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Frequently Asked Questions about the Realignment of Teacher Education and Graduate Education at OISE


How was the Task Force Established?

Consistent with OISE’s Strategic Plan (i.e. “to establish a working group to investigate models for a new Initial Teacher Education /Graduate Studies framework” p. 6), and outcomes of the Working Session on Teacher held on June 1, 2012, the Dean invited the Associate Dean, Programs to strike a Task Force to investigate models for the realignment of the teacher education programs and graduate education at OISE.

Who was on the Task Force?

OISE faculty and staff with knowledge and expertise in Teacher Education (each department had at least one representative). The membership included:

  • Carol Campbell, Associate Professor, Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

  • Biljana Cuckovic, Assistant to the Dean, Policy and Planning, Office of the Dean

  • Steve Katz, Senior Lecturer, Applied Psychology and Human Development

  • Clare Kosnik, Professor, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

  • Ann Lopez, Lecturer, Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

  • Roland Sintos Coloma, Associate Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Justice Education

  • Suzanne Stewart, Assistant Professor, Special Advisor to the Dean on Aboriginal Education

  • Rinaldo Walcott, Associate Professor, Special Advisor to the Dean on Equity and Accessibility (HSSSJE Chair)

  • Jeanne Watson, Associate Dean, Programs – Chair of the Task Force

Who on the Task Force is involved in ITE?

Task Force Members involved in initial teacher education (teaching and/or leadership) were:

  • Ann Lopez (at the time of the establishment of the Task Force Ann was the Coordinator of the Academic Concurrent B.Ed. program, and is currently Acting Academic Director, Initial Teacher Education)

  • Steve Katz

  • Clare Kosnik

  • Carol Campbell

  • Roland Sintos Coloma

  • Biljana Cuckovic (was the Program and Planning Officer for the University of Toronto Concurrent Teacher Education Program).

Is the Survey Anonymous?

Yes, the Survey is open and anonymous and anonymity of responses is guaranteed. The SurveyWizard system collects e-mail address of survey participants, however, the response data produced for the survey owners does not contain any of that information, and responses are completely anonymized. The survey operators have no way of retrieving individual participants' names and e-mail addresses, nor do they have the ability to match individual participants to their answers. The SurveyWizard system collects your e-mail address expressly for the purpose of keeping track of who has completed the survey and what their progress/partial responses are in order to:

  1. send personalized e-mail invitations and confirmations which include a personalized link to the survey;

  2. allow participants to interrupt their work and resume it at a more convenient time;

  3. allow participants to review/correct their responses after submitting them;

  4. prevent participants from submitting more than one response to the same survey.

How can I decide between the models?

You are asked for your view on how each of the proposed administrative models supports the realignment of teacher education and graduate education, to share your thoughts about the relative advantages and advantages of each, as well as your opinion (if you have formed one) regarding which model would best facilitate the realignment.

What are the resource implications of the different models?

The advisory committee (to be established by September) will engage in broad consultations regarding implementation issues (including resources) and program implications (if any) associated with each of the proposed models. The B.Ed. and diploma programs are currently well resourced and resources will follow them wherever they move.

Why should the Bachelor of Education program be administered within a department or departments?

Currently all graduate programs at OISE, and some but not all teacher education programs, are administered within academic departments. All teacher education programs are academic programs and deserve the support they will find when administered within a departmental home (or homes). The current matrix model in which undergraduate teacher education programs are administered from within the Dean’s office is highly unusual, and at is odds with the University of Toronto’s governance model that favors departmental autonomy. The Task Force on Teacher Education was asked to propose structural-organizational models that would provide all teacher education programs with an administrative departmental home. Why would we not?

What are the implications for the program?

The realignment is not about the programs, or program change. It is about moving the programs that are currently administered from within the Dean’s Office to a departmental home (or homes). Once administration of initial teacher education at OISE moves into a department (or departments), all academic planning and decision-making about programs will be subject to the usual governance procedures and the University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process (UTQAP). Any program related changes that may have financial implications will be discussed and dealt with in that context.

Will other programs (i.e. graduate) be threatened by the realignment?

No. All graduate programs at OISE have recently been reviewed under UTQAP. Each review report contained a number of recommendations that are to be implemented by programs and departments. Ultimately, all programs have to be reviewed periodically to ensure they are of high quality, remain relevant to students, and are in the forefront of their fields. The realignment is not about the program, or program change and will not in any way threaten the existing graduate programs.

Is the focus at OISE shifting towards teacher education?

No, there is no shift in focus at OISE. OISE is committed to excellence in both academic and professional programs including teacher education, which has been an integral part OISE’s mission since the merger of FEUT and OISE in 1996. Well known for leadership in research and programs, our goal is to sustain that leadership position in all our programs, research and scholarship.

Will everyone teach in teacher education?

No, as is the case with our graduate programs, only those with the relevant expertise should teach in ITE. While OISE’s departments are comprehensive, and are all expected to contribute to both graduate and second entry programs (e.g. one-year B.Ed.), this does not mean identical contributions within and across the departments.

Is the process similar to how we approached departmental restructuring?

Yes. The process for realignment of teacher education and graduate education is similar to process used for the departmental restructuring at OISE. Both included proposed models that were developed, elaborated on, and disseminated to the community for input and discussion. In addition, both included broad consultations, and a community survey, as well as other forms of input. In Towards 2030: the View form 2012 the Provost noted: "When academic planning involves restructuring, it can be controversial and we have seen some controversy unfold over the last few years. We have also seen uncontentious structural change. For instance, OISE-UT in 2012 disestablished one department and re-established their remaining departments in a laudable process (p.44)”.