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Education as Provincial vs Federal Responsibility

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Education as Provincial vs Federal Responsibility

Started by Mary McNabb November 23, 2012 - 7:30am Replies (3)

Terry's comment or more accurately, lament about education being a responsibility of each province during our Wed. 806 chat, provoked several questions.  I thought back to the enthusiastic co-operation between universities and schools in Maastricht, NL at the Networked Learning Conference and the barriers between basic and post-secondary educators in Canada (and the U.S. from what I've seen).  Is this all due to differences in governmental responsibility for education or are there other reasons for this rift?  I'd be interested in hearing more of your thoughts on the subject, Terry.



  • Susan Bainbridge November 25, 2012 - 1:31pm

    Hi Mary,

    I experienced Provincial 'protectionism' over education first-hand during the early part of my career. I obtained my initial degree and teacher training in Ontario. Then I moved around the country teaching in 5 different provinces and territories. Each time I applied for a position in a new province, the interview and hiring was simple, but the hiring committee would warn me that their provincial College of Teachers (or equivalent) would probably require me to take additional courses to bring me 'up to their lofty standard' (excuse the sarcasm) in their domain. Thanks to my love of travelling, I have the equivalent of a second undergrad degree as a result of each province insisting I take more courses to meet their qualifications. The most bizarre request was in BC where I had obtained a position as a Grade 11/12 History instructor. They insisted I take a Calculus course!

    The other terrible side-effect of provincial control is that many families are very mobile these days. I remember one student telling me that he had moved 4 times in 4 years and had been taught Western European history each year! I fought back then for a national curriculum to solve this problem, but to no avail.


  • Mary McNabb November 26, 2012 - 7:32am

    I've had similar experiences, Susan and I can appreciate your thoughts on being brought up to provincial standards for each province.  A friend of mine had an M. Ed. from OISE, applied for a job in a tiny (150 student) K-12 school in very rural Alberta and was told she would have to take another year of university to be able to be qualified for the position.   Experiences like hers and the fact that any of the profs who come out to check on pre-service teachers in our schools refuse (quite adamantly) to come into a classroom, makes me wonder about the role of Faculties of Education.  Are they there to bring money into the university or to help move education forward? If the rest of Europe is as involved as The Open University of the Netherlands is, we are missing the boat here in North America.



  • Kathy Wang December 6, 2012 - 2:36pm

    Very interesting. Several days ago, I did an investigation about who is responsible for the distance stuff training all around the word. Until that time, I knew that AU is governed by Alberta province! I used to think that AU is response by Canadian government, because it is Canada's biggest Open University. Actually there is no relationship between the biggest and support by the national government, but when come to the biggest, all of us (Chinese) will connect it with our nation government. Different political system determines different structure of education system.