OTTAWA, Aug. 25 /CNW/ - Canada continues to fall behind in key areas of
learning, according to a report released today by the Canadian Council
on Learning (CCL).
The report, Taking
Stock of Lifelong Learning in Canada (2005-2010): Progress or
Complacency? provides an overview of the current state of
learning across Canada in all phases of life—from early childhood, K-12
and post-secondary education to adult literacy and learning, workplace
training as well as Aboriginal learning.
"In 2006, when the Government of Canada declared an ambition for the
country to build the "Knowledge Advantage" necessary for success in the
global economy, CCL commended it as an important step," says Dr. Paul
Cappon, President and CEO of CCL. "However, as our report shows, by
continuing to fall behind in some key areas of learning, Canada may be
creating a national knowledge disadvantage. Unlike Canada, competitor
countries have developed, or are in the process of developing,
coordinated approaches to education and lifelong learning. "
Learning in early childhood and in the school years
Quality early childhood education and learning has critical implications
for an individual's well-being and later success in school, at work, and
in the community. Yet in Canada, investments in early childhood
education are among the lowest among Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Canada
lacks national measures that would provide a greater understanding of
the quality, access, financing and policy of early education and
While Canadian secondary schools have shown consistently high results in
international tests on reading, science and math, other countries are
making rapid advances, which could eventually weaken our competitive
Increasing numbers of young people are attending post-secondary
institutions. Yet, Canada is unique in having no national system of
post-secondary education. Canada is also at a disadvantage by having not
a single measurable national goal, benchmark, or assessment of
achievement for any phase of education.
Learning in the adult years
Although Canada has among the world's most school-educated population,
nearly half of adults in this country lack the prose-literacy skills
needed to cope with the demands of a knowledge-based global economy.
In Canada, measurement approaches have historically been built upon only
a partial understanding of Aboriginal learning, often choosing to focus
on high-school graduation as the sole indicator of success. Such
approaches are incomplete and overlook the many aspects of learning that
are integral to an Aboriginal perspective and important to Aboriginal
learners and the communities they live in.
To address this, CCL has worked in partnership with Aboriginal learning
experts across Canada to develop a more comprehensive approach to
measuring the learning success of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The
resulting framework is known as the Holistic Lifelong Learning
"This report is intended to provide more than a summation of CCL's
research and analysis over the past five years. It also offers an
opportunity to translate the rhetoric of lifelong learning into action,"
says Cappon. "There still remains time for Canada to establish the
conditions required for success in the future. Will we seize that
In recognition of this landmark report, CCL has launched a free, online Data
Warehouse that offers educators, researchers, policy-makers, and the
general public access to much of CCL's research data from the past five
The Canadian Council on Learning is an independent, not-for-profit
corporation. Its mandate is to provide evidence-based information to
Canadians so they can make the best decisions about learning throughout
all stages of life, from early childhood through to the senior years.
SOURCE CANADIAN COUNCIL ON LEARNING
For further information: For further information:
Canadian Council on Learning
613.782.2959 ext: 6252