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Frequently Asked Questions

What is happening for the 2016–2017 school year?
The Career and Technology Foundations Program of Studies has been approved for provincial implementation for Fall 2016. School authorities can:

  •  use the CTF Program of Studies to develop optional courses for students
  •  continue to teach introductory level learning outcomes from Career and Technology Studies (CTS) courses

What is the relationship between Career and Technology Foundations (CTF) and Career and Technology Studies (CTS)?
The CTF curriculum is for students in grades 5 to 9 and the CTS program is intended for secondary students in grades 10 to 12.

Through CTF, students explore their interests and passions to gain experience with the CTS occupational areas. This helps students build different skills and gain knowledge and experience with technologies that will help prepare them for CTS.

CTF also helps students plan for high school by bringing their interests to life and introducing them to the variety of opportunities offered through the career and technology programs.

Will I able to be use CTS 1000 level outcomes in junior high classes?
At the junior high level, schools can offer a variety of optional courses. These courses can be from a list of provincially approved optional courses, or optional courses that are locally developed. This flexibility allows for CTS 1000 learning outcomes to be part of a variety of appropriate learning experiences for junior high students.

Through CTF, students explore skills, knowledge, and technologies used by professionals within a specific occupational area. The CTF learning outcome “I use occupational area skills, knowledge and technologies” supports the introduction of these occupational area skills, knowledge and technologies. This allows teachers to use CTS 1000 level learning outcomes to address occupational area skills, knowledge and technologies in their CTF challenges or tasks. This allows teachers to use or adapt projects that they have always used, or to create new projects. The document “CTF Occupational Area Skills, Knowledge and Technologies Lists” also provides a list of skills, knowledge and technologies that are appropriate for grade 5 to 9 students for some of the occupational areas.

Do schools have to offer CTF?
No. CTF will be an authorized optional course for grades 5 to 9 that complements CTS. The CTF Program of Studies can help guide the development of career and technology-based optional courses. If teachers have developed their own courses based on CTS 1000 level outcomes, they can continue to offer those courses if they wish to do so.

What will safety look like in CTF?
Safety is a part of every CTF class. Following safety requirements is a CTF learning outcome. Students need to demonstrate safety attitudes, skills and knowledge. This depends on the occupational areas being explored. Teachers determine how and when safety is taught based on student experiences, age and level of maturity. Schools and school authorities must develop safety plans that meet legislative requirements. The following document is available for teachers and school administrators: CTF Safety and Environmental Consideration for Occupational Areas. 

Is CTF available for students in grades 5 and 6?
Page 42 of the Guide to Education: ECS to Grade 12 states that elementary programming may include one or more optional subjects. Optional subjects are based on learning outcomes other than those outlined for core subjects. Optional subjects may be developed at the school level. The CTF Program of Studies is now available as one of the provincially approved optional courses.

Will CTF be mandatory for grades 7 to 9?
No. Page 44 of the Guide to Education: ECS to Grade 12 states that schools shall provide two provincially or locally authorized optional courses for junior high students. Where instruction is offered in a language other than English, only one other provincially authorized optional course is required. Schools choose the optional courses that they provide students.

CTF joins a list of provincially authorized optional courses that junior high schools can offer to students. Some of the other optional courses include fine arts courses, Religious Studies and Environmental and Outdoor Education.

Will schools still be allowed to deliver their own locally developed courses, such as sports and fitness courses? CTS related courses?
Yes. Schools can deliver their own locally developed courses (LDCs). Page 59 of the Guide to Education: ECS to Grade 12 states that school authorities can develop or acquire locally developed courses. LDCs address specific student and community needs. CTF may result in school authorities reviewing their current LDCs.

  •  Some LDCs will be an obvious fit with CTF.
  •  Other LDCs may be modified to become CTF courses.

Offering an LDC as a CTF course might simplify the process of developing and approving locally developed courses. The intent is not to adapt all LDCs to fit CTF. Some LDCs will continue to provide unique opportunities for students that are not met through CTF.

Is there a format that needs to be used when naming CTF courses?
There is no provincial format for naming CTF courses. The naming of CTF courses occurs at the school or school authority level. Flexibility with naming is required to support the variety of courses being developed to meet specific student, school and community needs.

Will there be a recommended time allocation for CTF as there is for some of the other provincially authorized optional courses?
No. Page 43 of the Guide to Education: ECS to Grade 12 states that the time allotted for junior high optional courses may vary. (Second languages and fine arts courses are the exceptions.) Flexible timing supports scheduling and developing optional courses to meet student and school needs.

To what extent should CTF explore the occupational areas?
How occupational areas are explored will vary from class to class. This will depend on a number of factors. Some of these factors are student interests and needs, time, facilities and resources. The expertise of a teacher is another factor. A CTF class is not intended to provide the depth of an introductory level CTS class. Through CTF, students gain experience with the occupational areas used in CTS. They get an understanding of different skills, knowledge and technologies. They are encouraged to make personal connections.

How does CTF support differentiated instruction and personalized assessment?
The CTF learning outcomes are the same for grades 5 to 9. This provides students with the time to work with the learning outcomes. This creates opportunities to differentiate learning experiences for students. A classroom assessment tool has been developed for each learning outcome. The classroom assessment tool includes behaviour descriptors. These behaviour descriptors are grouped into three stages. Teachers and students can use behaviour descriptors and stages to decide how to work with the learning outcomes. This lets students bring their experiences, skills and prior knowledge to the learning environment. The use of behaviour descriptors and stages supports personalized learning classroom assessment and addresses the diverse needs of student.

I keep reading about including the community. What do you mean by community?
Community can mean many things in a CTF course. Sometimes an individual or a group becomes part of the CTF learning. Sometimes community describes another class of students, parents or school staff. Community can mean working with experts, businesses or service organizations. Community moves learning beyond classroom walls.

How should CTF results be reported on student report cards?
The school authority sets how CTF will be reported.

When will CTF be implemented in French?
CTF has been developed in French and English and will be provincially implemented in both languages at the same time.

Why should a CTF task or challenge link to at least two occupational areas?
Linking a task or challenge to at least two occupational areas

  •  helps students understand that occupational areas have skills, knowledge and technologies in common.
  •  allows students to experience a variety of occupational areas.

The choice of occupational areas can be influenced by

  •  student and teacher interests
  •  teacher expertise
  •  available facilities
  •  community resources.

What does a CTF class look like?
CTF provides the flexibility to create classes that reflect student and teacher interests and the needs of the school and the community. No two CTF classes will look the same. Teachers will put together learning outcomes, assessments and resources to create unique learning experiences for students. These learning experiences will involve occupational areas and their related skills, knowledge and technologies.

Teachers will have to decide how they will teach CTF. CTF can be taught in a variety of ways. Some teachers will choose a project-based approach to develop tasks or challenges. Some teachers will continue to use their current approach to these types of classes. They will need to ensure that the CTF learning outcomes are used. Every teacher using the same learning outcomes will result in a consistent approach to CTF across the province.

How much does CTF Cost?
Through CTF, school authorities have the flexibility and support to create classes that reflect student and teacher interests and the needs of the school and the community. CTF can be implemented within current staff and resources and school authorities currently allocate resources, including budget, as per their local programming priorities.