Secondary Education in Canada:
It is the aim of the kindergarten to grade 12 program that all students graduate with a sound education that is relevant to their lives. The goals set for schools are defined by standards that provide meaningful measures of students' progress. These standards are realistic expectations of what students should know and be able to do as they progress through 13 years of schooling. The provincial curriculum expresses these standards as expected "learning outcomes" for each subject or course and grade. These learning outcomes reflect patterns of student development and actual standards of achievement within the province. In the primary years, standards are based on expectations for children in their age range. In grades 4 to 12 standards are based on expected learning outcomes for each grade or course.
In Alberta, the Minister of Education prescribes the outcomes that students should achieve in each subject through documents called programs of study. Programs of study are prepared in consultation with classroom teachers, school principals, students, parents, people from business, other community members, superintendents of schools, school trustees, educational associations, postsecondary institutions, and other government departments. Alberta also is working with other provinces and territories to develop common learning outcomes for students. School boards and their staffs determine the teaching methods and materials that will be used to help their students achieve the outcomes in the provincial programs of study. They may select from the provincial list of authorized materials or choose other resources to meet the needs of their students.
In Saskatchewan, the provincially-funded school system includes the public school system, the separate school system, and eight private high schools (historical high schools).
In addition, the following schools also deliver provincial curriculum and are recognized by the Department of Education for submission of academic records to the Department for issuance of an official Transcript of Secondary Level Achievement: 19 Independent Church Schools; 38 First Nations Schools; two Private (for profit) Schools, and two off-shore schools (one in Germany and one in Hong Kong).
The following postsecondary institutions have approval to deliver 30 level courses towards an Adult 12 standing (equivalent to the regular high school standing): The Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST), Regional Colleges, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology (SIIT), and Dumont Technical Institute (DTI).
Curriculum renewal has been a focus over the past 10 years and implementation of new courses at the high school level (grades 10, 11, 12) is currently underway. New courses are denoted with a (Core) designation on the transcript to differentiate between old and new. Once new curriculum has been fully implemented and old curriculum discontinued, the (Core) designation will be removed.
In 1994, Manitoba Education and Training began an educational renewal initiative intended to ensure that all students have the necessary knowledge and skills required to secure their future. Renewal initiatives, particularly those related to curriculum, will extend over a period of years, and will ensure that effective educational strategies are used consistently and appropriately across the system, and that all students have the opportunity to achieve success at school.
The provincial curriculum is undergoing significant revision to ensure rigorous and relevant educational content in all subject areas and its contribution to broad educational outcomes. Where appropriate, the content will be covered considerably earlier in the curriculum than previously. The knowledge and skills students require prior to specialization in Senior 3 and Senior 4 will be strengthened. Curriculum revision will be based on grade- and subject-specific outcomes and, where applicable, standards of student performance. Outcomes and standards will incorporate Manitoba's four foundation skill areas of literacy and communication, problem solving, human relations, and technology as well as elements identified for integration, including Aboriginal perspectives, sustainable development, gender fairness, appropriate age portrayals, human diversity, anti-racist/anti-bias education, curriculum integration, resource-based learning, and differentiated instruction.
Manitoba is working with other provinces and territories under the auspices of the Western Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Basic Education and the Pan-Canadian Protocol for Collaboration on School Curriculum in this process of renewal.
Users of this guide are invited to consult Manitoba Education and Training's website at http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/metks4 for updated information in the English language. A French language website is currently under development.
Changes to the high school program and diploma requirements will be introduced in September 1999. Preparation for the new high school program started in 1997 by focussing on grade 7 students and the new grade 1 to 8 curriculum. The new four-year high school program will start in September 1999 and will build on that curriculum. New directions that will be incorporated into the high school program include:
Up to September 1999, policy related to secondary school, grade 9 to graduation, is described in:
For Grades 10 to 12/OAC, curriculum is described in subject guidelines listed in OSIS, Appendix B; and in curriculum guidelines issued since 1989 which include: Broad-based Technology, Classical Studies, Dance, Fashion Arts, Food and Nutrition Sciences, International Languages, Physical and Health Education OAC, and Philosophy.
Users of this guide are encouraged to contact the Ministry of Education and Training to confirm diploma and program requirements. Most information can be located on the ministry’s website at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca or through its contact person at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Québec is currently in the process of reviewing its education system with a view to putting a new emphasis on success. Acting on the basis of the report of the Commission for the Estates General on Education that was presented in October 1996, and the various opinions of the Conseil supérieur de l’Éducation, Québec intends to reform its education system by the year 2000 to go from access for the greatest number to success for the greatest number.
New Brunswick is a bilingual province. Education programs and services are offered in both official languages.
Public school education in Nova Scotia has two major goals: (a) to help all students develop to their full potential cognitively, affectively, physically and socially; and (b) to help all students acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for them to continue as thinking, learning, physically active, valued members of society.
These goals can best be reached if school communities help students to develop in certain areas of learning called "essential graduation learnings." These areas cross traditional subject boundaries and are not the monopoly of any one discipline. The Department of Education and Culture has identified six areas of learnings as follows: aesthetic expression, citizenship, communication, personal development, problem solving, and technological competence.
Further information can be found in the current edition of Public School Programs, published by the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Culture.
A student is awarded a Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma upon successful completion of high school. Universities, colleges, or other postsecondary institutions, for purposes of admission, determine acceptable achievement levels in specified courses.
The public school program has courses for students in the following categories: English first-language, French first-language, and French immersion, both early (or continuing) and late. In the course descriptions that follow, the language arts courses for each category are described in detail.
Most mathematics, science and social studies courses at the junior high level and at the senior high, college preparatory level are available in both languages; a few courses, available only in French, are so designated. On the other hand, most senior high courses at the general and practical levels are not offered in French because of low demand.
Changes are being made to both the content and the structure of the Newfoundland and Labrador education system. Implementation of the Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation common core curriculum began with level II chemistry in September 1995, and is continuing. This document describes the program for the 1997-98 school year, with some additional information about the planned changes.
In the Northwest Territories (NWT), the Minister of Education prescribes the outcomes that students should achieve in each subject through documents called program of study. Programs of study are prepared in consultation with classroom teachers, school principals, students, parents, people from business, other community members, superintendents of schools, school trustees, educational associations, postsecondary institutions, and other government departments. NWT is also working with other territories and provinces to develop common learning outcomes for students. School boards and their staffs determine the teaching methods and materials that will be used to help their students achieve the outcomes in the programs of study. They may select from the list of authorized materials or choose other resources to meet the needs of their students.
Secondary schools in the Northwest Territories use curricula from Alberta Education, subject to approval by the Northwest Territories Minister of Education and according to requirements established by the Minister of Education.
Except for Alternative Programs, Northern Studies, Career and Life Management (Community Service module), Schools North Apprenticeship Program, and Aboriginal Languages, all other secondary school curricula are obtained from Alberta Education.
Yukon schools follow the British Columbia program of studies, with adaptations for territorial and local circumstances, and the inclusion of Yukon Native and northern perspectives. Recommended teaching strategies are based on the use of the immediate environment as a context for learning, the utilization of local and territorial resources, and integration of subject areas into meaningful units of study when possible. All aspects of students' development are considered, and continuous progress is emphasized. Differences in the levels of English language experience and skills of the students are recognized and teachers are encouraged to provide opportunities for students to have extensive practice in the purposeful use of the English language in written and spoken form.
A new curriculum and assessment framework is currently being developed by the British Columbia Ministry of Education. In addition, the Legislative Assembly of the Yukon Territory recently passed a new Education Act that took effect in the 1990/91 school year. Implementation of the new framework, and the provisions for possible changes at the system and structural levels of educational organization in the Yukon Education Act, may result in changes to courses and graduation requirements, in keeping with British Columbia requirements, in the near future.
Courses which constitute the common (core/required) program for grades 8 to 12 are described in the British Columbia Course Comparison Information section of this document. The grade 7 program of studies and elective courses for grades 8 to 12 are described below. Please note that not all elective courses are available in all junior and senior secondary schools in the Yukon. Some small rural secondary schools provide a limited number of electives, based on the training and abilities of the local teachers. However, all Yukon senior secondary students have access to all courses offered in the Yukon senior secondary program. Some courses are available as correspondence courses, and others are available only at F.H. Collins Senior Secondary School in Whitehorse. Students from small rural secondary schools may, in special cases, attend F. H. Collins Senior Secondary School and reside in student housing in Whitehorse in order to access courses not available in their home communities.