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P4E

Provincial consultation continues on standardized testing, work/life skills, and health, and People for Education continues to share its research on behalf of parents, students and educators of this province.  Here is a summary of their submissions and links to the full documents.

The pros and cons of standardized testing
The province has asked for feedback on standardized testing in Ontario, and in its telephone town halls is asking participants if we need more tests.
In our submission, we point to a concern raised by experts, that when test scores are used as a proxy for overall success of the system, it can lead governments to target funding and policy in ways that may constrain risk-taking and experimentation, shift resources away from other areas, and ignore vital skills and competencies that are essential for students’ long-term success. We also discuss the benefits and challenges of using sampling, rather than whole-population testing.


Skills for work and life
In its consultations, the province is asking about how we could build students' skills to prepare them for jobs – particularly in the skilled trades, and for life – with things like financial literacy. However, according to organizations like the Rand CorporationRBC, and the Council of Ministers of Education of Canada(CMEC), it is important that we not focus too much on the skills of the past, but instead on the competencies for the future.
Our response includes examples from other provinces and countries where global competencies (defined by CMEC as the “overarching sets of attitudes, skills, and knowledge that can be interdependent, interdisciplinary, and leveraged in a variety of situations both locally and globally") have been integrated across curriculum.

Why health curriculum matters
The province’s consultations on the health curriculum focus on three areas: sex education, cannabis, and mental health. Our submission outlines why it is vital that students have access to relevant, evidence-based health and physical education curriculum. It outlines a set of specifically-defined competencies and skills in health, that were identified by experts, and which fall under five main categories:
         Capacity for making healthy choices
         Personal safety and appropriate risk-taking
         Physical activity
         Healthy sexuality
         Understanding and management of mental illness


Read our submission to the consultations.

source: People for Education newsletter


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