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Canada establishes a Pan Canadian Global Competencies Framework for Education

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On 22nd January 2020, all thirteen Canadian Provincial Ministers of Education unanimously endorsed a Pan Canadian Global Competencies Framework that will be used to revise curricula, pedagogy, and assessment across all of Canada’s Provinces. UNESCO’s ‘Sustainable Development Goal 4’ served as one of the bedrocks for the framework. The adoption of the framework is a huge milestone for education in Canada and ushers in a new era of teaching and learning with a common focus across all Canada’s Provinces. The ultimate goal is for each jurisdiction is to develop curricula across all disciplines that will use these core competencies as their foundation, while retaining provincial autonomy for education policy. 
 
The framework provides clear definitions and guidelines for six new global competencies that will inform the future education of Canadian students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The six global competences focus on the development of: critical thinking and problem solving; innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship; learning to learn, self-awareness and self-direction; collaboration; communication; and global citizenship and sustainability.
 
With the climate crisis looming large, the ‘Global Citizenship and Sustainability’ core competency places a strong focus on the knowledge, skills, values, perspectives, and practices essential for a more sustainable future. Three key sustainability objectives within the framework include: students understanding the ecological, economic, and social forces, their interconnectedness, and how they affect individuals, societies, and countries; students taking  actions and making responsible decisions that support quality of life for all, now and in the future; and students contribute to society and to the culture of local, national, global, and virtual communities in a responsible, inclusive, accountable, sustainable, and ethical manner.
 
The objective of the framework is to prepare Canadian students to become lifelong learners and active citizens, both locally and globally.
 

Contributed by Kimberly Pallozzi with special thanks to Charles Hopkins, UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability, York University, Canada, and Pamela Schwartzburg, President and CEO, Learning for a Sustainable Future, Canada. Learning for a Sustainable Future - Resources for rethinking, is a free, online database of over 700 excellent, peer-reviewed, curriculum- matched resources to help teachers integrate ESD into their classrooms (www.LSF-LST.ca). 
 
For more information about the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, and the organization Learning for a Sustainable Future, see here.