The Government’s Vision for ‘Education that Works for You’
Over the past few weeks you might have seen and read a number of new articles as Lisa Thompson, the Minister of Education, announced the Government’s Vision for ‘Education that Works for You’. In Ontario, there will be an increased focus a a Back-to-Basics’ Math Curriculum, stronger STEM and financial literacy curricula, among other areas.
This ambitious plan, aptly named, “Education that Works for You”, will help modernize classrooms, curriculum, and ensure educators are empowered to help students deal with the everchanging realities of life outside of the classroom. Minister Thompson says “This is our plan to protect a sustainable world-class education system for the students of today and the future”. Further, she indicates that “….our students are leaving school with the skills they need to build good lives, families and careers right here in Ontario, while ensuring the system is both fiscally sustainable and respectful of parents.”
To obtain input on what was not working and what was, and to develop their Plan, the Government sought input from more than 72,000 parents, students, teachers, employers, and organizations. Three different channels were used which included an online survey, telephone town halls across the province, and an open submission form. To find out more about the consultations click HERE.
As a parent of three young children (7, 7, and 9) – I am encouraged by the Ontario Governments increased focus on a “Back-to-Basics” Math Curriculum, and some of the other changes including an increased focus on STEM. And, as a small business person with one of the leading STEM studios in the GTA, I am equally enthusiastic as it presents numerous opportunities to provide an even more enriched, and complimentary Curriculum across the Science and Technology and Math strands, which date to 2007 and 2005, respectively.
So, what exactly is the Ontario Government proposing in the area of STEM?
The Ontario Governments K-12 STEM Education Strategy includes the vision of becoming a global leader in STEM education, and, they want to better prepare students for success by equipping them with the skills they need in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). To achieve this, they will partner with a variety of organizations and institutions to create enriched learning experiences in STEM.
More definitive changes will include:
- Revised Career Studies course, which will be mandatory for all Grade 10 students, and focus on the changing nature of work, the role that transferrable skills play in ones career, and, the importance of STEM in high-growth industries. Sept 2019 implementation.
- Revised Business Studies and Computer Sciences curricula that will help students build computational thinking and coding, as well as entrepreneurial skills. The implementation timeframe work this revision is likely 2021 or beyond as consultations will take place in 2019-2020.
While the changes are encouraging and exciting, they stop short, at least for now, at inducing more advanced STEM experiences in the school that includes robotics, coding, 3D design, 3D printing, and advanced artificial intelligence concepts and technologies.
STEM studios like mine will continue to fill the gap between what is being covered in the K-12 Classrooms and that is needed to better prepared for a future where whole industries are being transformed by advanced technologies.
For more information on the recent changes introduced by the Ontario Government, read these articles:
- March 15th, 2019: Education that Works for You – Modernizing Learning. Click HERE
- March 15th, 2019: ‘Back-to-Basics’ Math Curriculum, Renewed Focus on Skilled Trades and Cellphone Ban in the Classroom Coming Soon to Ontario. Click HERE
- December 31st, 2018: Ontario Government Concludes Largest Consultation on Education in Province’s History. Click HERE
- Education that Works for You. Click HERE
- Education in Ontario Consultation. Click HERE
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