Canada's score on annual learning index drops

    OTTAWA, May 28 /CNW Telbec/ - For the first time Canada's overall score
on the Composite Learning Index has declined, according to the latest results
from the Canadian Council on Learning's annual measure of lifelong learning.
    The national average for 2009 is 75; a drop of two points from last
year's score of 77.
    The first tool of its kind in the world, the Composite Learning Index
(CLI) reports results for 4,700 cities and communities across Canada.
Personalized CLI profiles for each community, which include scores and trends,
are available at
    Created in 2006, the CLI uses an array of statistical indicators that
reflect the many ways Canadians learn, formally and informally-whether in
school, at home, in the workplace or in the community.
    "Our numbers indicate that this landmark drop in Canada's overall CLI
score is being driven by a decrease in the index's 'Learning To Be' pillar,
which includes measures of informal learning," says Dr. Paul Cappon, President
and CEO of the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL).
    "This includes attendance at museums and art galleries, exposure to
performing arts and cultural events, and the proportion of households that
reported spending money on magazines, newspapers and other reading material."

    2009 CLI: A Closer Look

    Following two years of steady upward progress, Canada's two-point drop
this year translates into a negative three-year trend of -0.7 EPPY(*) (compared
to +1.9 EPPY in 2008).
    This downward trend is primarily driven by decreases in the Learning to
Be pillar, which dropped from 5.6 in 2008 to 5.0 in 2009. But the overall
decline would have been worse if not for a marked increase in work-related
learning, which makes up part of the CLI's 'Learning to Do' pillar-jumping
from 5.3 in 2008 to 5.9 in 2009.
    Cappon notes that most data used to calculate this year's CLI come from
2007 and early 2008-before the start of the global economic downturn.
    "Though it's too early to state conclusively what effect the recession
will have on future CLI results, this is not the time for Canadians to forget
the important role that learning throughout one's life plays in the social and
economic resiliency of our country."

    CLI Background

    The indicators used in the CLI are grouped under four "pillars" which are
modelled on a 1996 UNESCO report called Learning: The Treasure Within.

    Learning to Know-The development of skills and knowledge such as
    literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking. Participation in post-
    secondary education is an example of an indicator in this area.

    Learning to Do-The acquisition of applied skills, closely tied to
    occupational success. Availability of workplace training is one example.

    Learning to Live Together-The cultivation of respect and concern for
    others. This tends to measure social cohesion. An example is involvement
    in clubs and organizations.

    Learning to Be-Activities that contribute to the personal development of
    one's body, mind and spirit-activities that foster creativity, personal
    discovery and an appreciation of the inherent value provided by these
    pursuits. Exposure to the media and the performing arts are two examples
    of indicators in this area.

    The CLI has attracted attention and interest in Europe. Inspired by the
CLI and supported by CCL expertise, the German charitable foundation
Bertelsmann Stiftung is currently developing a European version of the CLI,
the European Lifelong Learning Indicators (ELLI), which is scheduled for
release later this year.
    In addition, the CLI's methodology has been technically assessed as
"internally sound and robust" by the European Commission's Joint Research
Centre, which specializes in developing and assessing composite indices.
    ((*) EPPY = estimated points per year. This trend value is
    calculated using the CLI and pillar scores from the last three years.)

    About CCL

    The Canadian Council on Learning is an independent, not-for-profit
corporation funded through an agreement with Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada. Its mandate is to promote and support evidence-informed
decisions about learning throughout all stages of life, from early childhood
through to the senior years.

For further information:

For further information: Micheline Sabourin, Communications, Canadian
Council on Learning, (613) 786-3230 x221,;

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