OTTAWA, Jan. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - According to a recent national survey
reporting on nearly 10,000 Canadian classes, one in every six students
has an identified learning exceptionality. In addition, more than one
in ten students in these classes have challenges understanding the
school's language of instruction. The survey, conducted by the Canadian
Teachers' Federation (CTF) last October, drew responses from nearly
3,800 teachers, the largest number obtained in a CTF online survey to
"The fact that so many teachers responded to the survey is a clear
indication that the relationship between class size and diversity is a
major issue in our schools," says CTF President Paul Taillefer. "When
we talk about class size, we also need to be thinking about the number
of students with a variety of individual learning needs in those
classes. In order to enhance quality and equity in our public schools,
these two issues need to be addressed together," he explains.
The survey found that 81% of classes reported having at least one
student with a formally identified exceptionality, and 28% of classes
have five or more students with identified exceptionalities. In grades
4 and over, not only are class sizes generally larger but almost one in
three classes contain five or more students with identified
"Teachers have told us that while they strive to adapt their teaching to
address individual student needs, their task is becoming increasingly
onerous as very large classes still exist and classes are becoming more
diverse," adds Taillefer.
In a 2011 CTF research report entitled The Teacher Voice on Teaching and Learning, teachers identified the need to address class size and diversity as
critical. They also indicated the provision of the necessary supports
and services in the classroom to help students with special educational
needs as yet another major priority.
More details on the recent online teacher survey will be released in the
CTF Perspectives magazine on Feb. 8, 2012.
The term "exceptionality" is used to define students formally identified
as having behavioral problems or mental or physical disabilities, as
well as other special needs students including gifted students. The
survey is a compilation of responses from 3,777 teachers from across
Canada, including 3,023 who work in English schools (including
immersion) and 754 in French schools in minority settings.
CTF is the only organization that speaks nationally on behalf of the
Canadian teaching profession. An alliance of 15 Member organizations
and one Affiliate Member representing nearly 200,000 teachers across
the country, CTF is also a member of the international body of
teachers, Education International.
SOURCE Canadian Teachers' Federation
For further information:
Comments: CTF President Paul Taillefer
Information: Bob McGahey, Acting Director, Research and Information
Contact: Francine Filion, Director of Communications, 613-688-4314