Competencies and transferable skills part of Ontario’s move to modernize the school system

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September 09, 2017

Changes are coming to Ontario's curriculum, the EQAO, and students' report cards.

According to Premier Kathleen Wynne, the goal of the multi-year review of Ontario’s education system announced on September 6th, is to modernize the system and ensure that students have the competencies and skills they need to “make their mark in their careers, their communities and the world.”

The process to update curriculum and reporting, will take place over the next five years and will include:

  • Public consultations
    • The province will begin a consultation with parents, teachers and other partners including post-secondary institutions.
  • Changes to report cards

    Ontario Ministry of Education – September 2017

    • In 2018-19, Ontario students will get new report cards, with the “Learning Skills” section replaced by what the province is currently calling “Transferable Skills.” These will include things like critical thinking, creativity and innovation, global citizenship, communication and collaboration.
  • A review of assessment and measurement
    • Dr. Carol Campbell, OISE Professor and advisor to the Minister of Education, will lead a  review of Ontario’s assessment policies. The goals of the review include: updating assessment to include broader areas of learning; examining provincial measurement and assessment policy, including EQAO testing; and enhancing parents’ access to information about their children’s progress in school.
  • Transferable skills and competencies infused in revised curriculum
    • The province will “refresh” all curriculum from kindergarten to grade 12, to embed more global competencies, including things like creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving, and citizenship.

Moving to broader goals for education

Across Canada and internationally, education systems are focusing on changes that ensure students will develop the broad competencies and skills needed for the future. Ontario’s move toward embedding these transferable skills in curriculum, assessment and reporting is aligned with:

  • People for Education’s Measuring What Matters initiative, which proposes broader goals and measures of success for education, focused on competencies and skills in creativity, health, citizenship and social-emotional learning.
  • British Columbia’s new curriculum that focuses on communication, thinking, personal and social competencies.
  • The pan-Canadian global competencies outlined by the Council of Ministers of Education of Canada (CMEC), including critical thinking and problem-solving; innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship; and learning to learn, which includes self-awareness and self-direction.

Read the Ministry of Education press release.

Read the Globe and Mail article.