The policy aims to maintain high standards, improve student learning, and benefit students, parents, and teachers in The Educators Academy. Successful implementation of this policy depends on the professional judgement of educators at all levels, as well as on their ability to work together and to build trust and confidence among parents and students. A brief summary of some major aspects of the current assessment, evaluation, and reporting policy, with a focus on policy relating to the Educators Academy, is given below.
The Educators Academy’s theory of assessment and evaluation follows the Ministry of Education's Growing Success document, and we follow it because it is beneficial to the students. Our teachers design assessment in such a way as to make it possible to gather and show evidence of learning in a variety of ways to gradually release responsibility to the students, and to give multiple and varied opportunities to reflect on learning and receive detailed feedback.
Growing Success articulates the vision the Ministry has for the purpose and structure of assessment and evaluation techniques. There are seven fundamental principles that ensure best practices and procedures of assessment and evaluation by The Educators Academy teachers. The Educators Academy’s assessments and evaluations are,
are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year or course;
are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.
Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a course. The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is seen as both “assessment for learning” and “assessment as learning”. As part of assessment for learning, The Educators Academy teachers provide students with descriptive feedback and coaching for improvement. Our teachers engage in assessment as learning by helping all students develop their capacity to be independent, autonomous learners who are able to set individual goals, monitor their own progress, determine next steps, and reflect on their thinking and learning. As essential steps in assessment for learning and as learning, our teachers:
plan assessment concurrently and integrate it seamlessly with instruction;
share learning goals and success criteria with students at the outset of learning to ensure that students and teachers have a common and shared understanding of these goals and criteria as learning progresses;
gather information about student learning before, during, and at or near the end of a period of instruction, using a variety of assessment strategies and tools;
use assessment to inform instruction, guide next steps, and help students monitor their progress towards achieving their learning goals;
analyse and interpret evidence of learning;
give and receive specific and timely descriptive feedback about student learning;
help students to develop skills of peer assessment and self-assessment.
A variety of assessment and evaluation methods, strategies and tools are required as appropriate to the expectation being assessed. These include diagnostic, formative and summative within the course and within each unit.
Assessment for learning and assessment as learning is obtained through a variety of means, including the following:
Assessment of learning is obtained from various sources, including the following:
Ongoing observations of most consistent work
discussions about personal growth and areas for improvement
Media presentation sharing a healthy recipe
Evaluation refers to the process of judging the quality of student learning on the basis of established performance standards and assigning a value to represent that quality. At The Educators Academy, student’s achievement of the overall expectations is evaluated on the basis of his or her achievement of related specific expectations. The overall expectations are broad in nature, and the specific expectations define the particular content or scope of the knowledge and skills referred to in the overall expectations. Educators Academy uses their professional judgement to determine which specific expectations should be used to evaluate achievement of the overall expectations, and which ones will be accounted for in instruction and assessment but not necessarily evaluated.
The Educators Academy will ensure that student’s work is assessed and/or evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories.
Knowledge and Understanding (K/U)
Thinking and Inquiry (T/I)
Student achievement is communicated formally to students and parents by means of the Provincial Report Card. The report card provides a record of the student’s achievement of the curriculum expectations in every course, at particular points in the school year or semester, in the form of a percentage grade. Report cards are issued upon completion of the course. Each report card will focus on related aspects of student achievement. The percentage grade will represent the quality of the student’s overall achievement of the expectations for the course and will reflect the corresponding level of achievement. The Educators Academy will record a final grade for every course, and a credit is granted for the course in which the student’s grade is 50% or higher.
Final Assessment and Evaluation = 100%
The teacher also provides written comments concerning the student's strengths, areas for improvement, and next steps (E–Excellent, G–Good, S–Satisfactory, N–Needs Improvement). The report card indicates whether an OSSD credit has been earned or not. Upon completion of a course, Educators Academy sends a copy of the report card back to the student's home school where the course is added to the ongoing list of courses on the student's Ontario Student Transcript. The report card is also sent to the student's home address for parents’ communication.
Evaluation Instruments/ Strategies:
Checklist Project Work
Assessment and Evaluation:
Final Assessment and Evaluation = 100%
A Summary Description of Achievement in Each Percentage Grade Range
and Corresponding Level of Achievement
Percentage Grade Range
A very high to outstanding level of achievement. Achievement is above the provincial standard.
A high level of achievement. Achievement is at the provincial standard.
A moderate level of achievement. Achievement is below, but approaching, the provincial standard.
A passable level of achievement. Achievement is below the provincial standard.
Insufficient achievement of curriculum expectations. A credit will not be granted.
THE ACHIEVEMENT CHART: HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION, GRADES 9–12
Knowledge and Understanding - Subject-specific content acquired in each course (knowledge), and the comprehension of its meaning and significance (understanding)
Knowledge of content (e.g., facts, definitions, skills, principles and strategies, safe practices and procedures)
– demonstrates limited knowledge of content
–demonstrates some knowledge of content
– demonstrates considerable knowledge of content
– demonstrates thorough knowledge of content
Understanding of content (e.g., processes, techniques, ideas, relationships between concepts)
demonstrates limited understanding of content
demonstrates some understanding of content
demonstrates considerable understanding of content
demonstrates thorough understanding of content
Thinking – The use of critical and creative thinking skills and/or processes
Use of planning skills (e.g., identifying the problem, formulating questions and ideas, gathering and organizing information; developing fitness plans; selecting strategies)
– uses planning skills with limited effectiveness
uses planning skills with some effectiveness
uses planning skills with considerable effectiveness
– uses planning skills with a high degree of effectiveness
Use of processing skills (e.g., synthesizing information, evaluating risk and determining appropriate safety measures, revising fitness goals, detecting bias)
uses processing skills with limited effectiveness
uses processing skills with some effectiveness
skills with a
high degree of
Use of critical/creative thinking processes (e.g., goal setting, decision making, problem solving; analysing movement skills, strategizing, reflecting on learning and determining steps for improvement, critiquing)
processes with limited
processes with some
processes, with considerable
processes with a high degree of
Communication – The conveying of meaning through various forms
Expression and organization of ideas and information in oral, visual and/or written forms (e.g., demonstrations, role plays, conferences, presentations, posters, pamphlets, journals)
expresses and organizes ideas and information with limited effectiveness
expresses and organizes ideas and information with some effectiveness
expresses and organizes ideas and information with considerable effectiveness
expresses and organizes ideas and information with a high degree of effectiveness
Communication for different audiences (e.g., peers, teammates, adults) and purposes (e.g., to inform, instruct, promote) in oral, visual, and/or written forms
communicates for different audiences and purposes with limited effectiveness
communicates for different audiences and purposes with some effectiveness
communicates for different audiences and purposes with considerable effectiveness
communicates for different audiences and purposes with a high degree of effectiveness
Use of health and physical education conventions, vocabulary, and terminology (e.g., using and interpreting signals and body language; using correct terminology to discuss parts of the body, health-related components of fitness, phases of movement [preparation, execution, follow-through]) in oral, visual, and/or written forms
uses conventions, vocabulary, and terminology of the discipline with limited effectiveness
uses conventions, vocabulary, and terminology of the discipline with some effectiveness
uses conventions, vocabulary, and terminology of the discipline with considerable effectiveness
uses conventions, vocabulary, and terminology of the discipline with a high degree of effectiveness
Application – The use of knowledge and skills to make connections within and between various contexts
Application of knowledge and skills (e.g., movement skills, concepts, principles, strategies; training principles; health concepts; safe practices; personal and interpersonal skills, including teamwork, fair play, etiquette, leadership) in familiar contexts (e.g., physical activities, healthy living discussions)
skills in familiar
skills in familiar
skills in familiar
skills in familiar
contexts with a
high degree of
Transfer of knowledge and skills to new contexts (e.g., transfer of movement skills, strategies, and tactics from a familiar physical activity to a new activity, transfer of planning skills to contexts such as fitness, healthy eating, healthy sexuality)
transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with limited effectiveness
transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with some effectiveness
transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with considerable effectiveness
transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with a high degree of effectiveness
Making connections within and between various contexts ((e.g., between active participation, learning in the health and physical education program, and healthy, active living; between health and physical education, other subjects, and personal experiences in and beyond school)
makes connections within and between various contexts with limited effectiveness
makes connections within and between various contexts with some effectiveness
makes connections within and between various contexts with considerable effectiveness
makes connections within and between various contexts with a high degree of effectiveness
Submission of Assignments
All assignments should be submitted for grading on the stated due date.
Any late assignments may be subjected to a 10% penalty.
Work not submitted within 5 school days after the stated due date will be assigned a mark of 0.
If a student is ill or away for a documented reason, all assignments must be submitted upon return to class, unless arrangements are negotiated with the teacher.
It is vital that the student realize the potential consequences of incomplete work and absences, including failure to gain the cred for the course. It is the responsibility of the student to catch up on all work missed from being absent.
Program Planning Considerations
Effective instruction is a key to student success. To provide effective instruction, the Educators Academy teachers need to consider what they want students to learn, how they will know whether students have learned it, how they will design instruction to promote the learning, and how they will respond to students who are not making progress.
Instructional approaches should be informed by the findings of current research on instructional practices that have proved effective in the Educators Academy classrooms. For example, research has provided compelling evidence about the benefits of explicit teaching of strategies that can help students develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Strategies such as “compare and contrast” and the use of analogies give students opportunities to examine concepts in ways that help them see what the concepts are and what they are not. Although such strategies are simple to use, teaching them explicitly is important in order to ensure that all students use them effectively.
Instruction in health and physical education at The Educators Academy, help students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attributes they need in order to achieve the curriculum expectations and be able to enjoy and participate in healthy active living for years to come. In health and physical education, instruction is effective as it motivates students and instils positive habits of mind, such as curiosity and open-mindedness; a willingness to think, question, challenge, and be challenged; and an awareness of the value of listening or reading closely and communicating clearly. We believe that, all students can be successful and that learning in health and physical education is important and valuable for all students.
Planning Program for Special Education Needs
The Educators Academy’s classroom teachers are the key educators of students with special education needs. They have a responsibility to help all students learn, and they work collaboratively with special education teachers, where appropriate, to achieve this goal.
The Educators Academy’s classroom teachers commit to assisting every student to prepare for living with the highest degree of independence possible. The teachers at the academy planning Canadian and World Studies pay particular attention to the following beliefs:
All students can succeed.
Each student has his or her own unique patterns of learning.
Successful instructional practices are founded on evidence-based research, tempered by experience.
Universal design and differentiated instruction are effective and interconnected means of meeting the learning or productivity needs of any group of students.
Classroom teachers are the key educators for a student’s literacy and numeracy development.
Classroom teachers need the support of the larger community to create a learning environment that supports students with special education needs.
Fairness is not sameness.
At Educators Academy, students may demonstrate a wide range of learning styles and needs. Teachers plan programs that recognize this diversity and give students performance tasks that respect their particular abilities so that all students can derive the greatest possible benefit from the teaching and learning process. The use of flexible groupings for instruction and the provision of ongoing assessment are important elements of programs that accommodate a diversity of learning needs.
In planning health and physical education courses for students with special education needs, our teachers begin by examining the current achievement level of the individual student, the strengths and learning needs of the student, and the knowledge and skills that all students are expected to demonstrate at the end of the course, in order to determine which of the following options is appropriate for the student:
no accommodations or modifications; or
accommodations only; or
modified expectations, with the possibility of accommodations; or
alternative expectations, which are not derived from the curriculum expectations for a course and which constitute alternative programs and/or courses.
There are three types of accommodations:
Instructional accommodations are changes in teaching strategies, including styles of presentation, methods of organization, or use of technology and multimedia.
Environmental accommodations are changes that the student may require in the classroom and/or school environment, such as preferential seating or special lighting.
Assessment accommodations are changes in assessment procedures that enable the student to demonstrate his or her learning, such as allowing additional time to complete tests or assignments or permitting oral responses to test questions
If the student requires either accommodations or modified expectations, or both, The Educators Academy will take into account these needs of exceptional students as they are set out in the students' Individual Education Plan. Our courses offer a vast array of opportunities for students with special educations needs to acquire the knowledge and skills required for our evolving society. Students who use alternative techniques for communication may find a venue to use these special skills in these courses. There are a number of technical and learning aids that can assist in meeting the needs of exceptional students as set out in their Individual Education Plan.
If a student requires “accommodations only” in French courses, assessment and evaluation of his or her achievement will be based on the appropriate course curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in this document. The IEP box on the student’s Provincial Report Card will not be checked, and no information on the provision of accommodations will be included.
Program Considerations for English Language Learners
Ontario schools have some of the most multilingual student populations in the world. The first language of approximately 20 per cent of the students in Ontario’s English language schools is a language other than English. Ontario’s linguistic heritage includes several Aboriginal languages; many African, Asian, and European languages; and some varieties of English, such as Jamaican Creole. Many English language learners were born in Canada and raised in families and communities in which languages other than English were spoken, or in which the variety of English spoken differed significantly from the English of Ontario classrooms. Other English language learners arrive in Ontario as newcomers from other countries; they may have experience of highly sophisticated educational systems, or they may have come from regions where access to formal schooling was limited.
The Educators Academy course provides a number of strategies to address the needs of ESL/ELD students. This course is flexible in order to accommodate the needs of students who require instruction in English as a second language or English literacy development. The Educators Academy teachers consider it to be his or her responsibility to help students develop their ability to use the English language properly. Appropriate accommodations affecting the teaching, learning, and evaluation strategies in this course are made in order to help students gain proficiency in English, since students taking English as a second language at the secondary level have limited time in which to develop this proficiency.
During the start of education at The Educators Academy, English language learners receive support through one of two distinct programs from our teachers who are specialized in meeting their language-learning needs:
English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are for students born in Canada or newcomers whose first language is a language other than English, or is a variety of English significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools.
In planning programs for students with linguistic backgrounds other than English, teachers at The Educators Academy recognize the importance of the orientation process, understanding that every learner needs to adjust to the new social environment and language in a unique way and at an individual pace. For example, students who are in an early stage of English-language acquisition go through a time during which they closely observe the interactions and physical surroundings of their new learning environment. Students thrive in a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment that nurtures their self-confidence while they are receiving focused literacy instruction. When they are ready to participate, in paired, small-group, or whole-class activities, some students begin by using a single word or phrase to communicate a thought, while others speak quite fluently.
Responsibility for students’ English-language development is shared by our classroom teacher, our ESL teacher and other staff at The Educators Academy. Sometimes volunteers and peers are helpful in supporting English language learners in the language classroom. Teachers at The Educators Academy adapted the instructional program in order to facilitate the success of these students in their classrooms. Appropriate adaptations include:
modification of some or all of the subject expectations so that they are challenging but attainable for the learner at his or her present level of English proficiency, given the necessary support from the teacher;
use of a variety of instructional strategies (e.g., extensive use of visual cues, graphic organizers, scaffolding; previewing of textbooks, pre-teaching of key vocabulary; peer tutoring; strategic use of students’ first languages);
use of a variety of learning resources (e.g., visual material, simplified text, bilingual dictionaries, and materials that reflect cultural diversity);
use of assessment accommodations (e.g., granting of extra time; use of oral interviews, demonstrations or visual representations, or tasks requiring completion of graphic organizers or cloze sentences instead of essay questions and other assessment tasks that depend heavily on proficiency in English).
Environmental Education and Health and Physical Education
Helping students become environmentally responsible is a role assumed by The Educators Academy. The first goal is to promote learning about environmental issues and solutions. The second goal is to engage students in practicing and promoting environmental stewardship in their community. The third goal stresses the importance of the education system providing leadership by implementing and promoting responsible environmental practices so that all stakeholders become dedicated to living more sustainably.
The Healthy Active Living Education courses in health and physical education offer many opportunities for accomplishing these goals. The learning environments for health and physical education include the school grounds, fields and trails in the vicinity of The Educators Academy, and various other outdoor venues. Teaching students to appreciate and respect the environment is an integral part of being active in these spaces. Appreciating the value of fresh air and outdoor spaces, understanding the environmental benefits of healthy practices such as active transportation and the environmental implications of various food choices, being aware of the impact of using trails, and understanding the health risks associated with environmental factors such as sun exposure and air pollution are all components of environmental education that are integrated with learning in health and physical education. To facilitate these connections, our health and physical education teachers are encouraged to take students out of the classroom and into the world beyond the school to help students observe, explore, and appreciate nature as they discover the benefits of being active outdoors.
Good curriculum design following the resource document - The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9-12: Environmental Education, Scope and Sequence of Expectations, 2011, will assist The Educators Academy’s staff to weave environmental education in and out of the course content. This ensures that the students have opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills, perspectives and practices needed to become an environmentally literate citizen.
Healthy Relationships and Health and Physical Education
Helping students become environmentally responsible is a role assumed by The Educators Academy. The first goal is to promote learning about environmental issues and solutions. The second goal is to engage students in practicing and promoting environmental stewardship in their community. The third goal stresses the importance of the education system providing leadership by implementing and promoting responsible environmental practices so that all stakeholders become dedicated to living more sustainably. Good curriculum design following the resource document - The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9-12: Environmental Education, Scope and Sequence of Expectations, 2011, assist The Educators Academy’s staff to weave environmental education in and out of the online course content. This ensures that the student will have opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills, perspectives and practices needed to become an environmentally literate citizen.
Anti Discrimination Education
Every student is entitled to learn in a safe, caring environment, free from violence and harassment. Students learn and achieve better in such environments. The safe and supportive social environment at The Educators Academy is founded on healthy relationships between all people. Healthy relationships are based on respect, caring, empathy, trust, and dignity, and thrive in an environment in which diversity is honoured and accepted. Healthy relationships do not tolerate abusive, controlling, violent, bullying/harassing, or other inappropriate behaviours. To experience themselves as valued and connected members of an inclusive social environment, our students are involved in healthy relationships with their peers, teachers, and other members of The Educators Academy community.
The most effective way to enable all students to learn about healthy and respectful relationships is through the school curriculum. The Educators Academy teachers promote this learning in a variety of ways. For example, they help students to develop and practise the skills they need for building healthy relationships by giving them opportunities to apply critical-thinking and problem solving strategies and to address issues through group discussions, role play, case study analysis, and other means. The Educators Academy also have a positive influence on students by modelling the behaviours, values, and skills that are needed to develop and sustain healthy relationships, and by taking advantage of “teachable moments” to address immediate relationship issues that may arise among students.
Financial Literacy in Health and Physical Education
The document A Sound Investment: Financial Literacy Education in Ontario Schools, 2010 sets out the vision that: Ontario students will have the skills and knowledge to take responsibility for managing their personal financial well-being with confidence, competence, and a compassionate awareness of the world around them. Since making financial decisions has become an increasingly complex task in the modern world, students need to have knowledge in various areas and a wide range of skills in order to make informed decisions about financial matters.
The Educators Academy considers it essential that financial literacy be considered an important point of a well-educated population. In addition to acquiring knowledge in such specific areas as saving, spending, borrowing, and investing, students need to develop skills in problem solving, inquiry, decision making, critical thinking, and critical literacy related to financial and other issues.
Health and physical education is linked to financial literacy education in a number of ways. In the Healthy Active Living Education courses, the Healthy Living expectations provide opportunities for the exploration of financial issues in connection with a variety of health topics, such as considering how affordability can impact healthy eating choices and examining the economic costs associated with substance use. In making decisions related to achieving their personal fitness goals, students at The Educators Academy consider financial factors such as the affordability of different physical activity options. They also have opportunities to examine how physical activity and sports affect and are affected by the economy, develop consumer awareness as they consider choices that affect their health and well-being, and consider cost-effective ways to disseminate health promotion messages to specific target audiences. The exploration of such issues also involves the application of the personal, interpersonal, and critical and creative thinking skills developed in the living skills component of the program.
Critical Thinking and Critical Literacy
Critical thinking is the process of thinking about ideas or situations in order to understand them fully, identify their implications, make a judgement, and/or guide decision making. Critical thinking includes skills such as questioning, predicting, analysing, synthesizing, examining opinions, identifying values and issues, detecting bias, and distinguishing between alternatives. At The Educators Academy, students are taught these skills so they become critical thinkers who can move beyond superficial conclusions to a deeper understanding of the issues they are examining. After this, they are also able to engage in an inquiry process in which they explore complex and multifaceted issues, and questions for which there may be no clear-cut answers.
Students use critical-thinking skills in The Educators Academy’s course for health and physical education when they assess, analyse, and/or evaluate the impact of something and when they form an opinion about something and support that opinion with a rationale. In order to think critically, students need to examine the opinions and values of others, detect bias, look for implied meaning, and use the information gathered to form a personal opinion or stance, or a personal plan of action with regard to making a difference. In this way, students approach critical thinking in various aspects. Some students find it helpful to discuss their thinking, asking questions and exploring ideas. Other students may take time to observe a situation or consider a text carefully before commenting; they prefer not to ask questions or express their thoughts orally while they are thinking.
Literacy, Inquiry Skills and Numeracy in Health and Physical Education
Literacy, mathematical literacy, and inquiry/research skills are critical to students’ success in all subjects of the curriculum and in all areas of their lives.
At The Educators Academy, many of the activities and tasks that students undertake in the health and physical education curriculum involve the literacy skills relating to oral, written, and visual communication. These include researching, discussing, listening, viewing media, communicating with words and with the body, connecting illustrations and text, role playing to create meaning through stories, and – especially important for kinesthetic learners – communicating through physical activity. Students, at The Educators Academy use language to record their observations, to describe their critical analyses in both informal and formal contexts, and to present their findings in presentations and reports in oral, written, graphic, and multimedia forms. Understanding in health and physical education requires the understanding and use of specialized terminology. At The Educators Academy, for all health and physical education programs, students are required to use appropriate and correct terminology, and are encouraged to use language with care and precision in order to communicate effectively.
Although physical communication skills are an important component of health and physical education, oral communication skills are also a key part of the development of health and physical literacy and are essential for thinking and learning. Through purposeful talk, students not only learn to communicate information but also to explore and to understand ideas and concepts, identify and solve problems, organize their experience and knowledge, and express and clarify their thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
These opportunities are available throughout the curriculum at the Educators Academy. The expectations in all strands give students a chance to engage in brainstorming, reporting, and other oral activities to identify what they know about a new topic, discuss strategies for solving a problem, present and defend ideas or debate issues, and offer critiques or feedback on work, skill demonstrations, or opinions expressed by their peers.
The Role of a Library in the Health and Physical Education
The Educators Academy’s library program can help to build and transform students’ knowledge to support lifelong learning in our information- and knowledge-based society. The Educators Academy supports student success across the Health and Physical Education curriculum by encouraging students to read widely, teaching them to read for understanding and enjoyment, and helping them to improve their research skills and to use information gathered through research effectively.
The Educators Academy library program enables students to:
develop a love of reading for learning and for pleasure;
develop literacy and research skills using non-fiction materials;
obtain access to programs, resources, and integrated technologies that support all curriculum areas;
understand and value the role of public library systems as a resource for lifelong learning
Our classroom teachers develop, teach, and provide students with authentic information and research tasks that foster learning, including the ability to:
access, select, gather, process, critically evaluate, create, and communicate information;
use the information obtained to explore and investigate issues, solve problems, make decisions, build knowledge, create personal meaning, and enrich their lives;
communicate their findings to different audiences, using a variety of formats and technologies;
use information and research with understanding, responsibility, and imagination.
The Role of Information and Communication Technology
Information and communications technology (ICT) provides a range of tools that can significantly extend and enrich teachers’ instructional strategies and support student learning. ICT tools include multimedia resources, databases, websites, digital cameras, and word-processing programs. Tools such as these can help students to collect, organize, and sort the data they gather and to write, edit, and present reports on their findings. ICT can also be used to connect students to other schools, at home and abroad, and to bring the global community into the local classroom.
The integration of information and communications technology into the health and physical education program at The Educators Academy represents a natural extension of the learning expectations, as does the use of other technological devices such as pedometers and heart rate monitors. Current technologies are useful both as research tools and as creative media. They can use fitness apps and digital recording devices to set and track fitness goals and monitor progress and improvements. In addition, students use digital devices to design and present multimedia works, to record the process of creating their dance or movement sequences, to support the development of movement skills, to record role-playing scenarios while practising interpersonal and decision-making skills related to healthy relationships, and for numerous other purposes.
Although the Internet is a powerful learning tool, there are potential risks attached to its use. All students must be made aware of issues related to Internet privacy, safety, and responsible use, as well as of the potential for abuse of this technology, particularly when it is used to promote hatred. Our teachers understand that ICT tools are valuable in their teaching practice, both for whole class instruction and for the design of curriculum units that contain varied approaches to learning to meet diverse student needs.
The Ontario Skills Passport and Essential Skills
The Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) is a free, bilingual, web-based resource that provides teachers and students with clear descriptions of the “Essential Skills” and work habits important in work, learning, and life. The Educators Academy can engage students by OSP tools and resources to show how what they learn in class can be applied in the workplace and in everyday life. The Essential Skills identified in the OSP are:
Numeracy: Money Math; Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting; Measurement and Calculation; Data Analysis; and Numerical Estimation
Thinking Skills: Job Task Planning and Organizing; Decision Making; Problem Solving; Finding Information; and Critical Thinking
Education and Career/Life Planning through the Health and Physical Education Curriculum
The goals of the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education and career/life planning program are to:
ensure that all students develop the knowledge and skills they need to make informed education and career/life choices;
provide classroom and school-wide opportunities for this learning; and
engage parents and the broader community in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the program, to support students in their learning.
The framework of the program is a four-step inquiry process based on four questions linked to four areas of learning: (1) knowing yourself – Who am I?; (2) exploring opportunities – What are my opportunities?; (3) making decisions and setting goals – Who do I want to become?; and, (4) achieving goals and making transitions – What is my plan for achieving my goals?
Cooperative Education and Other Forms of Experiential Learning
Planned learning experiences in the community, including job shadowing and job twinning, field trips, work experience, and cooperative education, provide our students with opportunities to see the relevance of their classroom learning in a work setting, making connections between school and work, and exploring a career of interest as they plan their pathway through The Educators Academy. In addition, through experiential learning, students develop the skills and work habits required in the workplace and acquire a direct understanding of employer and workplace expectations. Experiential learning opportunities associated with various aspects of the Health and Physical Education curriculum help broaden students’ knowledge of employment opportunities in a wide range of fields, including interpreting, translating, and publishing and other media-related industries. Students who choose to take a two-credit cooperative education program with a Health and Physical Education course as the related course are able, through this package of courses, to meet the Ontario Secondary School Diploma additional compulsory credit requirements for Groups 1, 2, and 3.
Planning Program Pathways and Programs Leading to a Specialist High Skills Major
At the Educators Academy, Health and Physical Education courses are well suited for inclusion in Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSMs) or in programs designed to provide pathways to particular apprenticeship, college, university, or workplace destinations. In some SHSM programs, courses in this curriculum can be bundled with other courses to provide the academic knowledge and skills important to particular economic sectors and required for success in the workplace and postsecondary education, including apprenticeship training. Health and Physical Education course can serve as the in-school link with cooperative education credits that provide the workplace experience required not only for some SHSM programs but also for various program pathways to postsecondary education, apprenticeship training, and workplace destinations.
Health and Safety in Health and Physical Education
Teachers are responsible for ensuring the safety of students during classroom activities and also for encouraging and motivating students to assume responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others. Teachers should follow board safety guidelines to ensure that students have the knowledge and skills needed for safe participation in health and physical education activities. Safety awareness, based on up-to-date information, common sense observation, action, and foresight, is the key to safe programming.
At The Educators Academy, our teachers establish and support a culture of safety-mindedness. They must consider any potential dangers, assess those dangers, and implement control measures to protect the students from the risks. By implementing safer instructional practices, such as using logical teaching progressions and transitions and choosing age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate activities, teachers can reduce risk and guard against injury. Field trips may present additional health and safety issues that are not encountered in in-school activities. Field trips can provide an exciting and authentic dimension to students’ learning experiences, but they also take The Educator Academy teachers and students out of the predictable classroom environment and into unfamiliar settings. The Educators Academy teachers preview and plan these activities carefully to protect students’ health and safety.
Ethics in Health and Physical Education
The health and physical education curriculum provides varied opportunities for students to learn about ethical issues, explore ethical standards, and demonstrate ethical responsibility. Students can explore how sports and physical activity can be used to build community, and they can consider ethical questions related to health promotion and the use of human subjects in research.
When exploring issues related to health and physical education as part of an inquiry process, students may need to make ethical judgements. Such judgements may be necessary in evaluating evidence and positions on various issues or in drawing conclusions about issues, claims, or events. The Educators Academy teachers help students in determining the factors to consider when making these judgements. In addition, teachers provide support and supervision throughout the inquiry process, helping students become aware of potential ethical concerns and of appropriate ways to address those concerns
At the Educators Academy, teachers ensure that they thoroughly address the issue of plagiarism with students. The skill of writing in one’s own voice, while appropriately acknowledging the work of others, must be explicitly taught to all students in health and physical education classes. Using accepted forms of documentation to acknowledge sources is a specific expectation within the inquiry and skill development strand for each course in the Canadian and world studies curriculum.