Highlights from our Making Connections Conference 2017
Minister of education's address
Closing Address by the Honourable Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education
- People for Education provides leadership and holds the ministry’s feet to the fire. It is making the system better
- In this room we have many diverse perspectives on education
- Together we have built one of the best education systems in the entire world
- Researchers around the world are looking to Ontario’s system to understand how they can improve
- “Our system is messy, but we make it work for all students. That is our commitment.”
- Key priorities that were announced at the beginning of the school year:
- Combination of achievement, well-being, and equity
- Curriculum refresh
- Ontario education equity action plan (now out in the world)
- Our economy is changing rapidly. Experiential learning is a critical opportunity that we need to provide to our students for their changing lives.
- We know that a high-quality education system will protect our students in the face of that rapid change. There must be a greater emphasis on practical/useful learning:
- critical thinking
- These are the skills that students will need to become successful as global citizens
- Recent announcement: funding for every school board to hire an experiential learning coordinator to support greater involvement/partnership with communities
- Need to give parents better information about children’s progress. The ministry is reviewing assessments (i.e. report cards, EQAO), looking at relevancy and support for a wide range of learning opportunities.
- An intentional focus is on well-being and equity. We are dedicated to removing barriers by introducing a renewed approach to grade 9 – Making grade nine a jumping off point for students to explore their future careers. It’s not a binary question about streaming
- The status quo is not an option – what’s happening right now, (applied stream shows an overrepresentation of youth on the margins) cannot continue.