Committees at Work

Standards of Practice & Education Committee

The Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession, the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession and the Professional Learning Framework for the Teaching Profession (PLF) together convey a collective vision of teacher professionalism in Ontario.

A graphic with concentric circles illustrates the professional learning framework. Long description follows.

A graphic with concentric circles illustrates the professional learning framework.

The innermost circle holds the words Ethical Standards. Those standards — Care, Respect, Trust and Integrity — fill the next ring. The ring outside that one includes the words Ongoing Professional Learning, Commitment to Students and Student Learning, Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Leadership in Learning Communities. These rings are surrounded by a circular layer with the heading Standards of Practice. The outermost ring includes a heading Professional Learning Framework (PLF) and the subheadings Educational Courses, Inquiry, Advanced Degrees, Policy Development and Teaching.

This collective vision is the foundation of initial teacher education, continuing teacher education, professional practice, ongoing professional learning and educational leadership.

The standards describe the professional knowledge, skills, values and ethical commitments inherent within educators’ professional practice in Ontario. The PLF articulates the many forms of ongoing education and learning engaged in by members of the profession.

The Standards of Practice and Education (SP&E) Committee advises the College Council on the development, implementation and review of the ethical and practice standards and the PLF, which help to support ethical professionalism. The SP&E Committee also reviews and approves Additional Qualification (AQ) policy guidelines and associated research.

In 2020, the SP&E Committee focused on:

Continuing Teacher Education: Review of AQ Course Policy Guidelines

AQ courses are offered by approved providers across Ontario. The foundation for these courses is the AQ policy guidelines issued by the College. The content of these teacher education policy guidelines reflects knowledge, skills and practices associated with the various dimensions of teaching and educational leadership. The ethical standards and the standards of practice form the basis for all AQ course guidelines, which provide a holistic framework for enhancing educators’ professional knowledge, skills and practices. Accredited AQ courses are aligned with the College’s AQ policy guidelines. The SP&E Committee supports the collaborative development of AQ policy guidelines through engagement with the teaching profession, learners, AQ providers, educational partners and the public. A diversity of inclusive practices is employed to invite shared leadership and ownership in the democratic AQ review process used by the College.

Draft AQ Course Guidelines Approved

In 2020, the committee approved 63 draft AQ course guidelines for provincial validation.

Final AQ Course Guidelines Approved

In 2020, the committee approved 22 final AQ course guidelines to guide the design and implementation of AQ courses.

AQ Regulatory Changes 

The following AQ regulatory changes were approved by Committee in 2020 and by Council at the December 2-4, 2020 Council Meeting. Council recommended to the Minister of Education that:

  • a new American Sign Language (ASL) as a Second Language Additional Qualification course be enacted in Schedule C of the Teachers’ Qualifications Regulation
  • a new Langues des signes québécoise (LSQ) Additional Qualification course be enacted in Schedule C of the Teachers’ Qualifications Regulation
  • a new Additional Qualification (AQ) course(s) related to Anti-Black Racism be enacted in the Teachers’ Qualifications Regulation
  • a new Anti-Audism Additional Qualification course be enacted in Schedule C of the Teachers’ Qualifications Regulation
  • a new Supporting Cultures of Well-Being Qualification course be enacted in Schedule C of the Teachers’ Qualifications Regulation
  • That Council request an update from the Minister of Education regarding the 11 Council recommended Additional Qualification regulatory changes that were forwarded to the Ministry in June 2018.

AQ Consultation Processes: Writing Teams, Surveys, Focus Groups and Focused Conversations

As part of the development of AQ course guidelines, the SP&E Unit engages in consultation and feedback processes, including AQ guideline writing teams, surveys and focus groups.

AQ Provincial Writing Teams

The SP&E Committee received information regarding the following AQ policy development processes that took place in 2020.

Virtual AQ Course Guideline Writing Teams

  • Schedule D: Teacher Librarian - 4 Virtual Writing Teams
  • Schedule C: Langue des signes québécoise, Langue seconde- 4 Virtual Writing Teams
  • Schedule C: American Sign Language (ASL) as a Second Language- 4 Virtual Writing Teams.

AQ Surveys

  • Schedule D: Teaching Students who are Blind/Low Vision
  • Proposed New AQ: Supporting Cultures of Well-Being in Education
  • New AQ: Anti-Black Racism.

External Leadership Groups

External leadership groups are occasionally formed to support the policy development of some AQs by inviting professionals in the field to apply their expertise. It is an example of self-regulation in practice. The Committee received information related to work being done to support the policy development of the following AQs.

  • Teaching Students who are Blind/Low Vision
  • An external leadership group was established to review the unit’s survey data and develop recommendations for the teaching qualifications related to supporting students who are blind/low vision.

  • Anti-Black Racism
  • In May 2020, the SP&E Committee approved a new AQ course on anti-Black racism to be included in regulation in response to feedback received from the profession and the public. The SP&E Unit commenced policy development into this provincial policy document as per the following framework: Karen Murray, OCT, the Toronto District School Board’s Centrally Assigned Principal for Equity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression, is an external facilitator who is leading the College’s policy development for this AQ.

Professional Learning

The SP&E Committee regularly participates in Professional Learning sessions related to AQ policy development and the ethical standards.

In 2020, the committee received three presentations by members of the profession and a parent related to Teaching Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and learned about the following:

  • the proposed program guideline changes which have been informed by Deaf educators and viewed as a step towards supporting all Deaf and Hard of Hearing learners in Ontario
  • a proposal for a new AQ on anti-audism
  • the importance of the College’s extensive, transparent and inclusive consultation and collaboration processes which enabled multiple voices and perspectives to be included
  • the importance of a critical social justice lens within the guideline and ensuring that the new guideline includes a strong critical pedagogical approach required of teacher candidates, in order to prepare them to teach Deaf and Hard of Hearing students and meet the complexities of students’ individual needs
  • research on Deaf education focused on exploring the acquisition of American Sign Language (ASL) by Deaf Kindergarten children, concerning early language access and use of appropriate resources.

The Committee also engaged in educative sessions related to music, anti-Black racism and the Foundations of Professional Practice.

Find an AQ

Between January and December 2020 feedback analysis was conducted for 154 AQ inquiries.

A chart details the data collected by using the Find an AQ search on the College website. Long description follows.

Over the course of 2020, the Find an AQ search function recorded 154 inquiries. There were 136 English language inquires and 18 French language inquiries.

Those who used the search tool were: looking for general information about a specific course, providing feedback about courses, looking into online and/or face-to-face availability of a course, when and where to take a specific course, recommending a course to a specific provider, looking up qualification requirements, checking course registration processes, recommending a course be offered in French and looking up course equivalency.

The top five AQ courses/programs referenced in the inquiries were: Technological education, including hairstyling and aesthetics, transportation, health care, manufacturing technology; American Sign Language; Guidance and Career Education; History and Teaching Students with Communications Needs (Autism Spectrum Disorder)


AQ Candidate Surveys

By the end of 2020, data was collected from 4,828 AQ course candidate surveys that focused on approximately 63 different AQ courses. This helped to inform AQ policy development and accreditation practices.

Accreditation of AQ Course Submissions

SP&E accredits AQ course submissions using processes and practices that support the ongoing implementation of the standards and the PLF. The accreditation processes embodies the standards of practice and the PLF, and also helps to shine a spotlight on them. In 2020, there were 201 AQ courses accredited by the College. The Standards of Practice as well as the PLF were foundational elements of each.

Standards Education

Standards educative sessions along with standards-based resources continue to influence and support teacher education and leadership development. These educative sessions support the integration of the ethical standards, the standards of practice and the PLF within teacher education.

In 2020, there were 19 sessions for 361 participants, including teacher-educators and leaders, principal candidates and internationally educated teachers. Figure 1 provides a breakdown of these educative sessions during 2020.

A pie chart shows the nature of the sessions facilitated by Standards of Practice and Education staff over the course of 2020. Long description follows.

Standards of Practice & Education staff facilitated 19 sessions for 361 participants in 2020. The breakdown of the types of presentations is as follows. In-service teacher education: PQP Part I, 46%; briefings to international delegations, 31%; briefings to Ministry of Education, 17%; Indigenous Conference Presentation, 6%.

Standards Teacher Education Resources

The SP&E Committee supported the ongoing development of written and visual standards-based resources for use within initial and continuing teacher education and professional practice. These initiatives support the College mandate related to the enforcement of the standards and providing for the ongoing education of teachers.

Two new provincial teacher education resources entitled, Exploring Ethical Professional Practice: Ecological Consciousness & Eco Justice, were developed with members of the teaching profession to be used as tools for deepening understanding and exploration of environmental stewardship and ecological literacy within teacher education and to support ethical professional practice:

  • Eco-placemats (nine eco placemats combined into a single document)
  • Eco-cards (smaller flash card versions of the eco placemats).

Standards of Practice and Education

  • Charles Dimitry Abraham, OCT (e)
  • Elizabeth Edgar-Webkamigad, OCT (a)
  • Susan E. Elliott-Johns, OCT (e) (Chair) (to July 18)
  • Erin Glen, OCT (e)
  • Mary Ellen Gucciardi, OCT (e)
  • Colleen Landers (a)
  • Mary-Anne Mouawad, OCT (e) (Vice-Chair)
  • Bonnie Oakes Charron (a) (from May 21)
  • Wanda Percival (a) (from February 20)
  • Stephen Zimmermann, OCT (e) (from September 2)

(a) = appointed
(e) = elected