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College of Teachers Breaks New Ground With Standards of Practice

December 10 1998

TORONTO For the first time in Ontario, the teaching profession has specific standards of practice that will be used to accredit, develop and improve professional learning programs and experiences for future and current teachers, principals and supervisory officials, Donna Marie Kennedy, Chair of the Ontario College of Teachers has announced.

The College is the self-governing body responsible for licensing and regulating the teaching profession in the province. At its meeting today, the College's Council approved in principle the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession.

The key elements of the standards include a commitment to student learning, professional knowledge, teaching practice, leadership and community and ongoing professional learning.

"The standards highlight the skills, values and knowledge that make Ontarios teaching profession unique they define the profession in a way that it had never been defined before in Ontario," said Kennedy. "The College will use the standards when accrediting programs at the faculties of education and other professional learning programs to ensure that they are in line with the common understanding we now have of what it means to be a teacher."

The standards of practice for the teaching profession were developed from national and international research on professional standards, and almost two years of wide-ranging consultation with members of the College, the public, and a broad range of community and interest groups. Some of the research was conducted as an on-line discussion on the College's web site.

The standards approved by the College Council today will go through a further validation process that includes consultation with over 2,500 stakeholders and other members of the public, College membership information and consultation through the College's publication Professionally Speaking, updates and comments on the College's web site and case studies. The deadline for comments is April 30, 1999.

The College expects the final version of the standards of practice for the profession to be considered by Council in the fall of next 1999.

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