Teacher Certification in Canada

Publication, Education, Dennis Owens

Executive Summary

  • 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.
  • Complete Backgrounder in PDF