry Connelly (former director of TDSB).

Today’s Star (print edition) includes an article titled Math Failing to Make the Grade (Louise Brown, pp GT 1, 3) which discusses a report by Graham Orpwood and Emily Sandford Brown titled Closing the Numeracy Gap: An urgent assignment for Ontario. (Oct 2015, executive summary and full report)

From the preface (p. i) of the full report:

“Numeracy is an essential skill for life and work in the 21st century and beyond, and the Ontario economy will not develop as it could if levels of numeracy continue to decline. We argue here that a “gap” has emerged between the numeracy needs and abilities of Ontarians, a gap that urgently requires closing. The schools have an important part to play, of course, but they cannot do the job alone. Society must demand that the government make the structural and policy changes required. We offer this paper both as an indication of possible and practical ways forward and as an appeal for action.”

Go here for the website and write/post a message to  Kathleen Wynne (the Premier of Ontario), Liz Sandals (Minister of Education), and Reza Moridi (Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities) requesting a roundtable on numeracy – “The proposed roundtable is the first step to researching and recommending concrete actions. It must include all four stakeholders: parents, educators, businesses and government, and be mandated to set Ontario on a newly competitive course. A five-year plan needs to be developed with actionable, measurable steps.

Blog article announcing April 4  Ministry news release on investment in math.

Check ’em out!



April 12, 2016 at 1:40 pm 1 comment

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