Provincial teacher certification requirements are relatively uniform across the country—they all require teachers to have undergone a teacher education program at a university or college.
Manitoba, along with other provinces, is facing a teacher shortage—particularly in specialty subject areas such as mathematics and science. Due to a large number of impending retirements, this situation will likely become worse.
Research indicates that teacher education programs make little difference in the educational effectiveness of a teacher.
Over 40 states have implemented alternative certification models. Alternatively certified teachers generally have lower attrition rates, stronger academic backgrounds and more extensive work experience than traditional teacher education graduates.
Alternative certification programs have made it possible to staff schools with a larger representation of visible minority teachers.
New Jersey has implemented a complete reform of its teacher certification system. All teachers are required to have a bachelor’s degree, pass the National Teachers Exam in their subject area, and complete a mentor-guided, school-based practicum. These regulations apply both to traditionally educated and alternatively certified teachers.
No emergency teaching credentials have been issued in New Jersey since 1985. In addition, teachers are not required to teach outside of their specialty fields.
Manitoba should implement a teacher certification system based upon the New Jersey model.