Learning from the World: Ontario, Canada

International Learning

System on the Move: Story of the Ontario Education Strategy

Capacity building linked to results – “not a heavy handed demand for accountability” – is the main driver of the Ontario approach, report some of the key architects of the Ontario education reform in a recent issue of Phi Delta Kappan. The authors emphasize that the Ontario changes were respectful of professional knowledge while key partners in government, district school boards and other organizations worked together to make the reforms effective. Improving results on provincial and international assessments, dramatic improvement in secondary school graduation rates and renewed public confidence suggest that Ontario is headed in the right direction – that “results can be achieved without rancour.”

What follows is the story of the Ontario strategy, beginning with the context in which this whole-system, large-scale reform took place, proceeding to the theory which guided it and its multidimensional approach to implementation. Infrastructural changes are noted, as are key supporting strategies. The story ends with outcomes, ongoing challenges and a few examples of innovations.

Read the full version of System on the Move: Story of the Ontario Education Strategy.

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