The Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession, the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession and the Professional Learning Framework for the Teaching Profession (PLF) together convey a collective vision of teacher professionalism in Ontario. This collective vision is the foundation of initial teacher education, continuing teacher education, professional practice, ongoing professional learning and educational leadership.
The standards describe the professional knowledge, skills, values and ethical commitments inherent within educators’ professional practice in Ontario. The PLF articulates the multiplicity of forms of ongoing education and learning engaged in by members of the profession.
The Standards of Practice and Education (SP&E) Committee advises the College Council on the development, implementation and review of the ethical and practice standards and the PLF, which help to support teacher professionalism. The SP&E Committee also reviews Additional Qualification (AQ) policy guidelines and associated research.
AQ courses are offered by approved providers across Ontario. The foundation for these courses is the AQ policy guidelines issued by the College. The content of these teacher education policy guidelines is developed collaboratively with members of the profession, educational partners and the public. The ethical standards and the standards of practice form the basis for AQ course guidelines, which provide a holistic framework for enhancing educators’ professional knowledge, skills and practices. Accredited AQ courses are aligned with the College’s AQ policy guidelines. The SP&E Committee supports the collaborative development of AQ policy guidelines through engagement with the teaching profession, learners, AQ providers, educational partners and the public. A diversity of inclusive practices is employed to invite shared leadership and ownership in the democratic AQ review process used by the College. The following AQ conceptual framework has been endorsed by the SP&E Committee to guide AQ policy development.
Figure 1. Additional Qualification Course Guideline Development and Review Framework
The additional qualification (AQ) draft development process has four phases: background research, consultation, writing team input and having the draft reviewed by the Standards of Practice and Education Committee.
The next step is provincial validation. The draft guideline is distributed, and over three months there is input from the profession, educational partners and the public. The guideline is posted on the College website.
The next step is review of feedback. This consists of a review and analysis of provincial feedback, a review and implementation of website feedback and then a final review by the College’s Standards of Practice and Education Committee.
The final step is when the final AQ guideline is posted to the College website.
In 2017, the committee approved 14 draft AQ course guidelines for provincial validation. These AQ guidelines included:
In 2017, the committee approved 40 final AQ course guidelines to guide the design and implementation of AQ courses. These AQ guidelines included:
The SP&E Committee approved the final Principal’s Qualification Program (PQP) guideline and the Supervisory Officer’s Qualification Program (SOQP) guideline for public release.
These guidelines were revised through extensive collaboration with members of the profession, educational partners and the public.
A broad spectrum of perspective and voices was sought from both members and stakeholders representing all jurisdictions, interests and geographical regions in Ontario. A variety of consultation methods were employed to ensure that these provincial leadership qualifications are reflective of and responsive to the province’s rich diversity. As well, this multi-method consultation approach was developed to ensure that these leadership guidelines accurately reflect the necessary professional knowledge, skills and practices required of principals and supervisory officers in a diverse and changing educational landscape.
The SP&E Committee received information regarding nine AQ provincial writing teams that engaged members of the profession in 2017 for the following AQ course guidelines, as identified within the Teachers’ Qualifications Regulation 176/10:
The Ontario College of Teachers regularly engages with College members, educational partners and the public in reviewing and developing Additional Qualification (AQ) policy guidelines. This process is essential in supporting AQ policy guidelines that reflect current practices and foster exploration of concepts and inquiries related to innovative and emerging practices within various areas of education.
The Committee had opportunities to enrich its work by participating in some of these sessions and experiencing the AQs coming to life. The Open Space sessions enabled members of the public, the profession, as well as students and educational partners, to engage in AQ policy development conversations together.
The following written reports were generated to support the policy development, research and standards-based educative work of the committee:
In 2017, 206 member queries were received via the “Find an AQ” section of the College’s website. This is a significant increase in member AQ inquiries since the committee recommended enhancements to the Find an AQ section. These inquiries have resulted in the College being able to better support members’ access to specific AQs.
In 2017, data was collected from 2,502 AQ course candidate surveys that focused on approximately 200 AQ courses, and this helped to inform AQ policy development and accreditation practices.
The committee reviewed the College’s re-conceptualized approach to the accreditation of AQ course submissions, which was aligned with the processes and practices associated with the policy development processes used for AQ courses. The accreditation processes are an enactment of the standards and the PLF and also help to support the Committee’s focus related to the ongoing implementation of the standards and the PLF. In 2017, 380 AQ courses were accredited by the College, which had the standards and PLF as foundational elements. There was a five per cent increase in AQs accredited from the previous year.
The committee received information related to the 400 AQ developers and instructors who attended three AQ institutes focused on explicitly and intentionally integrating core concepts embedded in the standards into AQ course submissions. These experiential institutes offered AQ course developers and instructors the opportunity to explore AQ course guideline concepts and design them through the lenses of universal design, differentiated instruction, professional inquiry and critical pedagogy.
Standards educative sessions along with standards-based resources continue to influence and support teacher education and leadership development. These educative sessions support the integration of the ethical standards, the standards of practice and the PLF within teacher education.
In 2017, staff facilitated 54 sessions for over 5,600 participants, including teacher candidates, new teachers, teacher-educators and leaders, principal candidates, AQ course developers and internationally educated teachers. Figure 1 provides a breakdown of these educative sessions during 2017.
Figure 2. Standards Educative Sessions
31% of sessions: In-service Teacher Education (PQP Part I)
29% of sessions: briefings to international delegation
15% of sessions: initial teacher education – faculty presentation
9% of sessions: conference display booth
4% of sessions: additional qualification provider session
4% of sessions: In-service Teacher Education (PQP Part II)
2% of sessions: district school board presentation
2% of sessions: Ethical Leadership Institute
2% of sessions: First Nations, Métis and Inuit presentation
2% of sessions: In-Service Teacher Education (additional qualification presentation)
The SP&E Committee supported the ongoing development of written and visual standards-based resources for use within initial and continuing teacher education and professional practice. These resources supported ethical professional practice and were collaboratively developed with members of the teaching profession.
Strengthening a Vision: A Critical Discourse on the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession is an inquiry-based resource that was inspired by the reflective writing of one member of the Ontario teaching profession. This resource was developed to foster a deeper examination of ethical professional practice.
The Ontario College of Teachers has developed the following new teacher education resources designed to support inquiry into the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession:
These posters reflect the vision of the educator articulated in the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession, the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession and the Professional Learning Framework for the Teaching Profession. This vision of educators positions them as critical pedagogues and innovative scholars who help to advance social and ecological justice.
The vision of the student is of a learner who is empowered, independent, a democratic citizen, knowledgeable, creative, collaborative, a critical thinker, ethical, reflective, accepting, inclusive, courageous, self-efficacious, a problem-solver, and whose voice and sense of efficacy are integral to shaping the learning process.
The following standards-based First Nations teacher education resources for initial and continuing teacher education were publicly released:
The College continues to receive very positive feedback regarding Exploring the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession through Anishinaabe Art. To date, more than 130,000 posters featuring original art created by a First Nation member of the profession have been requested and shipped to members of the profession, educational partners and members of the public. The posters depict the four ethical standards and the five standards of practice from an Anishinaabe perspective.
These resources help to support the meaningful inclusion of First Nations cultures and worldviews within initial and continuing teacher education. It is evident that these visuals have had significant impact beyond their original intent and have become a focal point for reflection and a core dimension in many AQ courses.
The committee has supported the development of a new visual professional education resource, entitled Acting on our Ethics: Caring for Haiti. An inquiry-based discussion guide was developed to accompany this teacher education and leadership development resource.
This resource will be used within initial teacher education, continuing teacher education and leadership development courses. It promises to significantly inform and advance professional ethical practice related to many of the concepts inherent within the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession, Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession and the Professional Learning Framework for the Teaching Profession.
(a) = appointed
(e) = elected