DARTMOUTH, N.S. (CNB) – Ministers from the Atlantic provinces responsible for education and training have reaffirmed their commitment to promoting and improving literacy.

This was the key theme that emerged during a meeting of the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training, held Friday, Jan. 21, in Dartmouth, N.S.

The meeting was attended by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Martine Coulombe; Marilyn More, Nova Scotia minister of labour and advanced education; Doug Currie, Prince Edward Island minister of education and early childhood development; and Allan Campbell, Prince Edward Island minister of innovation and advanced learning.

The ministers reviewed progress made in the implementation of their 2009 plan, Literacy: Key to Learning and Path to Prosperity – An Action Plan for Atlantic Canada 2009-2014. They expressed satisfaction with the accomplishments achieved since its launch. These accomplishments will be contained in a progress report to be released in February.

The ministers released seven resources for use in schools in Atlantic Canada to support their ongoing commitment to improve literacy in public education:

●    Standards and Educational Leadership: The Road Not (Yet) Taken;
●    Standards of Practice for Educational Leaders: A Guide for Leadership Development, Growth and Professionalism;
●    Grade 3 and 4 Social Studies Curriculum;
●    The Multi-age Classroom Kits;
●    Effective Instructional Practice in the Mathematics Classroom: A Literature Review;
●    Séquences didactiques pour les programmes de français de la 9e à la 12e année (instructional units in French Language Arts from grades 9 to 12); and
●    English Language Arts Grades 7, 8 and 9 Curriculum Renewal.

The ministers highlighted the Atlantic adult literacy campaign, Literacy: It means more than you think, launched on Nov. 1, 2010, as a means of improving the quality of life and increasing literacy and essential skills.

They emphasized that literacy encompasses more than reading, writing, and numeracy; literacy affects every aspect of an individual's daily life, whether as a learner, employer, worker or parent. They said the campaign underlines their commitment to work together to promote the social and economic benefits of literacy throughout Atlantic Canada. The campaign will continue in 2011.

The Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training, an agency of the Council of Atlantic Premiers, is mandated to improve co-operation in public and post-secondary education in Atlantic Canada by working together to improve learning, optimize efficiencies and bring added value to provincial initiatives.

2009-12 Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training strategic direction

Standards and Educational Leadership: The Road Not (Yet) Taken

An environmental scan of educational leadership standards was prepared to inform the process of establishing leadership standards for principals and superintendents. This document highlights the context and purposes of educational leadership standards as they have been developed and used by other provinces, states and countries.

Standards of Practice for Educational Leaders: A Guide for Leadership Development, Growth and Professionalism

This is a set of standards of practice and competencies for educational leaders that reflects the ideals for aspiring and practising school principals and vice-principals. These standards describe the knowledge, skills, competencies and values that reflect a continuous growth toward excellence in leadership.

Grade 3 and 4 Social Studies Curriculum

Two resources were developed to outline the philosophy and scope of the grades 3 and 4 social studies programs for English-language schools and immersion programs. Curriculum outcomes and delineations are paired with effective student learning activities and assessment strategies. These resources are available in print and online by visiting each of the provincial Department of Education websites.

Multi-age Classroom Kits

This is a resource package designed to stimulate discussions and reflections on schools interested in establishing multi-age classes. The philosophies behind the multi-age approach are becoming more prominent and widely used, especially in those places where student enrolments remain low. This resource is designed to support and guide teachers through the process of setting up multi-age classes. This resource is available in print only with a complementary interactive CD-ROM.

Effective Instructional Practice in the Mathematics Classroom: A Literature Review

This report examines the characteristics of effective teachers who promote maximum learning in today's diverse mathematics classroom. The literature review focuses on instruction and best practices in the classroom, the use of successful assessment strategies and how to improve student engagement. The document also addresses best teaching practices for students considered at-risk or those who experience learning difficulties in mathematics.


Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training 2009-14 literacy action plan

Séquences didactiques pour les programmes de français de la 9e à la 12e année (instructional overview of French language arts programs for grades 9 to 12)

An interactive web-based resource was developed for teachers. This tool promotes a differentiated instruction approach and guides teachers through various activities linked to the new grades 9 to 12 French Language Arts curriculum. The site also features links to student exemplars that help to identify student performance.

English Language Arts, Grades 7, 8 and 9 Curriculum Renewal

A research of teaching practices was completed; this includes the up-to-date developments and pedagogical approaches (instructional and classroom assessment/evaluation) related to teaching English Language Arts in grades 7 to 9. Revised components of the curriculum guide include updated information on the time that teachers plan for instruction for reading and writing, viewing and representing, listening and speaking as well as additional support for teachers to address the language arts outcomes. This resource is available online by visiting each of the provincial Department of Education websites.

LINK:

●    Department of Education and Early Childhood Development: www.gnb.ca/education