Connecting GTA Teachers Planning Team - DOC

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					                                                                                        Appendix A

                Connecting GTA Teachers Planning Team Meeting
                                   Thursday, February 17, 2005

         Chris Coleman, Project Coordinator, Connecting GTA Teachers Planning Team
         Lori Cristillo, York Region District School Board
         Pat Evans, Peel District School Board
         Sue Ferguson, Toronto District School Board
         Gale Harild, York Region District School Board
         Ken Harrison, Humber (Chair)
         Carol Henry, Seneca
         Mark Petit, Toronto Catholic District School Board
         Michelle Rao, Georgian
         Mary Vesia, Humber
         Robert Wager, Toronto District School Board

            Tina Antunes, Humber
            Michael Arthur, Sheridan
            Elizabeth MacDonald, York Region District School Board
            Gerald Reber, York Region District School Board


                    Tina Antunes, Humber College
                    Lori Cristillo-Sawa, York Regional District School Board
  Presenters:       Gale Harild, York Region District School Board
                    Elizabeth MacDonald, York Region District School Board
                    Gerald Reber, York Region District School Board

                    PowerPoint slideshow on promoting skilled trades and technology, in high
                     schools and public schools. The slideshow is a combination of the
                     presentations by Antunes, MacDonald, and Reber. A .PPT file is available
                     from upon request.
                    Order Form for Booklet: PSTT! The Best Kept Secret! Promoting Skilled
                     Trades and Technologies. Curriculum Unit, Grade 7
                    Order Form for Booklet: PSTT! The Best Kept Secret! Promoting Skilled
                     Trades and Technologies. Curriculum Unit, Grade 8

Gale Harild and Lori Cristillo-Sawa led the discussion by providing some background and
introduction for the presentations; first by Tina Antunes, then by Elizabeth MacDonald and
Gerald Reber.

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Promoting the Skills Trades (Humber)

Tina Antunes, School of Applied Technology at Humber provided examples of ways in which the
skilled trades are promoted:
          High school visits
             o Career and Apprenticeship Fairs
             o PowerPoint presentations to Career Studies classes
             o Workshop sessions
          Job, skilled trades, and college fairs, e.g. Humber attends
             o York Region‟s job fairs
             o National Job Fair
             o Belleville and Brockville Skilled Trades fairs
          Skills Ontario
             o Skills Qualifying Competitions, e.g. Halton Skills Competition
          On campus events
             o College Experience Days
             o Discovery Days
             o Women in the Skilled Trades Day
             o College Open House

“Visits to elementary schools are becoming more popular,” and the School of Applied
Technology at Humber is expanding Tina‟s role to include elementary schools.

Promoting Skilled Trades and Technology - PSTT!...The Best Kept Secret (York

Elizabeth MacDonald and Gerald Reber presented York Region‟s “PSTT!” initiative, intended
“to increase understanding and interest in skilled trades and technologies, through experiential
learning opportunities for all students in York Region public schools.” 'Re-culturing' students,
parents and teachers is requiring changes that are system-wide.

Components of Initiative
      Curriculum units for Grades 7 & 8. Condensed versions of the booklets were
       distributed at the meeting. The curriculum utilizes a proprietory website for exploring
      The program links into transition to secondary school.
      Professional development workshops for intermediate teachers, titled “Pathways to
      Parent presentations at School Council meetings and Grade 8 parents‟ nights
      One-day, Experiential Learning Opportunity with Georgian, Humber, Centennial and
       Seneca colleges.

The PSTT! initiative endeavours to counteract “hardening of the attitudes,” of teachers, teacher-
resources, parents, as well as students. Developers have tried to avoid language that limits. For
example, they use the word „opportunities‟ instead of „success‟. They define „success‟ as being
“independent and happy with what you‟re doing”; e.g. “What would you like to try,” rather than
“What would you like to be.” They started with defining „success‟ as being “independent and
happy with what you‟re doing.”

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They use Daggett‟s Essential Skills, ; that is, the ability to:
        Adapt to change
        Be a self-starter
        Identify own skills
        Self-promote

Statistics were presented that showed:
          Most employment sectors have a full range of employment opportunities that include
            the skilled trades and technologies.
          Relative wages

The presentation stressed the following:
        Regardless of students‟ destinations, they are all going to work
        Not everyone learns the same—experiential vs. theoretical learning
        It is not the destination that matters as much as the learning that takes place on the
        These are not default programs

York Region‟s partners include Centennial, Georgian, Humber, Seneca, Skills Competencies
Canada, OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs), and Home Depot.

The Curriculum Component—Career Cruising and the Real Game

The true value of the curriculum lies in what teachers will do with it.

The curriculum for grades 7 and 8 focuses on:
         Students self-awareness
         Expanding awareness of opportunities
         Hands-on, experiential activities including a college visit
         Smoothing the transition to high school

The curriculum provides additional opportunities:
         Board‟s Skills Competition
         Job-twin with high school co-op students
         Guest speakers representing colleges, industry, labour unions, apprenticeship and high
          school co-op programs
         School membership with Skills Canada

Most elementary teachers are university educated. Discussions with elementary students also
inform their teachers. York Region offers teachers and their students opportunities for
experiential learning in a college. This is a very powerful experience.

The Pilot

The PSTT! initiative started with a grade 8 pilot. The pilot was run twice in two different schools.

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Next Steps

Students who participated in the PSTT! initiative will have additional experiential learning
opportunities for career exploration when they reach high school:
         Grade 9: job-shadow and /or job-twinning (one day observation in the workplace of
          their choice)
         Grade 10: Work Experience (short-term work experiences of 1-4 weeks duration in the
          workplace of their choice)
         Grade 10 Summer Acceleration Program at Humber College: a four-week, "hands-on"
          career exploration program in the skilled trades and technologies (Third Phase)
            o Needs a core group of students
            o Needs promotion
            o Suggestion that it be marketed as a „camp‟, rather than a school program
         Grade 11: a Cooperative Education placement that allows students to earn 2-4 credits
          towards their high school diploma.
         Placements can match chosen post-secondary destination (workplace, college,
          apprenticeship or university).
         Specialized co-op programs include the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
          (OYAP) and the International Cooperative Education (ICE) program. (Fourth Phase)


Question: How is a balance achieved between work experiences and on-going classes?

        Response: It depends upon how the blocking is done. The work experiences are only an
        hour or two long. Experiences may be over lunch break or at the end of the school day.
        Travel time is kept short. Rural schools must do things „in-school‟ or „virtually‟.

Question: What are the statistics? How many students who go through such programs actually
end up in college? Where do they end up?


        The Research Department at Humber is keeping data.

        Some stats from the group:
         Only 25% of high school students end up in college.
         Actually 40-50% in most colleges have had at least a one-year “stop-out.”
         Mature students are getting younger, i.e. 23 years average instead of 28 years.
         About 80% of students, average age of 25, are finding out about trades from their high
          school guidance.

        It is important to include the word “technology” along with “trades.” Apprenticeship
        availability is a huge issue.

Question: Are we doing students a disservice by promoting skilled trades and apprenticeships
when the job positions are, in fact, not there? Robert Wager, once a member of IBEW
(International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), and currently sitting on various boards, stated
that there is no shortage of apprenticeships. The auto industry, for example, has 1,100 registered

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apprentices. There are extremely few positions actually available, yet there are 18,000 applicants.
The IBEW works on nepotism and personal contacts. Typically a student who is qualified must
“wash cars” for three years before they can even apply. There may be a shortage of positions in
the trades, e.g. construction.


        Sue Ferguson read some statistics from Statistics Canada:
               “Registered apprenticeship training programs”
               The Daily
               Friday, December 17, 2004

        Reference was again made to the work of Dr. Willard R. Daggett, on “the skills and knowledge students need in today's
        technological, information-based society.”

                Note: For anyone unfamiliar with his work, Dr. Daggett is “well known as the
                designer of the Application Model, which provides a framework to determine the
                relevance of curriculum and assessment to real-world situations. The Application
                Model is part of the Rigor/Relevance Framework,
                which has become a cornerstone of reform initiatives throughout the
                world….[The framework] can serve as a bridge between school and the
                community. It offers a common language with which to express the notion of a
                more rigorous and relevant curriculum.”

        Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC),
        and Statistics Canada, provide statistics on the number of
        apprenticeship completions.

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