Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quebec Education Reform

I live in Quebec.

Quebec is currently in the process of reforming the education system, the Quebec Education Plan (QEP). This site explains the reform, as does this PDF. Bob's Place has pertinent documents and links.

In a nutshell:

* The new curriculum is based on 9 cross-curricular competencies. Competencies imply using knowlege as opposed to just learning knowledge. The cross-curricular competencies allow for de-compartmentalized learning, which will allow students to develop their learning toolbox. The tools are described as Intellectual, Methodological, Personal and Social, and Communication-related.

1. Uses Information
2. Solves Problems
3. Exercises Critical Judgment
4. Uses Creativity
5. Adopts Effective Work Methods
6. Uses Information and Communications Technologies
7. Makes efforts.
8. Cooperates with Others
9. Communicates Effectively

* Assessment is focused at the end of cycles and assessment is focused on measuring the development of the competencies. Evaluation is on-going and part of learning. Student portfolios are utilized.

* Grade levels are replaced by cycles. Grades 1 and 2 become Cycle 1; Grades 3 and 4 become Cycle 2; Grades 5 and 6 become Cycle 3. One year to learn, one year to consolidate.

* Repeating (failing) students is discouraged. Schools are encouraged to find alternate solutions.

* The 3 roles of school: Instruct, socialize and qualify (provide qualifications, for employment).

* Broad areas of learning: Major concerns in today's society. The broad areas of learning will be integrated in the teaching of the subject areas because the learning must be relevant to the students.

Health and Well-being
Personal and Career Planning
Environmental Awareness, Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
Media Literacy

* Moral Education replaces Religion.

* Project-based learning. 25% of the time will be devoted to personal learning projects and individual assistance.

* Useage of Learning And Evaluation Situations (LESs), aka. Evaluation Situations. These are unit plans designed to span a few sessions. BIM defines LESs as:

Evaluation situations are learning/evaluation tools that engage students in exploring various broad areas of learning to develop cross-curricular and subject-specific competencies through authentic problem solving.

Here are some websites that support the education reform in Quebec and host LESs:

MELS: Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports.
SPEAQ: Society for the Promotion of the Teaching of English as a Second Language in Quebec.
LEARN: Leading English Education and Resource Network.
ESL Insight
BIM: Banque d'instruments de Mesure, which is produced by GRICS (Gestion du RĂ©seau Informatique des Commissions Scolaires)


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