aussi disponible en français
September 1, 2005
For immediate release
Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training Support Increased Federal Funding for Post-Secondary Education
The meeting was hosted by Hon. Mildred Dover, PEI Minister of Education, and attended by Hon. Jamie Muir, NS Minister of Education; Hon. Tom Hedderson, NL Minister of Education; Hon. Madeleine Dubé, NB Minister of Education and Hon. Margaret-Ann Blaney, NB Minister of Training and Employment Development.
The Atlantic ministers of education and training are encouraged by the high profile that was given to skills training and post-secondary education at the August meeting of Canada’s premiers. Ministers have agreed unanimously to work with the premiers to engage the federal government in support of greater investment in education.
IMPROVING POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Quebec and Ontario have been tasked by the premiers to co-chair a summit on post-secondary education later in the fall. Ministers met with the honourable Jean-Marc Fournier, Quebec Minister of Education, and shared with him their regional post-secondary and training priorities which include:
1. Post-Secondary Infrastructure – In partnership with institutions and the federal government, the Atlantic provinces acknowledge an urgent need for renewal of facilities and an upgrade of technology to increase the ability of the region’s institutions to provide adequate access and relevant training.
2. Adult Literacy – An Atlantic Adult Literacy Framework is needed to broaden the delivery of services and raise adult literacy levels in a meaningful and measurable way.
3. Skills Development – New investments are essential to improve recognition of prior learning, to increase the quality of on-the-job training, and to harmonize apprenticeship programs across provinces.
4. Research and Development – Dedicated funding arrangements are required to support research and development activity and to increase economic development of advanced manufacturing, knowledge industries, life sciences and value-added natural resources.
Ministers acknowledge that Atlantic Canada has unique challenges that must be considered in any discussion about federal funding transfers.
Ministers met with the Association of Atlantic Universities, the Maritime Higher Education Commission, and the Atlantic Provinces Community Colleges Consortium as part of their ongoing effort to work better together to respond to pressing needs of students and learning institutions.
IMPROVING STUDENT PERFORMANCE
As one measure of achievement, Atlantic Canadian students have participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and School Achievement Indicators Program (SAIP). These assessment programs are administered by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.
The ministers of education and training met with Dr. Robert Crocker of Atlantic Evaluation and Research Consultants, and Dr. Doug Willms, Director of the Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy at the University of New Brunswick, both acknowledged experts in the study of student assessment, public policy and school effectiveness.
Ministers of education and training recognized that success in learning is impacted by numerous factors, none of them decisive. Measurable improvement requires attention to many factors simultaneously. The ministers agreed that CAMET will pursue five new projects that are intended to address concerns shared by Atlantic departments of education and training.
1. Use of Instructional Time
2. Improving Student Learning through Homework
3. Learning in Rural Schools
4. Teacher Assignment
5. Student Motivation and Persistence
These projects will complement existing and planned provincial initiatives in the area of student performance.
The ministers of education and training also reviewed the progress of the CAMET work plan and noted the completion of several important initiatives.
1. Social Studies Classroom Resource - Entry to Grade 2
2. Changing Your World
3. Trousse d’appréciation de rendement en lecture: immersion française
4. L’emploi du français en classe de français de base
DESCIPTION OF THE FIVE REGIONAL INITIATIVES -- IMPROVING STUDENT PERFORMANCE
Use of Instructional Time:
Use of instructional time has been identified as one of the most significant determinants of improving student learning. The purpose of this project is to review and assess policies and procedures currently in place and to make recommendations for new policy directions in this area.
Improving Student Learning through Homework:
Homework guides will be developed for teachers, parents and students that will:
- identify good practices and strategies at the grades 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12 levels;
- explain the value of homework; and
- indicate that homework should be an extension of the learning that occurs in the classroom.
Learning in Rural Schools:
This research and intervention project will seek to determine the impact of differentiated instruction practices (that incorporate technology) on the academic success of boys and girls in rural schools.
A toolkit will be developed which will contain a variety of strategies to support teachers teaching outside their areas of specialization.
Student Motivation and Persistence:
This project will see career map posters developed for students, teachers, guidance counselors and parents that are designed to stimulate and provide focus for conversations about education and career choices, and to provide career and education options related to students’ particular interests and aptitudes.
DESCRIPTION OF THE COMPLETED PROJECTS
New social studies classroom resources for entry to grade 2 were completed this year. Social studies’ students will benefit from custom designed resources that address Atlantic Canada’s curriculum outcomes directly.
A new textbook was custom designed to support the grade 7 curriculum. This resource, entitled Changing Your World, addresses the concept of empowerment, an examination of the ability of citizens to be self-assertive, independent and take action by studying how power and authority are and have been distributed in our society. Grade 7 students will begin using this resource in September 2005.
"Trousse d’appréciation de rendement en lecture: immersion française" is a literacy assessment kit that has been developed to complement the grade 4 to 6 French immersion language arts curriculum. It provides tools, strategies and exemplars to enable teachers to assess and assist students in the development of their reading skills.
"L’emploi du français en classe de français de base" is a recently completed guide developed to provide second language teachers with strategies and examples of how to increase the use of the target language in a core French second language classroom.