Tell me about professional development for teachers in Canada
December 22, 2009 7:19 AM   Subscribe

Help me learn more about teaching in Ontario, please. I'm looking for information about continuing education/professional development for teachers in Ontario.

I'm not a teacher--I'm not even Canadian, but I have a good grasp on how teachers' professional development/continuing education works in most states in the United States. I'd like to have a similar understanding of how these things work in Canada. For simplicity, I'm focusing on Ontario, but if you have information that's specific to other provinces, please feel free to share.

I'm not looking for information on BECOMING a teacher, but more about the kinds of education that teachers would undergo to renew their certification, get a pay raise, or become an administrator. In the U.S., this is most commonly accomplished through graduate coursework leading to a Master's degree. Is it the same in Ontario?

I've tried to google for the answers to my questions, but it doesn't seem to be something that's laid out anywhere. I know I'd be hard-pressed to find the information for any state in the United States, also--it's common knowledge among the teachers and principals, but not really written down in any one place. These things sometimes vary

If you know of any good resources for this kind of information, please point me in the right direction. For people who are teachers or know teachers in Ontario, anecdotal or "common knowledge" information is welcome also.
posted by terilou to Education (4 answers total)
I'm an Albertan (FWIW) and education is provincially regulated in Canada. However, you probably want to start here.
posted by Kurichina at 7:42 AM on December 22, 2009

Also, in Canada it's typically an undergraduate degree in Education OR an undergraduate degree in anything plus a PDP certificate, for up to high school. Masters will sometimes suffice for a college but PHD preferred. PHD always for a university. (My mother and sister are both teachers, however in Alberta rather than Ontario.) More education will out one up higher on the payscale.
posted by Kurichina at 7:45 AM on December 22, 2009

You'll want to look at the teacher's union website. It's called "Additional Qualifications" and the courses are usually offered at Schools of Education.
posted by raxast at 10:55 AM on December 22, 2009

Best answer: I'm a high school teacher in Ontario. The main reason a teacher would take an AQ course is to move up the pay scale. The scale has 4 categories and 10 levels. Categories relate to your level of education and levels are determined by number of years in the profession. All teachers start at level zero unless you can show prior teaching experience. Currently most teachers start at category 2 or 3. I forget what category 2 means but 3 means you have at least 7 full university courses in one of your two teachable subjects. The only way to rise to category 4 (which gives you a 4-5k per year raise) is to take a single AQ specialist course after teaching full time for at least 2 years. That specialist AQ must be in one of your teachable subjects. You can take the course at any Ontario uni that offers it. If you take it in the summer it takes about 4 weeks full time. During the school year it takes about 4 months part time. Courses currently cost about $900. Mail me if you have other questions or need clarification.
posted by trigger at 2:32 PM on December 22, 2009

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