The policy aims to maintain high standards, improve student learning, and benefit students, parents, and teachers in The Educators Academy. Successful implementation of this policy depends on the professional judgement of educators at all levels, as well as on their ability to work together and to build trust and confidence among parents and students. A brief summary of some major aspects of the current assessment, evaluation, and reporting policy, with a focus on policy relating to The Educators Academy, is given below.
The primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to improve student learning. The following seven fundamental principles lay the foundation for rich and challenging practice. When these principles are fully understood and observed by all Educators academy teachers, they guide the collection of meaningful information that helps in informing instructional decisions, promoting student engagements, and improving student learning. To ensure that assessment, evaluation, and reporting are valid and reliable, and that they lead to the improvement of learning for all students, teachers use practices and procedures that:
are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year or course;
are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.
Assessment for Learning and as Learning
Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a course. The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is seen as both “assessment for learning” and “assessment as learning”. As part of assessment for learning, The Educators Academy’s teachers provide students with descriptive feedback and coaching for improvement. Our teachers engage in assessment as learning by helping all students develop their capacity to be independent, autonomous learners who are able to set individual goals, monitor their own progress, determine next steps, and reflect on their thinking and learning. The Educators Academy’s assessments and evaluations are, plan assessment concurrently and integrate it seamlessly with instruction;
share learning goals and success criteria with students at the outset of learning to ensure that students and teachers have a common and shared understanding of these goals and criteria as learning progresses;
gather information about student learning before, during, and at or near the end of a period of instruction, using a variety of assessment strategies and tools;
use assessment to inform instruction, guide next steps, and help students monitor their progress towards achieving their learning goals;
analyse and interpret evidence of learning;
give and receive specific and timely descriptive feedback about student learning;
help students to develop skills of peer assessment and self-assessment.
A variety of assessment and evaluation methods, strategies, and tools are utilized in student assessment. Students have multiple opportunities to hone their historical skills through formal presentations, response journals, artwork, writing in role, and persuasive paragraph writing. Assessment information is obtained through a variety of means with differentiation of product allowed on many assignments (within teacher-selected options) supporting Universal Design principles.
Assessment options include:
Journal writing from a historical perspective
Ongoing descriptive feedback
Diorama of battlefield scene or battle
Evaluation of Primary documents
Interpretations and deconstructions of secondary documents and evidence
Descriptive point-of-view paragraphs
Informational Cause-and-Consequence paragraphs
Explanations of Ethical Judgments
Evidence of student achievement is collected from various sources with a focus on most consistent work with consideration given to most recent work. These include:
Evaluation refers to the process of judging the quality of student learning on the basis of established performance standards and assigning a value to represent that quality. At The Educators Academy, student’s achievement of the overall expectations is evaluated on the basis of his or her achievement of related specific expectations. The overall expectations are broad in nature, and the specific expectations define the particular content or scope of the knowledge and skills referred to in the overall expectations. Educators Academy uses their professional judgement to determine which specific expectations should be used to evaluate achievement of the overall expectations, and which ones will be accounted for in instruction and assessment but not necessarily evaluated.
The Educators Academy will ensure that student’s work is assessed and/or evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories.
Knowledge and Understanding (K/U)
Thinking and Inquiry (T/I)
Student achievement is communicated formally to students and parents by means of the Provincial Report Card. The report card provides a record of the student’s achievement of the curriculum expectations in every course, at particular points in the school year or semester, in the form of a percentage grade. Report cards are issued upon completion of the course. Each report card will focus on related aspects of student achievement. The percentage grade will represent the quality of the student’s overall achievement of the expectations for the course and will reflect the corresponding level of achievement. The Educators Academy will record a final grade for every course, and a credit is granted for the course in which the student’s grade is 50% or higher.
Final Assessment and Evaluation = 100%
The teacher also provides written comments concerning the student's strengths, areas for improvement, and next steps (E–Excellent, G–Good, S–Satisfactory, N–Needs Improvement). The report card indicates whether an OSSD credit has been earned or not. Upon completion of a course, Educators Academy sends a copy of the report card back to the student's home school where the course is added to the ongoing list of courses on the student's Ontario Student Transcript. The report card is also sent to the student's home address for parents’ communication.
Evaluation Instruments/ Strategies:
Checklist Project Work
Assessment and Evaluation:
Final Assessment and Evaluation = 100%
THE ACHIEVEMENT CHART: CANADIAN AND WORLD STUDIES, GRADES 9–12
Submission of Assignments
All assignments should be submitted for grading on the stated due date.
Any late assignments may be subjected to a 10% penalty.
Work not submitted within 5 school days after the stated due date will be assigned a mark of 0.
If a student is ill or away for a documented reason, all assignments must be submitted upon return to class, unless arrangements are negotiated with the teacher.
It is vital that the student realize the potential consequences of incomplete work and absences, including failure to gain the credit for the course. It is the responsibility of the student to catch up on all work missed from being absent.
Program Planning Considerations
Effective instruction is a key to student success. To provide effective instruction, The Educators Academy teachers consider what they want students to learn, how they will know whether students have learned it, how they will design instruction to promote the learning, and how they will respond to students who are not making progress.
Effective teaching approaches involve students in the use of higher-level thinking skills and encourage them to look beyond the literal meaning of texts and to think about fairness, equity, social justice, and citizenship in a global society. At The Educators Academy, motivating students and instilling positive habits of mind, such as a willingness and determination to persist, to think and communicate with clarity and precision, to take responsible risks, and to question and pose problems, are also integral to our high-quality language instruction.
An understanding of students’ strengths and needs, as well as of their backgrounds and life experiences, The Educators Academy teachers plan effective instruction and assessment strategies. Our teachers continually build their awareness of students’ learning strengths and needs by observing and assessing their readiness to learn, their interests, and their learning styles and preferences
Effective lesson design involves several important elements. The Educators Academy teachers engage students in a lesson by activating their prior learning and experiences, clarifying the purpose for learning, and making connections to contexts that will help them see the relevance and usefulness of what they are learning. At The Educators Academy, teachers introduce a rich variety of activities that integrate expectations from different strands and provide for the explicit teaching of knowledge and skills. They also provide frequent opportunities for students to rehearse, practise, and apply skills and strategies, and to make their own choices.
Planning Program for Special Education Needs
The Educators Academy’s classroom teachers are the key educators of students with special education needs. They have a responsibility to help all students learn, and they work collaboratively with special education teachers, where appropriate, to achieve this goal.
The Educators Academy is committed to ensuring that all students, especially those with special education needs, are provided with the learning opportunities and supports they require to gain the knowledge skills, and confidence needed to succeed in a rapidly changing society. The context of special education and the provision of special educators programs, and services for exceptional students in Ontario are constantly evolving.
The Educators Academy believes that:
All students can succeed.
Each student has his or her own unique patterns of learning.
Successful instructional practices are founded on evidence-based research, tempered by experience.
Universal design and differentiated instruction are effective and interconnected means of meeting the learning or productivity needs of any group of students.
Classroom teachers need the support of the larger community to create a learning environment that supports students with special education needs.
Fairness is not sameness.
At The Educators Academy, students may demonstrate a wide range of learning styles and needs. Teachers plan programs that recognize this diversity and give students performance tasks that respect their particular abilities so that all students can derive the greatest possible benefit from the teaching and learning process. The use of flexible groupings for instruction and the provision of ongoing assessment are important elements of programs that accommodate a diversity of learning needs.
In planning courses for students with special education needs, our teachers will begin by examining the current achievement level of the individual student, the strengths and learning needs of the student, and the knowledge and skills that all students are expected to demonstrate at the end of the course, in order to determine which of the following options is appropriate for the student:
no accommodations or modifications; or
accommodations only; or
modified expectations, with the possibility of accommodations; or
alternative expectations, which are not derived from the curriculum expectations for a course and which constitute alternative programs and/or courses.
There are three types of accommodations:
Instructional accommodations are changes in teaching strategies, including styles of presentation, methods of organization, or use of technology and multimedia.
Environmental accommodations are changes that the student may require in the classroom and/or school environment, such as preferential seating or special lighting.
Assessment accommodations are changes in assessment procedures that enable the student to demonstrate his or her learning, such as allowing additional time to complete tests or assignments or permitting oral responses to test questions
If the student requires either accommodations or modified expectations, or both, The Educators Academy will take into account these needs of exceptional students as they are set out in the students' Individual Education Plan. Our courses offer a vast array of opportunities for students with special educations needs to acquire the knowledge and skills required for our evolving society. Students who use alternative techniques for communication may find a venue to use these special skills in these courses. There are a number of technical and learning aids that can assist in meeting the needs of exceptional students as set out in their Individual Education Plan.
If a student requires “accommodations only” in French courses, assessment and evaluation of his or her achievement will be based on the appropriate course curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in this document. The IEP box on the student’s Provincial Report Card will not be checked, and no information on the provision of accommodations will be included.
Program Considerations for English Language Learners
Ontario schools have some of the most multilingual student populations in the world. The first language of approximately 20 per cent of the students in Ontario’s English language schools is a language other than English. Ontario’s linguistic heritage includes several Aboriginal languages; many African, Asian, and European languages; and some varieties of English, such as Jamaican Creole. Many English language learners were born in Canada and raised in families and communities in which languages other than English were spoken, or in which the variety of English spoken differed significantly from the English of Ontario classrooms. Other English language learners arrive in Ontario as newcomers from other countries; they may have experience of highly sophisticated educational systems, or they may have come from regions where access to formal schooling was limited.
The Educators Academy course provides a number of strategies to address the needs of ESL/ELD students. This course is flexible in order to accommodate the needs of students who require instruction in English as a second language or English literacy development. The Educators Academy teachers consider its responsibility to help students develop their ability to use the English language properly. Appropriate accommodations affecting the teaching, learning, and evaluation strategies in this course are made in order to help students gain proficiency in English, since students taking English as a second language at the secondary level have limited time in which to develop this proficiency.
During the start of education at The Educators Academy, English language learners receive support through one of two distinct programs from our teachers who are specialized in meeting their language-learning needs: English as a second language (ESL) and English Literacy Development (ELD)
English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are for students born in Canada or newcomers whose first language is a language other than English, or is a variety of English significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools.
In planning programs for students with linguistic backgrounds other than English, teachers at The Educators Academy recognize the importance of the orientation process, understanding that every learner needs to adjust to the new social environment and language in a unique way and at an individual pace. For example, students who are in an early stage of English-language acquisition may go through a time during which they closely observe the interactions and physical surroundings of their new learning environment. They use body language rather than speech or they use their first language until they have gained enough proficiency in English to feel confident of their interpretations and responses. Students thrive in a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment that nurtures their self-confidence while they are receiving focused literacy instruction. When they are ready to participate, in paired, small-group, or whole-class activities, some students begin by using a single word or phrase to communicate a thought, while others speak quite fluently.
Responsibility for students’ English-language development is shared by our classroom teacher, our ESL teacher and other staff at The Educators Academy. Sometimes volunteers and peers are helpful in supporting English language learners in the language classroom. Teachers at The Educators Academy adapted the instructional program in order to facilitate the success of these students in their classrooms. Appropriate adaptations include:
modification of some or all of the subject expectations so that they are challenging but attainable for the learner at his or her present level of English proficiency, given the necessary support from the teacher;
use of a variety of instructional strategies (e.g., extensive use of visual cues, graphic organizers, scaffolding; previewing of textbooks, pre-teaching of key vocabulary; peer tutoring; strategic use of students’ first languages);
use of a variety of learning resources (e.g., visual material, simplified text, bilingual dictionaries, and materials that reflect cultural diversity);
use of assessment accommodations (e.g., granting of extra time; use of oral interviews, demonstrations or visual representations, or tasks requiring completion of graphic organizers or cloze sentences instead of essay questions and other assessment tasks that depend heavily on proficiency in English).
Environmental Education and Canadian and World Studies
Helping students become environmentally responsible is a role assumed by The Educators Academy. The first goal is to promote learning about environmental issues and solutions. The second goal is to engage students in practicing and promoting environmental stewardship in their community. The third goal stresses the importance of the education system providing leadership by implementing and promoting responsible environmental practices so that all stakeholders become dedicated to living more sustainably. There are many opportunities to integrate environmental education into the teaching of Canadian and world studies. Students also analyse the environmental sustainability of current behaviours and practices, explore ways in which environmental stewardship can be improved, and make connections between local, national, and global environmental issues, practices, and processes. In Civics and Citizenship, students learn that the responsibilities of citizenship include the protection and stewardship of the global commons, such as air and water, on a local, national, and global scale.
Good curriculum design following the resource document - The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9-12: Environmental Education, Scope and Sequence of Expectations, 2011, will assist The Educators Academy’s staff to weave environmental education in and out of the online course content. This ensures that the student have opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills, perspectives and practices needed to become an environmentally literate citizen.
Healthy Relationships and Canada and World Studies
Every student is entitled to learn in a safe, caring environment, free from violence and harassment. Students learn and achieve better in such environments. The safe and supportive social environment at The Educators Academy is founded on healthy relationships between all people. Healthy relationships are based on respect, caring, empathy, trust, and dignity, and thrive in an environment in which diversity is honoured and accepted. Healthy relationships do not tolerate abusive, controlling, violent, bullying/harassing, or other inappropriate behaviours. To experience themselves as valued and connected members of an inclusive social environment, students need to be involved in healthy relationships with their peers, teachers, and other members of The Educators Academy community.
The most effective way to enable all students to learn about healthy and respectful relationships is through the school curriculum. The Educators Academy teachers can promote this learning in a variety of ways. For example, they can help students develop and practise the skills they need for building healthy relationships by giving them opportunities to apply critical-thinking and problem solving strategies and to address issues through group discussions, role play, case study analysis, and other means. The Educators Academy can also have a positive influence on students by modelling the behaviours, values, and skills that are needed to develop and sustain healthy relationships, and by taking advantage of “teachable moments” to address immediate relationship issues that may arise among students.
Anti Discrimination Education
The implementation of antidiscrimination principles in education influences all aspects of school life. It promotes a school climate that encourages all students to work to high standards, affirms the worth of all students, and helps students strengthen their sense of identity and develop a positive self-image. Antidiscrimination education encourages students to think critically about themselves and others in the world around them in order to promote fairness, healthy relationships, and active, responsible citizenship.
The Educators Academy ensures that school-community interaction reflects the diversity in the local community and wider society. Consideration is given to a variety of strategies for communicating and working with parents and community members from diverse groups, in order to ensure their participation in such school activities as plays, concerts, and teacher interviews. Families new to Canada, who may be unfamiliar with the Ontario school system, is provided a special outreach and encouragement in order to feel comfortable in their interactions at The Educators Academy.
Learning resources that reflect the broad range of students’ interests, backgrounds, cultures, and experiences are an important aspect of an inclusive English program in The Educators Academy. In such a program, learning materials involve protagonists of both sexes from a wide variety of backgrounds. Teachers at The Educators Academy routinely use materials that reflect the diversity of Canadian and world cultures, including those of contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, and make them available to students. In The Educators Academy’s inclusive programs, students are made aware of the historical, cultural, and political contexts for both the traditional and non-traditional gender and social roles represented in the materials they are studying.
It is important that teachers of Canadian and world studies create an environment that will foster a sense of community where all students feel included and appreciated. When leading discussions on topics related to diverse ethnocultural, socio-economic, or religious groups or the rights of citizenship, The Educators Academy teachers ensure that all students – regardless of culture, religious affiliation, gender, class, or sexual orientation – feel included and recognized in all learning activities and discussions. By teachers carefully choosing support materials that reflect the makeup of a class, students see that they are respected. This leads to student understanding of and respect for the differences that exist in the Educators Academy classrooms and in the multiple communities to which they belong.
Financial Literacy in Canada and World Studies
The document A Sound Investment: Financial Literacy Education in Ontario Schools, 2010 sets out the vision that: Ontario students will have the skills and knowledge to take responsibility for managing their personal financial well-being with confidence, competence, and a compassionate awareness of the world around them. Since making financial decisions has become an increasingly complex task in the modern world, students need to have knowledge in various areas and a wide range of skills in order to make informed decisions about financial matters.
The Educators Academy considers it essential that financial literacy be considered an important point of a well-educated population. In addition to acquiring knowledge in such specific areas as saving, spending, borrowing, and investing, students need to develop skills in problem solving, inquiry, decision making, critical thinking, and critical literacy related to financial and other issues. The goal is to help students to acquire the knowledge and skills that will enable them to understand and respond to complex issues regarding their own personal finances and the finances of their families, as well as to develop an understanding of local and global effects of world economic forces and the social, environmental, and ethical implications of their own choices as consumers.
One of the elements of the vision at The Educators Academy for the social studies, history, geography, and Canadian and world studies programs is to enable students to become responsible, active citizens who are informed and critically thoughtful. Financial literacy is connected to this element. In the Canadian and world studies program at The Educators Academy, students have multiple opportunities to investigate and study financial literacy concepts related to the course expectations. This course also provides students with opportunities to explore issues related to government expenditures and to analyse, in the context of issues of civic importance, how limited resources are allocated.
Critical Thinking and Critical Literacy in Canada and World Studies
Critical thinking is the process of thinking about ideas or situations in order to understand them fully, identify their implications, make a judgement, and/or guide decision making. Critical thinking includes skills such as questioning, predicting, analysing, synthesizing, examining opinions, identifying values and issues, detecting bias, and distinguishing between alternatives. At The Educators Academy, students are taught these skills so they become critical thinkers who can move beyond superficial conclusions to a deeper understanding of the issues they are examining. After this, they are also able to engage in an inquiry process in which they explore complex and multifaceted issues, and questions for which there may be no clear-cut answers.
Students use critical-thinking skills in The Educators Academy’s course for Canadian and World Studies when they assess, analyse, and/or evaluate the impact of something and when they form an opinion about something and support that opinion with a rationale. In order to think critically, students need to examine the opinions and values of others, detect bias, look for implied meaning, and use the information gathered to form a personal opinion or stance, or a personal plan of action with regard to making a difference. In this way, students approach critical thinking in various aspects. Some students find it helpful to discuss their thinking, asking questions and exploring ideas. Other students may take time to observe a situation or consider a text carefully before commenting; they prefer not to ask questions or express their thoughts orally while they are thinking.
The development of these critical-thinking skills is supported in the Canadian and World Studies course at The Educators Academy. As students work to achieve the curriculum expectations in their particular course, our students frequently need to identify the possible implications of choices. As they gather information from a variety of sources, they are able to interpret what they are listening to, reading, or viewing; to look for instances of bias; and to determine why a source might express a particular bias.
Literacy, Mathematical Literacy and Inquiry Skills in Canada and World Studies
Literacy, mathematical literacy, and inquiry/research skills are critical to students’ success in all subjects of the curriculum and in all areas of their lives.
Many of the activities and tasks that students undertake at The Educators Academy in the Canadian and world studies curriculum involve the literacy skills relating to oral, written, and visual communication. In addition, they develop the skills needed to construct, extract information from, and analyse various types of maps and digital representations, including topographic, demographic, thematic, annotated, choropleth, and geographic information systems (GIS) maps. In all Canadian and world studies courses, students are required to use appropriate and correct terminology, including that related to the concepts of disciplinary thinking, and are encouraged to use language with care and precision in order to communicate effectively.
The Canadian and world studies program at The Educators Academy also builds on, reinforces, and enhances mathematical literacy. Many courses in Canadian and world studies provide students with opportunities to reinforce their mathematical literacy in areas involving computational strategies and data management and, in particular, the ability to read and construct graphs. Calculations and graphing are often used in field studies: students engaged in a field study focusing on traffic congestion. In addition, our students use their mathematical literacy skills when interpreting data from various types of maps and when creating maps to communicate their findings.
Inquiry and research are at the heart of learning in all subject areas. In Canadian and world studies courses, our students are encouraged to develop their ability to ask questions and to explore a variety of possible answers to those questions. The questioning they practised in the early grades becomes more sophisticated as they learn that all sources of information have a particular point of view and that the recipient of the information has a responsibility to evaluate it, determine its validity and relevance, and use it in appropriate ways. The ability to locate, question, and validate information allows our student to become an independent, lifelong learner.
The Role of a Library in the Canada and World Studies Program
The Educators Academy’s library program can help to build and transform students’ knowledge to support lifelong learning in our information- and knowledge-based society. The Educators Academy supports student success across the curriculum by encouraging students to read widely, teaching them to read for understanding and enjoyment, and helping them to improve their research skills and to use information gathered through research effectively.
The Educators Academy library program enables students to:
develop a love of reading for learning and for pleasure;
acquire an understanding of the richness and diversity of literary and informational texts produced in Canada and around the world;
obtain access to programs, resources, and integrated technologies that support all curriculum areas;
understand and value the role of public library systems as a resource for lifelong learning.
Our classroom teachers develop, teach, and provide students with authentic information and research tasks that foster learning, including the ability to:
locate, select, gather, critically evaluate, create, and communicate information;
use the information obtained to solve problems, make decisions, build knowledge, create personal meaning, and enrich their lives;
communicate their findings for different audiences, using a variety of formats and technologies;
use information and research with understanding, responsibility, and imagination.
The Role of Information and Communication Technology
Information and communications technology (ICT) provides a range of tools that can significantly extend and enrich teachers’ instructional strategies and support student learning. ICT tools include multimedia resources, databases, websites, digital cameras, and word-processing programs. Tools such as these can help students to collect, organize, and sort the data they gather and to write, edit, and present reports on their findings. ICT can also be used to connect students to other schools, at home and abroad, and to bring the global community into the local classroom.
In The Educators Academy, therefore, according to the needs of students, they are encouraged to use ICT to support and communicate their learning in Canadian and World Studies curriculum. Students working individually or in groups have a full access to use computers and portable storage devices to store information, as well as DVD technologies, digital cameras, GIS maps, interactive whiteboards, and projectors to organize and present the results of their investigations to their classmates and to others. As a result, our students develop transferable skills through their experience with word processing, internet research, presentation software, and telecommunication tools, as would be expected in any other course or any business environment.
Although the Internet is a powerful learning tool, there are potential risks attached to its use. All students must be made aware of issues related to Internet privacy, safety, and responsible use, as well as of the potential for abuse of this technology, particularly when it is used to promote hatred. Our teachers understand that ICT tools are valuable in their teaching practice, both for whole class instruction and for the design of curriculum units that contain varied approaches to learning to meet diverse student needs.
The Ontario Skills Passport and Essential Skills
The Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) is a free, bilingual, web-based resource that provides teachers and students with clear descriptions of the “Essential Skills” and work habits important in work, learning, and life. The Educators Academy can engage students by OSP tools and resources to show how what they learn in class can be applied in the workplace and in everyday life. The Essential Skills identified in the OSP are:
• Reading Text
• Document Use
• Computer Use
• Oral Communication
• Numeracy: Money Math; Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting; Measurement and Calculation; Data Analysis; and Numerical Estimation
• Thinking Skills: Job Task Planning and Organizing; Decision Making; Problem Solving; Finding Information; and Critical Thinking
Education and Career/Life Planning through the Canadian and World Studies Program
The goals of the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education and career/life planning program are to:
• ensure that all students develop the knowledge and skills they need to make informed education and career/life choices;
• provide classroom and school-wide opportunities for this learning; and
• engage parents and the broader community in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the program, to support students in their learning.
The framework of the program is a four-step inquiry process based on four questions linked to four areas of learning: (1) knowing yourself – Who am I?; (2) exploring opportunities – What are my opportunities?; (3) making decisions and setting goals – Who do I want to become?; and, (4) achieving goals and making transitions – What is my plan for achieving my goals?
Cooperative Education and Other Forms of Experiential Learning
Planned learning experiences in the community, including job shadowing and job twinning, field trips, work experience, and cooperative education, provide our students with opportunities to see the relevance of their classroom learning in a work setting, making connections between school and work, and exploring a career of interest as they plan their pathway through The Educators Academy. In addition, through experiential learning, students develop the skills and work habits required in the workplace and acquire a direct understanding of employer and workplace expectations. Experiential learning opportunities associated with various aspects of the Canadian and World Studies curriculum help broaden students’ knowledge of employment opportunities in a wide range of fields, including interpreting, translating, and publishing and other media-related industries. Students who choose to take a two-credit cooperative education program with a Canadian and World Studies course as the related course are able, through this package of courses, to meet the Ontario Secondary School Diploma additional compulsory credit requirements for Groups 1, 2, and 3.
Planning Program Pathways and Programs Leading to a Specialist High Skills Major
At the Educators Academy, Canadian and World Studies courses are well suited for inclusion in Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSMs) or in programs designed to provide pathways to particular apprenticeship, college, university, or workplace destinations. In some SHSM programs, courses in this curriculum can be bundled with other courses to provide the academic knowledge and skills important to particular economic sectors and required for success in the workplace and postsecondary education, including apprenticeship training. Canadian and World Studies courses can serve as the in-school link with cooperative education credits that provide the workplace experience required not only for some SHSM programs but also for various program pathways to postsecondary education, apprenticeship training, and workplace destinations.
Health and Safety in Canadian and World Studies Program
As part of every course, students must be made aware that health and safety are everyone’s responsibility – at home, at school, and in the workplace. Teachers must model safe practices at all times and communicate safety requirements to students.
Health and safety issues not usually associated with Canadian and world studies education may be important when the learning involves field trips and field studies. Out-of-school field trips can provide an exciting and authentic dimension to students’ learning experiences, but they also take The Educator Academy teacher and students out of the predictable classroom environment and into unfamiliar settings. The Educators Academy teachers must preview and plan these activities carefully to protect students’ health and safety
Ethics in Canadian and World Studies
The Canadian and world studies curriculum provides varied opportunities for students to learn about ethical issues and to explore the role of ethics in both public and personal decision making. During the inquiry process, students may need to make ethical judgements when evaluating evidence and positions on various issues, and when drawing their own conclusions about issues, developments, and events. Teachers may need to help students in determining appropriate factors to consider when making such judgements. In addition, it is crucial that teachers provide support and supervision to students throughout the inquiry process, ensuring that students engaged in an inquiry are aware of potential ethical concerns and address them in acceptable ways.
At The Educators Academy, teachers ensure that they thoroughly address the issue of plagiarism with students. The skill of writing in one’s own voice, while appropriately acknowledging the work of others, must be explicitly taught to all students in Canadian and world studies classes. Using accepted forms of documentation to acknowledge sources is a specific expectation within the inquiry and skill development strand for each course in the Canadian and world studies curriculum.