ctf Quick Launch
CTF Frequently Asked Questions
What is CTF?
CTF is Career & Technology Foundations – a new Program of Studies for use in Grades 5-9. When implemented (scheduled for September 2013), it will facilitate students in the process of designing, creating, appraising and articulating possible solutions to challenges and to acquire knowledge and skills in authentic and engaging learning environments. CTF allows students to discover and explore their own interests and passions and build skills so they may make reasonable education and career choices in the future.
How is CTF different from what is currently offered?
CTF is a more process-oriented Program of Studies when compared to the existing CTS Program of Studies. The focus in CTF is more on the process of learning taking place in an experiential learning setting as opposed to the product or service being created or offered. The focus thus is centered on 21st Century competencies that are crucial for future success in a variety of fields. Design, Create, Appraise, and Articulate are the 4 General Outcomes in CTF.
How can/should this happen in Junior High and Middle Schools?
Students should be exposed to many areas/fields to aid them in gaining further understanding about their strengths, passions and interests. This enables students to make a better-informed choice when considering their High School options. It should be noted that understanding of self is a life-long process that will continue in High School and beyond. We should not communicate that this is something that CTF intends to fully accomplish for any one student – rather, the work students do in CTF will in gaining an increased understanding of self. Schools may also want to consider what is offered at the high schools that their students will feed into when determining or adjusting any CTF offerings.
Does anything need to change in this transition?
The new CTF Program of Studies is very open-ended. One of the benefits of this open-endedness is the ability to consider and implement a more integrated and more highly authentic overall learning framework within any one school. Within our pilot schools, this integration factor is being considered and implemented in a way that makes sense for each setting. There are a number of factors to consider when contemplating such changes:
- Established culture and traditions
- Physical lay-out of the school
- Available facilities & resources
- Teacher expertise & capacity
- Available community connections
- Collaborative Planning time for teachers
- Assessment and reporting of CTF learning outcomes
Schools may be doing a good job of providing a strong CTS option program already, which may include some level of integration and a focus on the learning process as opposed to the end product. In these cases, the transition to the new CTF Program of Studies may be minimal as far as visible changes or shifts in direction & practice. These schools are encouraged to continue moving their practices in this direction to further strengthen personalized learning for their students.
What kind of professional development will be required to support staff?
Considering the process-oriented nature of this new Program of Studies, it may be necessary to focus teacher professional development to support this shift in focus. Possible topics to consider:
- Project-based Learning
- Teacher as Facilitator of Learning Universal Design for Learning
- Student Personal Learning Plans
- Inquiry Model Learning
- Models of Integration Connections to:
- Personalized Learning
- The Instructional Core
- Inspiring Action/Education Setting the Direction
- CBE 3-Year Education Plan
- CBE Career & Technology Strategy
- Broader overall understandings of collective Programs of Study
- Assessment and reporting of CTF learning outcomes
There is a need to allow teachers to collaborate to build both capacity and understanding in delivering CTF content that is of a consistent quality. One possibility would be working to ensure transference of knowledge from more experienced CTF teachers to teachers in the early years of their practice, whether this is through a mentoring approach, common sharing or meetings as a larger group. One concern that we are beginning to hear more and more is around where future CTF teachers are going to come from. How will we ensure that they are trained to deliver a variety of CTF content in a safe and effective This is a discussion that we've been having with our post-secondary institutions as they train pre-service teachers and continue to promote and build out bridging opportunities for our teachers to gain some of these skills and the related knowledge in a practical way.
How is the role of the teacher in offering the new CTF Program of Studies changing?
We are seeing a shift in the role of the teacher in general – away from being the content expert or holder of knowledge in most situations and toward the facilitation of learning based on their understanding of the learners they are working with. Teachers will now be expected to ensure that they are covering (or uncovering) the outcomes of the new CTF program of studies within the content that they are currently delivering. We are encouraging our pilot schools and CTF teachers to see this rollout of a new program of studies as an opportunity to look to an increased level of integration between the core and complementary subject areas - the rationale behind this being that integration gives increased real-world meaning to core content while adding an increased level of rigor to complementary content.
How do I get more information about the DRAFT Career & Technology Foundations Program of Studies or answers to other questions I may have?
Please e-mail D. V. Bradbury
What is the CTF Communication Plan?
Please view our CTF Communication Plan, last updated January 2012.