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College of Teachers report released

October 11 1996

TORONTO The teaching profession in Ontario enters a new phase today with the release of a blueprint for setting up a self-regulating, self-funded professional College of Teachers for Ontario.

The report - entitled The Privilege of Professionalism - was released by the Ontario College of Teachers Implementation Committee. It makes recommendations to the Minister of Education and Training on the structure and terms of reference for the Ontario college of Teachers proposed by the Royal Commission on Learning earlier this year.

"For more than 25 years, commissions and other bodies have been recommending the creation of a self-regulating body for teachers," said Frank Clifford, Chair of the Implementation Committee. "This step is long overdue."

"The College we envision will put responsibility for the teaching profession in the hands of teachers," said Clifford. "They will be directly involved in setting and maintaining teaching standards and in addressing issues of professional conducts, professional education, and ongoing professional needs.

At the same time, our recommendations also make the teaching profession more accountable to the public. Teachers, parents and other members of the public will serve together on the College's Governing Council, and council and disciplinary hearings will be open to everyone," said Clifford.

Among its recommendations, the Implementation Committee suggests the government assign authority to the College of Teachers to:

  • Set standards of practice that define what teachers should know and be able to teach at each stage of their careers.
  • Develop a process for career-long learning for teachers.
  • Regulate teaching qualifications.
  • Accredit all teacher education programs and providers.
  • Create a Governing Council for the College, the majority of whom would be teachers, with a significant representation from the broader community;
  • Set membership criteria, enroll members, create a provincial register of teachers, and collect membership fees;
  • Investigate complaints involving members and conduct hearings into allegations of professional misconduct;
  • Consolidate a number of activities currently undertaken by the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation.

The 12-member implementation committee was appointed in February, 1995. During its seven month study, committee and secretariat members received input from more than 70 individuals and organizations representing public, private, Francophone and aboriginal interests.

In emphasizing the need to bring together people in education and the broad cross-section of communities across the province, the Report notes that the College must also address the issues of French-language teacher education, the needs of teachers of aboriginal students and the status of religious education as a teachable subject.

"These recommendations, combined with the hard work and dedication of the classroom teacher, will provide high-quality education for Ontario students who will be able to acquire the information and skills they need for work and lifelong learning," Clifford said.

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