Today, Education Minister Stephen Lecce unveiled a new Grade 9 math course while ending the practice of streaming students into applied and academic courses.
Lecce said the new course aims to equip students with valuable learning opportunities that will support their success in the workforce and includes new learning on coding, data literacy, mathematical modelling and an emphasis on financial literacy.
The new course also ends the practice of streaming Grade 9 students into applied and academic courses which is believed to put some students at a disadvantage.
According to the Education Ministry, the course ensures relevance to today’s job market with an emphasis on practical life skills – from the concept of interest, debt, savings, personal budgeting and price comparisons. It builds on learning from the modernized and landmark Grade 1-8 math curriculum to better prepare students for more advanced math to allow students to pursue any postsecondary, skilled trade and pathway in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that they choose.
It is also expected to help students prepare for the jobs of tomorrow by introducing new learning of how to apply coding skills to understand complex mathematics and to make predictions. In addition, the course builds on students’ understanding of data to represent and analyze real-life situations.
“We are better preparing students with the life and job skills they require – with a focus on financial literacy, coding, and data literacy – to ensure Ontario students succeed,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “With an emphasis on real-world applications for mathematics, this course will teach students valuable fundamentals that will give them a competitive advantage when they graduate. With new math-focused learning supports and a new curriculum, our government is taking the first step toward ending early streaming in Ontario, while promoting equal opportunities for all students.”
The Ford government says this new curriculum is the next step of the its four-year, $200-million math strategy to reverse a decade-long decline in performance of Ontario’s students. The new math course, which replaces the Grade 9 academic, applied and transfer courses, will be taught in Ontario’s publicly funded schools beginning in September.
“The jobs of tomorrow demand a solid understanding of mathematics. As we see more jobs being created in coding, data management and engineering, proficiency in math will become even more important,” said FIRST Robotics Canada President David Ellis. “By giving Ontario’s math curriculum a much-needed update, the government is taking decisive action to help students succeed in the job market and allowing them to unlock their full potential. We are excited about this change!”
The Ministry of Education says it will also work with its education partners to ensure teachers and students are supported with the new math course.