Save the Canadian Exchange Program for Educators

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In June 2019, the board of directors of CEEF (Canadian Educational Exchange Foundation) terminated the teacher exchange program.  CEEF has offered the opportunity for international educational exchanges to both educators and students. 

Teacher Educational Exchanges are a unique blend of professional development and international cooperation.

Benefits of a teacher exchange include:

  • enable our students to develop global understandings of historical and contemporary social and cultural worlds
  • create learning opportunities for our students that extend their local and national communities
  • exposure to different education systems and assessment methods, bringing international perspectives to classrooms and schools
  • development of new pedagogy ideas and skills for effective teaching
  • acquisition of diverse perspectives to share with colleagues
  • opportunity for teachers and their families to connect to a variety of cultures and communities
  • developing resiliency skills and self-confidence
  • building an international educational and personal network
  • access to international travel opportunities and experiences 
  • enhanced language skills
  • a cost neutral opportunity for school boards to enable a full year of extraordinary professional development for teachers which benefit students, schools, school communities, and school boards

Overview of the Exchange Program

The first recorded teacher exchanges occurred in 1899 between the UK and a small group of Toronto teachers. By the 1920s, the Ministry had taken over the responsibility, and BC and some other provinces had also begun offering teacher exchanges. The Ministries or Departments of Education for each province managed the programs until the 1990s.  

In 1991 in Ontario, the Ministry of Education divested the program to OFEE (Ontario Federation for Educator Exchange).  Administration of the program was by an executive and board of directors of former exchange teachers and supervisory officers with the non-financial support of the Ministry and school boards in terms of facilities, information, and promotion, etc. In 1997 OFEE and OSEF (student exchange program) for reasons of efficiency and financial expediency merged to become CEEF governed by one common board.

In 2000, the BC Ministry of Education approached CEEF to take over their program. Thereafter, NB, NS, PEI, SK, MB also approached CEEF to manage the program in their provinces. The program has exchanged teachers from within our country and with other countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Germany, United States, Denmark, Spain, and Switzerland. Organizations affording this opportunity become a part of an international network of educational authorities looking outward to become active global citizens and to strengthen educational systems.

When educators immerse themselves in other educational systems, they not only serve as ambassadors of the quality of Canadian educators on the world stage but also are allowed the opportunity to reflect on best practices at a deeper level.  Exchange teachers experience first-hand inclusion, the diverse learner, indigenous education, achievement gaps, minority languages, and other important developments in education that are unfolding globally.  They bring back new ideas to enrich Canadian students and the teaching profession.

Why sign the petition?

Your vote is essential to sustain the program. Your vote will demonstrate that there is a significant interest in a teacher exchange program.  

Without a Canadian teacher exchange program, teachers will lose a valuable and unique opportunity to foster global perspectives, acquire international pedagogy, nurture respect and awareness of diverse cultures, and promote personal and professional growth and development.   

Send us a Letter of Support

As well as signing the petition, you can also forward a letter of support to Canadian Teachers for Educational Exchanges, a group of volunteers who feel passionately about the teacher exchange program at cdnexchangeteachers@gmail.com to help in our efforts to keep the exchange program alive. 

Join our Facebook group

You can also ask to join our Facebook group at Canadian Teachers for Educational Exchange at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CdnExchangeTeachers

 

 

 

 

 

 


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