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About the Project

For too long we have valued some skills over others. The evidence is now unequivocal: young people need a broad set of foundational skills to succeed.

People for Education – working with experts from across Canada  – is leading a multi-year initiative to create a new way of thinking about skills, to find consensus on a new set of goals for education, and to develop a method of measuring schools’ progress toward those goals.

The goal of Measuring What Matters is to create a set of measures that are publicly understandable, educationally useful and reflect the broad skills students will need in the workforce and to take their place as engaged citizens.


  1. General
  2. Domains and competencies
  3. Progress reports


1. General

Measuring What Matters: Brochure (2015)

A two-page summary of the Measuring What Matters project, with examples of the competencies in each of the domains.


Broader Measures of Success: Measuring what matters in education (2013)

The launch report for Measuring What Matters, a project proposing five dimensions of learning that, alongside academic achievement, might be part of a more comprehensive set of indicators of success: physical and mental health, social-emotional development, creativity and innovation, citizenship and democracy, and school climate. The report looks at how success in these areas is important for the long-term well-being of students and society and how schools can strengthen these capacities in students, as well as providing examples of existing measures.


Measuring What Matters: Reframing Goals and Measures for Public Education (2015)

An overview of the project background, rationale, key concepts and timelines. Includes descriptions, competencies and conditions in the domains of creativity, health, social emotional learning, and citizenship, as well as conditions of Quality Learning Environments.


What Matters in French Language Schools Summary (English) (2015)

Dr. Michelle Boucher examines the connections between initiatives undertaken in the French-language education system in a minority setting in Canada, particularly in Ontario, and the five domains in People for Education’s Measuring What Matters initiative. Full version of paper available in French.


What Matters in Indigenous Education: Implementing A Vision Committed To Holism, Diversity And Engagement (2016)

Dr. Pamela Toulouse explores an Indigenous approach to quality learning environments and relevant competencies/skills. The paper draws out the research, concepts and themes from Measuring What Matters that align with Indigenous determinants of educational success. It expands on this work by offering perspectives and insights that are Indigenous and authentic in nature.



The Domains and competencies

Competencies and conditions for success (2017)


People for Education, working with experts from across Canada, has defined a menu of concrete, teachable competencies and skills in health, social-emotional learning, creativity, and citizenship. We have also identified learning conditions in the classroom, school, and community that support student growth in these areas.


Physical and Mental Health in Schools (2014)


This report examines how schools can effectively promote physical and mental health and how to measure the outcomes of health promotion programs. Full paper. Summary.


Creativity: The State of the Domain (2014)


This report looks at why creativity is an important skill for long-term success, how schools can foster creativity, and how it might be measured. Full paper. Summary.


Social-emotional skills – the new basics (2014)


This report examines the impact of social-emotional skills on academic performance and lifelong learning, and suggests potential measures for social-emotional learning. Full paper. Summary.


Measuring What Matters: Citizenship Domain (2014)


This report examines why citizenship is a core value for long term success for students and a cohesive, democratic society. Full paper. Summary.


The School Context Model: How School Environments Shape Students’ Opportunities to Learn (2014)

BY DR. NINA BASCIA, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, The UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

This report highlights the interactive and dynamic environments in schools that support and shape rich learning experiences for students and educators. Full paper. Summary.


Measuring What Matters Progress Reports

Phase 1

2013/14: BEYOND THE 3 “R’S (2014)

A summary of the findings from the initial public consultations and an outline of the work done to identify the domain areas and conditions for quality learning environments.


Phase 2

2014/15: Moving From Theory to Practice (2015)

An overview of the work done to explore the relationship between the domains and education policy and curriculum in Ontario, and plans for the field trials to take place in Ontario schools.


Phase 3

2015/16: Competencies in the classroom (2016)

The 2015-16 progress report includes preliminary findings from the Measuring What Matters field trials in 26 publicly funded schools across 7 Ontario school boards.