Doubling Teacher Education

Educating The World's Best Teachers For The World's Best Workforce

TORONTO, Aug. 31, 2011 /CNW/ - Ontario Liberals will extend teachers college from one year to two years to further improve teacher education.

"Ontario has some of the world's best teachers. But we can't rest on our laurels.  To help more of our students succeed in school and take the next step in creating the world's best-educated workforce, we're doubling — and improving — the time teachers spend educating for their careers," said John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities in the Ontario Liberal government.

Experts say that 70 per cent of all future jobs will require postsecondary training.  That means we have to invest in the best-possible education for Ontario teachers, right now.

Ontario's one-year teacher education program is one of the shortest in Canada.  Other places in the world where students rank high in standardized tests — such as Japan, Singapore and Finland — have multi-year programs.

Ontario's new two-year program would mean that student teachers would spend more time in the classroom, getting even more, practical, real-world experience.  Ontario teachers would also get more professional development opportunities in the first three years of teaching to support them as they grow in their careers.

Under the last PC government, Ontario experienced eight years of cuts and chaos and strikes.  Now, with a $14 billion hole in their platform and the threat of unspecified cuts to programs like full-day kindergarten, the PCs are at it again — putting education and students at risk.

The disappointing NDP platform, on the other hand, doesn't even mention education.  With an opposition determined to drag Ontario's schools backwards, Ontario Liberals are the only party with a positive, forward-looking plan for education.

"We're proud of the results we have achieved, together.   Grad rates are higher.  And Ontario students have some of the highest test scores in the world," said Milloy. "But if we want to out-work and out-compete the rest of the world tomorrow, we've got to out-educate them today."

backgrounder


DOUBLING TEACHER EDUCATION

Ontario teachers are some of the best in the world. But, to stay in the lead, we need to have world-leading teacher education programs.

That's why Ontario Liberals will double the time teachers spend in teachers college from one to two years.

The new program will emphasize in-class, practical experiences.  We will also provide more professional development opportunities in the first three years of their career.

Bachelor of Education Programs

Ontario has one of the shortest teacher education programs in Canada.

Other places in the world — where students also do well on standardized tests — have much longer teacher education programs.

Finland, for example, requires that students take five years of teacher education to become an elementary teacher, and six to teach at a high school.  Japanese teachers are required to take up to two years of teachers college. In Singapore, it takes four years to earn an education degree, including up to 20 weeks working in a classroom.

In Ontario, teacher education requirements are set by regulation under the Ontario College of Teachers Act.  Ontario Liberals would revise those regulations to include a second year of study, with an emphasis on in-classroom learning.

Under the current system, students are only required to complete a practicum of 40 days, or just 20 per cent of the school year. Under the new system, the number of spaces in teacher education programs will remain consistent at 9,000, and will be divided between two classes of students at 4,500.

The PCs don't want to talk about their past in education and have no plan for the future.  The $14 billion hole in their platform will put education at risk — including programs like full-day kindergarten and supports for our teachers. The disappointing NDP platform barely mentions education.

Only the Ontario Liberals have a plan that will protect education, further improve teacher education and build the world's best workforce.

SOURCE Ontario Liberal Party

For further information:

contact the Ontario Liberal Media Office: 416-961-3800 ext. 328

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