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Backgrounder

The new Grade 11 and 12 curriculum

June 2000

Whether they are heading to university, college, the workplace or an apprenticeship program, high school students will be well prepared for their future plans with Ontario's new Grade11 and 12 curriculum. 

When students get to Grades 11 and 12, they will choose from course categories that support their plans after high school. These "destination" courses are in four key areas: university, university/college, college and workplace. Students will also be able to take a number of open courses. In open courses, the content is the same for all students no matter which destination stream they are in. Students can also move into a different area of study and take transfer courses if their plans change. 

Students who are now in Grade 9 will begin taking the new Grade 11 curriculum in the fall of 2001 and the Grade 12 curriculum in the fall of 2002. 

The new Grade 11 and 12 courses have been carefully developed by experienced teachers and curriculum specialists working in close collaboration with professors from Ontario's 25 colleges and 19 universities, apprenticeship trainers, employers and other representatives of business and the community. 

University destination courses

Under Ontario's old high school system, students took advanced level courses and then OAC courses if they planned to go to university. Ontario's new university preparation courses replace this system. Now, students will choose from courses that better prepare students, in four years of high school, for university and related careers. 

University/College destination courses

Some college and university preparation programs have similar entrance requirements. Ontario's new Grade 11 and 12 curriculum has been developed to include new university/college courses that are designed to meet the similar entrance requirements of specific college and university programs. Students will have a wide-ranging selection of courses from which to choose. 

Students taking university/college courses will select these courses based on their future plans. For example, a student who plans to take a high-tech program at a college will likely take University/College Mathematics in order to have the statistics and calculus background needed for the programs he or she intends to pursue. 

College destination courses

College preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for a variety of college programs, apprenticeship programs and careers. The material and instruction in these courses emphasize concrete applications of the theoretical material covered in the courses. The courses also emphasize the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills. All college preparation courses emphasize the development of both independent research skills and independent learning skills. 

Workplace destination courses

For the first time ever, Ontario's high school curriculum now includes courses that are specifically designed to give students the wide range of knowledge and skills they will need if they are heading directly to the workplace or into various apprenticeship programs once they graduate. These improved and expanded courses support students who, for example, want to go into construction, manufacturing or transportation, or to work as dental technicians or teaching assistants after high school. 

The range and content of all the courses will give students sound and comprehensive preparation for a variety of jobs, training programs and careers. With this new curriculum, students will graduate with a good understanding of the field they are pursuing, industry and government standards, health and safety issues, environmental concerns, career opportunities and specifics of a trade. 


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